To file yourself or use a CPA...that is the Question?!!

5 Replies

What do you think?

The numbers are looking good through TurboTax.  The decision who to file through has been difficult.  Should I use my CPA or continue using TurboTax like I have for the last 10 years.

TurboTax seems to have the right questions, but do they file the correct forms?

I bought and sold a home in Alaska and Ohio. I am an Alaskan resident living in Virginia with a Virginia based single member LLC and a foreign LLC in Ohio. According to TurboTax: no taxes are due in Ohio or Alaska. Plus, since I'm active duty, I don't have to file in Virginia. My other two homes in Arkansas have no impact on the overall picture at the moment since one is still for sale and the other is now renting out.

What is your opinion?  Anyone with real personal experience as a flipper using TurboTax would be helpful.

Are you capturing all of your income from flipping on a Schedule C? The rental requires a Schedule E along with calculating depreciation.  Its tough to say if you are missing anything. You might consider spending a few hours w a CPA going over your situation and past returns. I spend about 800-1000 year filing my taxes and I say its well worth it to have a good CPA. You would also likely be better off shutting down the LLCs and operate as a SP which will save you money longterm. 

Thanks for the reply. The rental just started this month so it'll be on next year's tax filing. My single member LLC is looked at by the IRS as a pass through. Like you suggested, I sat down last week with my CPA to go over what I've done so far and she did suggest getting the TurboTax at the store so I can run various scenarios. The overall time and cost this year would be too much. Looks like I've completed everything good so far on TurboTax. I have a lot of itemized deductions so I don't want to start all over this year with my CPA. Thanks once again.

CPA hands down. for me I have a simple return, just one rental and it costs me ~$350.

CPA offers peace of mind, efficiency, and my favorite is scale-ability. You have someone who can give you advice over multiple years and help you grow and knows your situation thoroughly. 

While $350 may seem high, it becomes more and more efficient as you acquire more properties and more complex tax filings. The economy of scale will work in your favor. 

Thanks Alex for your input.

Jon

Yes I use a tax person.

Years ago I used to do it all myself.

Now I use experts for taxes, website, etc. I still know how things work to a degree and understand them but the highest use of my time is running my business. 

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