CAUTION: We were referred to her by a friend, she quoted a price which was higher than market price.
I am into corporate tax and a CPA myself working for BIG 4 for the last 10 years.
We have been filing our personal taxes in turbo tax all these years.
We decided to go for a change and get a second opinion as it was a tax reform year and we were thinking of some investment , we thought of going to an “advisor” for general planning as I have not been up to date on individual taxes recently.
We were told upfront for some planning and that she will look into our prior 3 year returns for planning/missed opportunities.
She took our information and gave a draft and asked if we would do a 5-10 minute catch up on phone for any questions.
No personal visit was offered as she was swamped. We were told we would be provided standard deduction which was no surprise and there aren’t any planning opportunities.
If we withhold more tax from our income on W-2, we might save $72.
Did a quick comparison of what my income/tax withhold was in 2017 and 2018 which was no different than what turbo tax would do and asked if she could file the tax return tonight and give her the credit card details.
When we take out our card, we realise we owe $100 extra because she charges extra for giving us the Tesla credit.
I mean SERIOUSLY, for a system generated form and a predictable credit that we always knew we would get, you charge $100 and had not given us the range beforehand on how much extra you charge for additional forms.
She said she was not known in her market for her low price because she provides “premium” service.
Am sorry but for a simple return with two W-2’s, standard deductions auto generated from a software and doing a 10 minute call with the client for a walkthrough as you are “busy” with filing season and then take them by surprise when they are about to pay saying oh by the way, you owe me $100 extra because I give you Tesla credit and generated additional form for you – is her version of a “premium” service.
Please use your judgment before falling for a trap. We were nice enough to pay her and not back off last minute or else we could have just generated the return in turbo tax within an hour.
On top of that, she had no client service and was kind of rude on the phone when you try to express disconcern on the unexpected last minute hike in pricing and kept on going about how she is know in the valley for her “premium” service.
On of our closest friend who also owns Tesla got their return done from a reputed firm for $300 with a personal face to face meeting with the CPA.
We could not get an appointment so used this personal reference. Please proceed at your own risk and do not fall trap on the “premium” 10 minute service on the phone.
Being in client service myself for almost a decade, this was rather amusing to see when the client is rather annoyed with your service, you still keep bragging about your service and demean people who are offering similar service for a much lower price and better client service.
Lesson learnt at the cost of $475 for the premium client service.