13 Things Your Tax Accountant Won’t Tell You

With April 15 looming, we reached out to CPAs to give us their honest insight on filing taxes, audits, extensions, preparers and more!

Interviews By Chandni Jhunjhunwala from readersdigest.com

1. We see many disastrous returns prepared by ill-trained preparers. When selecting a preparer, many people shop price and not experience. We don't like to knock the competition -- however, the old axiom, 'you get what you pay for' is often true. There are some companies that put their newly hired preparers through a six-week, evenings-only tax course, and then turn them loose to prepare returns with very little oversight. In other words, the person preparing your return might have been styling hair or selling appliances six weeks ago.

--Dennis Coomes, CPA, Kansas City, coomescpa.com

2. Nothing is more frustrating than when clients show up with a box full of receipts

3. People often lose out on deductions by overlooking non-cash charitable contributions.

4. When it comes to an audit, hire your CPA

5. When in doubt, throw the receipt in the tax file, and we can discuss it.

6. For those of you who are self-employed, it's critical to set money aside for taxes

7. Please don’t complain about and/or negotiate our fees

8. You don't need to spend $200 on a CPA if your return isn't complex.

9. Don't be pound wise and penny foolish.

10. One of the most challenging issues we battle is the word of mouth

11. If you show up after April 10 asking us to prepare your return, in all likelihood, you'll be going on extension.

12. Make it a priority to keep good personal financial records.

13. Extensions! Many tax filers are confused about this.

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