How Does Shank & Company, CPA, Compare to TurboTax, Liberty Tax, and H&R Block?
Shank and Company Vs. Liberty Tax/H&R Block
If you go to H&R Block or Liberty Tax, you will deal with someone who only knows a little more than you about taxes and tax law. Furthermore, the scope of talent that you deal with at those offices vary from some tax experience to a rank beginner, rather than a licensed and experienced CPA. These tax chains often charge higher fees for a short tax form when they are doing less work. We always ask new clients to bring in the previous year’s tax return, as we find many errors and frequently can amend the return to get the taxpayer an additional refund.
A “Value-Added” Service at H&R Block or Liberty Tax: Refund Loans
One value-added service these companies provide is a refund loan. The refund loan allows you to receive your refund money much faster than the typical time frame. We do not believe in offering a client a loan to receive their refund money faster. Why pay interest fees and put yourself in debt to receive your refund immediately as it is coming to you in a matter of days anyway? Besides, they are only letting you pay them to borrow your own money!
The fact that they give you that advice should call into question why you dealt with them in the first place.
Small CPA Firm Vs. TurboTax
So what do you get if you use TurboTax?
TurboTax was designed to be easy and cheap to use. In just one software package, you can file your own taxes. All you must do is open it and let the software fill in the boxes on the forms. You need no prior knowledge of tax law to use the program nor to file your own taxes. In a world where we are constantly busy, TurboTax is the easy and quick option. While it might look appealing on the outside, the issue with TurboTax is this: it fills in the forms for you, but what if it doesn’t fill out the forms right? What happens if you get a letter from your State or the IRS? Who do you call if you get that letter?
While TurboTax fills in the forms for you, it doesn’t understand the many nuances inherent to the tax laws. When you go to a CPA firm, the CPA at the firm does understand these nuances. We have seen in many cases where this costs people money.
Recently, we had an instance where the taxpayer used Turbo Tax and received refunds in error for many years. The taxpayer’s spouse completed the returns based on each “previous” year. Since the numbers seemed to work out, the spouse was happy and filed the returns. Later, when trying to secure a loan to buy real estate, they found out the other spouse’s tax information had never been transmitted to the IRS through TurboTax. The taxpayer now owes money, with interest, as they continually received the wrong refund. We have corrected the problem, but more importantly, the taxpayers can sleep at night knowing everything is now done correctly.
Where is Turbo Tax on this, you ask?
Nowhere to be found.
Not convinced? You can certainly take your documents for taxes to a tax chain store and pay more of your hard-earned money for less work completed. You could also plug in the numbers in TurboTax and risk leaving refund money on the table. You could also sign a refund loan and pay more to get your refund quicker, which is coming to you anyway. We invite you to compare us outright, and if you aren’t happy, you are more than welcome to leave with your TurboTax filing.
Shank & Company, CPA, is ready and willing to serve you with fair prices for a short or long form and backed by 30 years of tax and accounting experience. We’ll handle the government, and your tax returns, for you so that you don’t have to.