Aggravation and Taxes
Preparers and Full Disclosure
So, we fired our tax preparers today. It seems that when the firm hired a new person (who became part owner), she replaced the person who had been doing our taxes. That was two years ago. For two years now, we've had issues with our taxes.
Last year there were complications that arose from Geneveive's mother's death. Some of what was going on between the preparers and us were understandable. But, we were told which forms we had to fill out and send with tax returns only to be told by the IRS that they were the wrong ones. If preparing taxes is your profession, you should know which forms your clients need to send with their returns. Strike one.
Additionally, we did not receive our returns until April 14. There was no word from them that they were running behind or having difficulty meeting any kind of deadline. They took a month and a half or two months to get to and complete our taxes. Strike two.
This past tax year, they took so long that they had to file an extension. They did that without any communication with us. I called them on April 14 because we had not even received our returns on that day. I was asked if I could make an estimated payment in order to file an extension. I refused because I didn't need to make an estimated payment. Somehow messages got crossed and they assumed I was going to make such a payment, even though I plainly refused. So, they included it in our returns and never told us. We were never told that there were any forms that we When we finally got our returns, they cover letter stated an owed amount 2/3rds of what we actually owed. This is the amount we paid.
Friday, we received a letter from the IRS telling us we underpaid. We reviewed the letter. We reviewed the letter from our preparers. We reviewed our returns. Oh, look, there was an amount included on there for which we saw no other notice...no other word from our preparers. Just a little line that was easy to gloss over on the returns (and was). Just a vague question, the answer to which was completely ignored. Strike three.
Yeah, so we will have a new preparer for next year's (um, this year's?) taxes. We've been given a few suggestions. There is one we will be getting in touch with, most certainly. We are seriously contemplating having them review our returns from the past two years to see if there were any other mistakes, as that would not surprise us.
There are others we know of who use the same preparers we used. It seems they are having issues with them, too. Looks like they're going to be losing some business over this. I guess those who stick with them will at least get their returns on time in the future.
I won't mention who our preparers are. I'm not going to use this as a forum to recommend against using them. However, if anyone ever asks for a suggestion on who to use, I won't be mentioning them. They're out!