Growing Without Rain

News and Views about Taxes

Knowing where to put the ‘X’

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Trish McIntire on one of the issues we all have:

Pop Test! One question; what is a simple tax return? Correct answer; whatever return the caller has. Their goal is to get you to under price the return. This will be something they will hold you to no matter how much they mislead you.

I’m reminded of the story of the consultant who walked into a plant that was having problems keeping the assembly line operating. The consultant looked around for about 10 minutes, put an ‘X’ on a particular component and told the plant manager that all he had to do was replace that component and the line would function smoothly. The manager did as asked and the line started running smoothly. A week later he received a bill from the consultant for $10,000 for consulting services. Given the time he spent on the problem, the manager thought that was more than a bit high, so he asked the consultant for a detailed invoice. Three days later this came back:

Time spent identifying the problem: $10
Knowing where to put the ‘X’: $9990

You’re asking us to do your return because we know where to put the ‘X’. The more complicated your situation, the harder it becomes to know exactly where to place it. It may not seem all that hard to you (especially after we do it) but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t complicated.

You can certainly price-shop, and you can certainly do your return yourself. But just keep in mind the possibility that when you do so, you might wind up with the ‘X’ in the wrong place when the IRS comes to take a look.


Written by nctaxpro

March 18, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Posted in Taxes

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