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Advise on finding a good tax accountant?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I've been doing my own taxes for years now, but want to hire a tax accountant this year to see if they can help me find some tax breaks that I may be unaware of. I've been participating in a stock plan with my company for years and sold a lot of stock last year (to diversify and transfer it into mutual funds). This is the first year that I've had to file capital gains. I filled out the tax forms and based on where I think I should be, I've probably done it all wrong. We're talking about a difference of possibly $10,000 to federal and state (difference between what I guessed it to be versus what the forms are showing me). It's worth hiring a professional this year.

I want to find an individual, not a company like H&R Block, that really knows the tax codes and will work with me to find every deduction that I can possibly take. I went to the online H&R Block site and filled out the forms online (like a Turbo-tax) and it already has shown a savings of $7,000, but I suspect that there is more out there. I don't want to sell stock to pay my tax bill this year - that money is for my retirement.

How does one find a good accountant? What are good questions to ask when you call and interview them? Any ideas? What charges can I expect to pay for a moderately complex filing?
post #2 of 2
My husband is a CPA and that is someone you should look for. In the yellow pages of the phonebook you could look under accountants first or Tax Preparation. The key is to she "CPA" (certifield public accountant). This designation is due to a hours in a public accounting firm and a complex test that must be taken. Continuing education is also a requirement.
I would explain you situtation on the phone. I don't know if they charge buy the hour or a flat fee-you could also ask that on the phone. I'm sure it will vary depend on what state you reside in. Some also have websites so you could view the services that they provide.
Hope this helps!!
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