USA Real estate tax planning San Diego

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I live in San Diego and am buying 4 SFR rentals in Kansas City MO. This is my first year and my fellow investors tell me I need to do tax planning ahead of time. I'm not sure if I need a tax planner, CPA, or a tax preparer?

Can someone shed some light on this and also recommend someone in the San Diego, CA area.
 

Drmdcpa

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Any qualified tax planner would work. Typically that means a CPA but other licensed professionals might work like an EA. With that said my general experience is EAs lack the total picture that CPAs have. CTEC licensed persons are much lower than EAs.
 
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How does a CPA get paid? Is it like an attorney based on time? What should I expect to pay per hour.
 

Drmdcpa

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It depends on the CPA and the services provided.

When I prepare someone's income tax returns I generally provide an hour of free consultation in the year. If I do not prepare your return but just provide planning services I charge $350/hour. If I represent you in front of a taxing authority or other third party, I also bill for out of pocket expenses. Travel is not billed if I bill two hours or more.
 

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