Today I was reading Bloomberg/Business Week and found an interesting article about tax preparation. The author (who has a lot better income than most of us) decided to have his taxes prepared in four different places to see if there were differences. His income was $431,388 for the year. The numbers represent his combined tax due or refund from state and local income taxes.
Taxslayer online calculated he was to receive a refund of $119,544.00 and charged him $30.00 to prepare the online forms.
H&R Block charged him $400.00 and found he owed $2,387 to the taxing bodies.
Hal Breich charged $400.00 and according to them he had a refund coming in the amount of $469.00.
RBZ charged $1,200 to complete the forms and said he owed $4,544.00.
Can anyone truly doubt there is a serious problem with the system with this kind of desparity when professionals handle the filing? Every year I cringe when I hit the send button on Turbo-Tax, wondering if my friendly IRS associates will be calling. I know I am being honest but if you have been audited as I have you will know it is not enjoyable. I filed a couple days ago so we'll see!