First time preparing taxes this season and need advice

Discussion in 'Tax' started by Ofir Gabay, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Ofir Gabay

    Ofir Gabay Guest

    I want to prepare taxes this upcoming season. I am going to be doing
    this for the first time and really have no experience beside filing my
    own basic return for a couple years. I have an undergraduate degree in
    accounting and have taken a couple basic tax courses.

    Should I look to join one of the big tax places (H&R, Jackson Hewitt,
    Liberty Tax)? And if so which one would be the best to join as a
    beginner? Should I just try to go solo and do things through the IRS
    website (register for PTIN and take their exam)? Or should I try to
    get a job at a CPA firm (I don't know how easy that would be since I
    have no experience)? Any advice would be helpful.

    --
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
    << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >>
    << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >>
    << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >>
    << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >>
    << are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2011) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
     
    Ofir Gabay, Sep 23, 2011
    #1
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  2. In article <>,
    Ofir Gabay <> wrote:
    >I want to prepare taxes this upcoming season. I am going to be doing
    >this for the first time and really have no experience beside filing my
    >own basic return for a couple years. I have an undergraduate degree in
    >accounting and have taken a couple basic tax courses.
    >
    >Should I look to join one of the big tax places (H&R, Jackson Hewitt,
    >Liberty Tax)? And if so which one would be the best to join as a
    >beginner? Should I just try to go solo and do things through the IRS
    >website (register for PTIN and take their exam)? Or should I try to
    >get a job at a CPA firm (I don't know how easy that would be since I
    >have no experience)? Any advice would be helpful.



    I assume you want to become a paid tax preparer?


    If not, if you wish to start with volunteering, then both IRS and
    AARP and some others sponsor their own volunteer programs, and
    will train you and supply free training materials and usually lend you
    laptops and software. If this appeals to you, just let us know and
    we can let you know where to look. There are several topics, such as
    rental income, Alternative Minimum tax, depreciation, and Net Operating
    Losses, that are not part of these programs, but then a first year
    tax associate at a nationwide firm would probably not see many of these
    returns either.


    To be a paid tax prparer requires that you obtain a PTIN. By 2013 you
    will also have to become a Registered Tax Return Preparer, unless you
    are an attorney, a CPA or an Enrolled Agent. A RTRP has passed an
    examination and takes at least 15 hours of continuing education annually.


    Exception: If you work for an attorney, CPA or EA firm, and such person
    supervises your work and signs each tax return you prepare, you are
    not required to become a RTRP.


    Taking an introductory tax prep course given by one of the nationwide
    firms is probably the most practical way to become a paid preparer
    for this coming season. But hurry. In our area, a major firm has
    already begun its course.


    If you prepare 11 or more tax returns for money you must e-file them
    (although there are limited exceptions to this rule.) If you do not
    work for a firm engaged in efiling, you will have to arrange to be
    issued an EFIN including the fingerprinting, which I learned this
    week you can ask any UPS store to arrange for you.

    --

    ArtKamlet at a o l dot c o m Columbus OH K2PZH

    --
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
    << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >>
    << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >>
    << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >>
    << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >>
    << are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2011) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
     
    Arthur Kamlet, Sep 23, 2011
    #2
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  3. "Ofir Gabay" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I want to prepare taxes this upcoming season. I am going to be doing
    > this for the first time and really have no experience beside filing my
    > own basic return for a couple years. I have an undergraduate degree in
    > accounting and have taken a couple basic tax courses.
    >
    > Should I look to join one of the big tax places (H&R, Jackson Hewitt,
    > Liberty Tax)? And if so which one would be the best to join as a
    > beginner? Should I just try to go solo and do things through the IRS
    > website (register for PTIN and take their exam)? Or should I try to
    > get a job at a CPA firm (I don't know how easy that would be since I
    > have no experience)? Any advice would be helpful.

    __________
    If you could get a job with a CPA firm, that would be best, but it would be
    difficult to find one that would hire you. However, if you take the H&R
    Block tax course it is highly likely that they would hire you. They pay
    minimum wage for the hours you work, and they pay you a percentage of the
    fees charged for the returns you prepare if it exceeds the minimum wages.
    After a year or two with Block you could then open your own tax practice.
    JH and Liberty may have similar programs to train preparers.

    --
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
    << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >>
    << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >>
    << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >>
    << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >>
    << are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2011) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
     
    Oliver P Shagnasty, Sep 23, 2011
    #3
  4. Ofir Gabay

    Ofir Gabay Guest

    On Sep 22, 9:42 pm, (Arthur Kamlet) wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > Ofir Gabay  <> wrote:
    >
    > >I want to prepare taxes this upcoming season. I am going to be doing
    > >this for the first time and really have no experience beside filing my
    > >own basic return for a couple years. I have an undergraduate degree in
    > >accounting and have taken a couple basic tax courses.

    >
    > >Should I look to join one of the big tax places (H&R, Jackson Hewitt,
    > >Liberty Tax)? And if so which one would be the best to join as a
    > >beginner? Should I just try to go solo and do things through the IRS
    > >website (register for PTIN and take their exam)? Or should I try to
    > >get a job at a CPA firm (I don't know how easy that would be since I
    > >have no experience)? Any advice would be helpful.

    >
    > I assume you want to become a paid tax preparer?
    >
    > If not, if you wish to start with volunteering, then both IRS and
    > AARP and some others sponsor their own volunteer programs, and
    > will train you and supply free training materials and usually lend you
    > laptops and software.   If this appeals to you, just let us know and
    > we can let you know where to look.   There are several topics, such as
    > rental income, Alternative Minimum tax, depreciation, and Net Operating
    > Losses, that are not part of these programs, but then a first year
    > tax associate at a nationwide firm would probably not see many of these
    > returns either.
    >
    > To be a paid tax prparer requires that you obtain a PTIN. By 2013 you
    > will also have to become a Registered Tax Return Preparer, unless you
    > are an attorney, a CPA or an Enrolled Agent.  A RTRP has passed an
    > examination and takes at least 15 hours of continuing education annually.
    >
    > Exception: If you work for an attorney, CPA or EA firm, and such person
    > supervises your work and signs each tax return you prepare, you are
    > not required to become a RTRP.
    >
    > Taking an introductory tax prep course given by one of the nationwide
    > firms is probably the most practical way to become a paid preparer
    > for this coming season.  But hurry.  In our area, a major firm has
    > already begun its course.
    >
    > If you prepare 11 or more tax returns for money you must e-file them
    > (although there are limited exceptions to this rule.)  If you do not
    > work for a firm engaged in efiling, you will have to arrange to be
    > issued an EFIN including the fingerprinting, which I learned this
    > week you can ask any UPS store to arrange for you.
    >
    > --
    >
    > ArtKamlet  at  a o l dot c o m  Columbus OH  K2PZH


    I got in contact with the VITA program with the IRS and I know they
    have classes, I just wasn't sure how in depth it was. Actually, they
    just called me back this morning. I got an e-mail back from liberty
    tax and they say their course is free but the books cost $150. I am OK
    with paying the money if it is a good firm and I am going to get good
    training.

    I am working towards my CPA license and that is the path I want my
    career to follow FWIW.

    --
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
    << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >>
    << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >>
    << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >>
    << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >>
    << are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2011) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
     
    Ofir Gabay, Sep 23, 2011
    #4
  5. Ofir Gabay

    Arthur Rubin Guest

    On Sep 23, 9:25 am, "Oliver P Shagnasty" <> wrote:
     However, if you take the H&R
    > Block tax course it is highly likely that they would hire you.  They pay
    > minimum wage for the hours you work, and they pay you a percentage of the
    > fees charged for the returns you prepare if it exceeds the minimum wages.
    > After a year or two with Block you could then open your own tax practice.
    > JH and Liberty may have similar programs to train preparers.


    It used to be the case that H&R Block had a rather expansive non-
    compete agreement that you had to sign. In addition to a permanent
    ban on seeking to prepare or preparing a return of a client you
    contacted through H&R Block, there was a 4 year and 50 miles
    restriction. That is, for 4 years after you retired from H&R Block,
    you couldn't prepare a return within 50 miles of where you prepared
    your returns for them. I don't know if they've relaxed the
    requirements, and I do know that some states make such an expansive
    non-compete unenforcable.

    Arthur L. Rubin
    (now a 1L at Western State University)

    --
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
    << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >>
    << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >>
    << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >>
    << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >>
    << are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2011) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
     
    Arthur Rubin, Sep 24, 2011
    #5
  6. Ofir Gabay

    Guest

    On Sep 24, 10:00 am, Arthur Rubin <> wrote:

    > It used to be the case that H&R Block had a rather expansive non-
    > compete agreement that you had to sign.  In addition to a permanent
    > ban on seeking to prepare or preparing a return of a client you
    > contacted through H&R Block, there was a 4 year and 50 miles
    > restriction.  That is, for 4 years after you retired from H&R Block,
    > you couldn't prepare a return within 50 miles of where you prepared
    > your returns for them.  I don't know if they've relaxed the
    > requirements, and I do know that some states make such an expansive
    > non-compete unenforcable.


    Non-compete clauses are mostly void in California. You may read about
    it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-compete_clause#United_States

    Also, if you happen to be in CA, then in addition to the IRS
    requirements mentioned, you need CTEC requirements. You have to do a
    60 hour course, and 20 hour continuing class each year, and pay an
    annual $25 fee, and you need a $5000 bond which I think costs around
    $150 every 5 years.

    --
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
    << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >>
    << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >>
    << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >>
    << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >>
    << are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2011) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
     
    , Sep 24, 2011
    #6
  7. Arthur Rubin wrote:

    > It used to be the case that H&R Block had a rather expansive non-
    > compete agreement that you had to sign. In addition to a permanent
    > ban on seeking to prepare or preparing a return of a client you
    > contacted through H&R Block, there was a 4 year and 50 miles
    > restriction. That is, for 4 years after you retired from H&R Block,
    > you couldn't prepare a return within 50 miles of where you prepared
    > your returns for them. I don't know if they've relaxed the
    > requirements, and I do know that some states make such an expansive
    > non-compete unenforcable.


    Depending on the state you live in, a non-compete like that may or may
    not be legally enforceable. In California, for example, it's clearly
    not. Check with a local business lawyer to ask about the laws in your
    particular state.

    --
    Stu
    http://DownToEarthLawyer.com

    --
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
    << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >>
    << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >>
    << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >>
    << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >>
    << are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2011) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
     
    Stuart Bronstein, Sep 24, 2011
    #7
  8. Ofir Gabay

    Ofir Gabay Guest

    Thanks for the information. I called H&R yesterday and they told me
    that the classes are currently full. I also spoke with someone from
    Liberty Tax today about a class that is starting on Monday. He
    mentioned that taking the class and passing does not guarantee a job
    at that office, or any of their offices for that matter. From what I
    gather H&R also works this way. I am reluctant to sign up for one of
    these classes for the fear of completing the course and not getting
    hired by the office, after all it seems like the classes are getting
    filled. Any advice would be appreciated, anyone have any experience
    with this? I also have the option of working with VITA and thinking
    about doing this anyways as it will be a good experience and would be
    nice to add volunteering to my resume. Any thoughts?

    I really want to devote time to tax preparation this upcoming tax
    season but I am just unsure of which path to take. BTW I live in
    Florida and will have to research the stance on non-compete clauses.
    Thanks again.

    --
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
    << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >>
    << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >>
    << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >>
    << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >>
    << are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2011) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
     
    Ofir Gabay, Sep 24, 2011
    #8
  9. Ofir Gabay

    Guest

    On Sep 24, 12:17 pm, Ofir Gabay <> wrote:

    > I really want to devote time to tax preparation this upcoming tax
    > season but I am just unsure of which path to take. BTW I live in
    > Florida and will have to research the stance on non-compete clauses.
    > Thanks again.


    The wikipedia link I gave you talks about Florida too. It's so basic,
    and is just a starting point for your investigation though.

    BEGIN QUOTE

    Florida

    The enforceability of non-compete agreements in the state of Florida
    is quite common. Some law firms build their law practice around these
    agreements and represent employees, employers and potential new
    employers of an employee currently bound by a non-compete agreement.
    The agreement is not allowed to be overly broad and generally
    difficult to enforce if it is for more than two years. Also if the
    agreement is part of a general employment contract then there is the
    possibility of a Pre-Breach by an employer. This may cause the non-
    compete clause of the contract to become unenforceable.[citation
    needed]

    END QUOTE

    --
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
    << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >>
    << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >>
    << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >>
    << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >>
    << are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2011) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
     
    , Sep 25, 2011
    #9
  10. Ofir Gabay

    bo peep Guest

    On Sep 24, 1:17 pm, Ofir Gabay <> wrote:
    > BTW I live in
    > Florida and will have to research the stance on non-compete clauses.


    Here you go
    http://www.floridamediation.com/art...ployee_non-compete_agreements_in_florida.html

    --
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
    << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >>
    << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >>
    << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >>
    << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >>
    << are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2011) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
     
    bo peep, Sep 25, 2011
    #10
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