Sunday, May 13, 2012


In a recent magazine there was an article about taxes, asking which tax preparer gives you the best return. One of the things we at Kopsa Otte pride ourselves in is that we are more that just tax preparers... we are tax planners. As tax planners we use our knowledge, education and creativity to help people minimize their income tax bill. Preparers, on the other hand, just fill out forms.

In the article, Author Jennifer Pellet shadowed "Scott," a freelance photographer, and his wife "Zoe," a government lawyer, as they prepared their taxes with "The Cheap, Do-It-Yourself Time Sucker" (TurboTax), "The Dependable Chain" (H&R Block), and "The Pricey, Fast, Confidence-Inspiring Firm" (Amper, Politziner & Mattia, CPAs). (Click here for the full article.)

Here was the magazine's bottom line:
TurboTax: 6.5 hours and $114 price to calculate a $2,466 refund. Cheap and private, but with "annoyingly chirpy" pop up windows pushing other Intuit offerings.
Block: 2.5 hours and $395 to calculate a $2,442 refund. Fast, predictable, and convenient, but no privacy.
The CPA: 2 hours and $1,000 to calculate a $3,620 refund. Staffers who exude confidence and a closed-door setting that "feels right when you're sharing such private information" -- albeit at a price. Also, the winner!

Why was the client so much happier with the CPA? She took a proactive look at Scott and Zoe's return, writing off the difference between what they were deducting in health insurance as a couple and what they should have deducted for the self-employed husband. That one move dropped their taxable income, and even dropped their AGI low enough to qualify their Roth IRA contributions for the 10% Saver's Credit.

"Sure, her fee was $605 more than Block's, but her value to the client was $1,178 more. So where is the value?"

If you have not done so you should consider our Income Tax Second Opinion package. In this package we review your past tax returns and then talk to you about your tax situation and make recommendations on strategies to minimize the amounts going to the IRS. Why not put a tax planner and a specialist in the industry to work for you? The price is normally $250 but for the first 10 people that contact us we will do the second opinion for a measily $150. Contact Amanda at 800.975.4829 to sign up.