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How do you know if you have a great cpa for taxes?

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I always hear friends mention how great their tax accountant is because they get a huge refund. In my opinion that's likely a good sign they aren't a good accountant especially if they are touting that as why they are good. You pay taxes based on your income for the year (along with deductions). You "prepay" taxes throughout the year through withholding. If you overpay throughout the year, you will end up with a bigger refund. All that means is you gave the IRS a free loan. A good tax accountant helps you plan and make decisions based on knowledge about current tax laws (federal and state), potential upcoming law changes, and your specific personal financial situation. Things like should you sell stocks this year or maybe lump it all in next year. If you have the choice take bonus this yr or next. Figuring out that if you put money in retirement account you may be able to qualify for a tax credit if your adjusted income is under a certain amount. Etc.

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Agreed with EY1, I used to work in tax in PWM at GS, a ton of my clients actually ended up OWING the government a couple hundred to thousands of dollars because the tax strategies were so precise that their money was tied up in diversified investments instead of free loans to Uncle Sam. But this does not answer your question, hopefully someone else will. Just wanted to reinforce a point.

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I got quoted $700 in Houston. I opted out, mine still isn’t too complicated.

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following...looking for one in nyc

Generally, it’s someone who knows the loopholes, does research for you, and listens to your goals to help strategize things like rollovers that may count as income distributions, purchases that generate tax credits, etc.

How much is everyone paying for their accountant to do taxes ?

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