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(Hampton Roads)   Sign war between rival tax services is normally nothing of interest - then you have these guys   (hamptonroads.com) divider line 46
    More: Amusing, Norfolk, box trucks, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, Liberty Tax, tax preparation  
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13556 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Feb 2014 at 12:53 PM (42 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



46 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-02-06 12:49:53 PM  
If there's not a guy in a Statue of Liberty costume dancing on the sidewalk outside, no way would I trust them to do my taxes.
 
2014-02-06 12:59:13 PM  

Pocket Ninja: If there's not a guy in a Statue of Liberty costume dancing on the sidewalk outside, no way would I trust them to do my taxes.


at this point i expect a giant dancing statue of liberty spinning a sign
 
2014-02-06 01:00:05 PM  

Pocket Ninja: If there's not a guy in a Statue of Liberty costume dancing on the sidewalk outside, no way would I trust them to do my taxes.


I know you're snarking, PN, this is exactly why I hate Liberty Tax. They hire copy kids to dance around in costumes, and it's supposed to make me think, "Gee, I should really trust that guy with my finances..."

/Tax preparer
 
2014-02-06 01:01:53 PM  
Choosing between Jackson Hewett and Liberty Tax is like your choosing a blue latex glove or a green latex glove when your doctor checks your prostate.

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free
 
2014-02-06 01:02:44 PM  
I gotta be honest.  They're both acting so childish that I really wouldn't want to do business with either one.
 
2014-02-06 01:04:05 PM  

Pocket Ninja: If there's not a guy in a Statue of Liberty costume dancing on the sidewalk outside, no way would I trust them to do my taxes.


From the pictures it looks like they have a guy in a gorilla costume wearing a statue of liberty costume. That tells me this is a professional organization.
 
2014-02-06 01:04:37 PM  

Tax Boy: Choosing between Jackson Hewett and Liberty Tax is like your choosing a blue latex glove or a green latex glove when your doctor checks your prostate.

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free


Um, so I should check my own prostate? Without a glove?

/I don't think you've thought your plan through, pally
 
2014-02-06 01:05:04 PM  
What does the sign "Avoid the Obamacare tax penalty -- ask our experts:"  mean in the HJ shop.  I'm thinking I wouldn't do business with either of these guys.
 
2014-02-06 01:05:07 PM  
What I want to know is how the hell H&R Blockhead is still in business?  They farked up their own taxes fer chrissakes.
 
2014-02-06 01:05:49 PM  

suburbanguy: Pocket Ninja: If there's not a guy in a Statue of Liberty costume dancing on the sidewalk outside, no way would I trust them to do my taxes.

I know you're snarking, PN, this is exactly why I hate Liberty Tax. They hire copy kids to dance around in costumes, and it's supposed to make me think, "Gee, I should really trust that guy with my finances..."

/Tax preparer


OTOH the competition is in WalMart.

Also, it's just branding.  If you go with Geico for insurance it's not because it's literally a lizard setting up your policy and handling claims.
 
2014-02-06 01:06:28 PM  

IRQ12: If you go with Geico for insurance it's not because it's literally a lizard setting up your policy and handling claims.


WHAT????!!!?!?!
 
2014-02-06 01:11:57 PM  
I used Liberty tax service once, they had a sign out front advertising returns as low as $25 so I thought what the hell, I'll give them a try. I'm single, one income source along with a small amount of interest from a savings account, all standard deductions, no itemization or any tax write-offs involved, I was in and out in under 15 minutes and they charged me $210. Of course they don't tell you the charge until they're done and already E-Filed. Screw that place.
 
2014-02-06 01:19:45 PM  
Let's solve this problem for them.... FLAT TAX.  No deductions, no exceptions.

There, now you're both out of a job.
 
2014-02-06 01:25:35 PM  

exboyracer: What does the sign "Avoid the Obamacare tax penalty -- ask our experts:"  mean in the HJ shop.  I'm thinking I wouldn't do business with either of these guys.


Hand job shop?
 
2014-02-06 01:25:49 PM  

exboyracer: What does the sign "Avoid the Obamacare tax penalty -- ask our experts:"  mean in the HJ shop.  I'm thinking I wouldn't do business with either of these guys.


They're talking about the ACA individual mandate. If you don't purchase health insurance and don't meet a loophole, you get fined.  However there's no teeth to the enforcement--IRS can't really engage in any of their usual methods to collect (IRS levy at your place of employment or on your bank account, etc.).  Their only tool in this instance is to take the penalty out of any tax refund you may be due.

So ultimately, signs like that are for the most part referring to arranging your deductions (the W4 form you give your employer) so you pay less tax during the year and owe the government a check at tax time, rather than getting a refund.
 
2014-02-06 01:27:18 PM  

sufferpuppet: Let's solve this problem for them.... FLAT TAX.  No deductions, no exceptions.

There, now you're both out of a job.


I have a better idea.  Eliminate income tax and instead implement 100% death taxes. No inheritance. The American Dream is all about building yourselves up from nothing with no help from anyone.  Let's see it in practice.
 
2014-02-06 01:28:15 PM  

Pocket Ninja: IRQ12: If you go with Geico for insurance it's not because it's literally a lizard setting up your policy and handling claims.

WHAT????!!!?!?!


I THINK HE SAID A BLIZZARD IS HANDLING FLAMES!
 
2014-02-06 01:30:51 PM  

Tax Boy: Choosing between Jackson Hewett and Liberty Tax is like your choosing a blue latex glove or a green latex glove when your doctor checks your prostate.



I like the third option...the doc with the biggest fingers.


On a more serious note, where is a good place to get your taxes done? This year I've had a baby, bought a house, have my in-laws living in my condo that is fully paid off, and a few other things. I usually do my own taxes but for this year I want to make sure I can get everything back that I can.
 
2014-02-06 01:42:06 PM  

Kiler: Tax Boy: Choosing between Jackson Hewett and Liberty Tax is like your choosing a blue latex glove or a green latex glove when your doctor checks your prostate.


I like the third option...the doc with the biggest fingers.


On a more serious note, where is a good place to get your taxes done? This year I've had a baby, bought a house, have my in-laws living in my condo that is fully paid off, and a few other things. I usually do my own taxes but for this year I want to make sure I can get everything back that I can.


An option: If you run into something you don't understand, call the IRS and ask. That's worked well for me in the past, trying to make sense of partnership basis rules.
 
2014-02-06 01:42:35 PM  

ReapTheChaos: I used Liberty tax service once, they had a sign out front advertising returns as low as $25 so I thought what the hell, I'll give them a try. I'm single, one income source along with a small amount of interest from a savings account, all standard deductions, no itemization or any tax write-offs involved, I was in and out in under 15 minutes and they charged me $210. Of course they don't tell you the charge until they're done and already E-Filed. Screw that place.


I had the exact same experience with Liberty Tax a few years ago and my tax situation is nearly identical.  Two hundred dollars to file my taxes, and I could have bought the most basic TurboTax for $30 and done it myself.

I also realized the next day that they had kept all 4 original copies of my W-2, and they gave me hell when I called asking for at least 1 copy back.  They even stated that the return was still in the back room, but I was on the phone with them for too long just trying to get a W-2 back.

Fark that place.  Until my financial situation gets more complex, I'm doing my own taxes.
 
2014-02-06 01:43:42 PM  

loonatic112358: Pocket Ninja: If there's not a guy in a Statue of Liberty costume dancing on the sidewalk outside, no way would I trust them to do my taxes.

at this point i expect a giant dancing statue of liberty spinning a sign


I want to see the guy in the Statue of Liberty costume get in a fight with the guy in the Uncle Sam costume.

Or make out, I'm not picky.
 
2014-02-06 01:47:14 PM  

ReapTheChaos: I used Liberty tax service once, they had a sign out front advertising returns as low as $25 so I thought what the hell, I'll give them a try. I'm single, one income source along with a small amount of interest from a savings account, all standard deductions, no itemization or any tax write-offs involved, I was in and out in under 15 minutes and they charged me $210. Of course they don't tell you the charge until they're done and already E-Filed. Screw that place.


If you can't fill out an 1040EZ form yourself, you deserve to be taken for $210.
 
2014-02-06 01:47:49 PM  

ReapTheChaos: I used Liberty tax service once, they had a sign out front advertising returns as low as $25 so I thought what the hell, I'll give them a try. I'm single, one income source along with a small amount of interest from a savings account, all standard deductions, no itemization or any tax write-offs involved, I was in and out in under 15 minutes and they charged me $210. Of course they don't tell you the charge until they're done and already E-Filed. Screw that place.


First of all, "as low as" doesn't mean that's what they're going to charge you.

Secondly, if you aren't intelligent enough to fill out a 1040EZ (which is all you needed to do given the above scenario) on your own, well, I feel sorry for you .... The form is free, and it's ONE piece of paper.  All it requires is for you to be able to copy some numbers off your W2, and do some 2nd-grade level subtraction.
 
2014-02-06 01:55:19 PM  
Within seconds of the MadMonk
 
2014-02-06 01:56:18 PM  
So, income tax returns really, really, aren't hard, unless you're bad at following instructions. It's like "Add line 27 and 28, and enter the result here. Now check whether line 28 is larger than line 19 and if so, ...".

The fact that people find it so intimidating really speaks volumes about our education system (not only in terms of reading comprehension and basic math, but also the fact that we don't teach everyone basic financial management in high school).

If you're worried about getting "every possible dollar", then buy TurboTax or similar product. They will quiz you about everything (in yes/no format) so you won't miss a deduction. I use TaxAct online edition, because for $17.99 I get federal and state, and I have a bunch of complicated stuff going on. Last year I had to figure self employment and estimated taxes using the annualized method, and I managed to do it with the software in an hour or two.
 
2014-02-06 01:57:29 PM  

sufferpuppet: Let's solve this problem for them.... FLAT TAX.  No deductions, no exceptions.

There, now you're both out of a job.


You'd lose the powerful tool that tax exemptions are for a government and a population.
We all like it when people give to charity.  We don't want to be the only ones donating.  We also like it when people have kids (i.e. future taxpayers), pay property tax, and buy health insurance. 
Therefore, we use incentives like a deduction to assist and incentivize people into doing the right thing.
 
2014-02-06 01:59:00 PM  
I'll let someone else do my taxes when I see Justin Timberlake dancing around as a 1040 form singing "Bring it on down to Tax-Ville..."
 
2014-02-06 02:04:47 PM  
This, that, that, and this. I have NEVER paid anyone to do my returns. I don't understand what is so hard about it, but even the 1040EZ family members come to me they're so scared of this stuff.
Unless you've got a lot of screwy income/expense situations (which I don't) there is absolutely no need to.
 
2014-02-06 02:07:00 PM  

Kiler: Tax Boy: Choosing between Jackson Hewett and Liberty Tax is like your choosing a blue latex glove or a green latex glove when your doctor checks your prostate.


I like the third option...the doc with the biggest fingers.


On a more serious note, where is a good place to get your taxes done? This year I've had a baby, bought a house, have my in-laws living in my condo that is fully paid off, and a few other things. I usually do my own taxes but for this year I want to make sure I can get everything back that I can.


The chains all hire out just for the tax season, it can be hit or miss with who does your return. You want someone who is a full time,  and has an established practice and is licensed.  Referals are good. Ask around. Ask experienced people  who also have similliar circumstances who they use and why.

the local radio station has a tax minute with a local tax guy. I laugh to myself everytime I hear his comercials. He's always giving out tips such as "Did you win any money on a SuperBowl square?  Don't forget to you must report your winnings!" for a free consultation call my office!

Uh yea. I don't think I want you doing my taxes. I want the smartest SOB available who hates paying taxes and masturbates about tax  refunds not someone who is going to report the $300 I won in the SB pool.

/for the record I did NOT win $300.  Not at all.
 
2014-02-06 02:26:43 PM  

ReapTheChaos: I used Liberty tax service once, they had a sign out front advertising returns as low as $25 so I thought what the hell, I'll give them a try. I'm single, one income source along with a small amount of interest from a savings account, all standard deductions, no itemization or any tax write-offs involved, I was in and out in under 15 minutes and they charged me $210. Of course they don't tell you the charge until they're done and already E-Filed. Screw that place.


Well the sign wasn't wrong...
As low as/Up to is just a starting/ending point. Your results will probably be different
art.penny-arcade.com
 
2014-02-06 02:27:30 PM  

wetrat: So, income tax returns really, really, aren't hard, unless you're bad at following instructions. It's like "Add line 27 and 28, and enter the result here. Now check whether line 28 is larger than line 19 and if so, ...".

The fact that people find it so intimidating really speaks volumes about our education system (not only in terms of reading comprehension and basic math, but also the fact that we don't teach everyone basic financial management in high school).

If you're worried about getting "every possible dollar", then buy TurboTax or similar product. They will quiz you about everything (in yes/no format) so you won't miss a deduction. I use TaxAct online edition, because for $17.99 I get federal and state, and I have a bunch of complicated stuff going on. Last year I had to figure self employment and estimated taxes using the annualized method, and I managed to do it with the software in an hour or two.


I know this now, but when you're just starting out on your own it can be a little scary.  You're afraid that a single mistake can cause you to be audited or flagged for tax fraud.  At least by going somewhere else, you can blame them for any mistakes.
 
2014-02-06 02:27:45 PM  

Whiskey Dickens: sufferpuppet: Let's solve this problem for them.... FLAT TAX.  No deductions, no exceptions.

There, now you're both out of a job.

You'd lose the powerful tool that tax exemptions are for a government and a population.
We all like it when people give to charity.  We don't want to be the only ones donating.  We also like it when people have kids (i.e. future taxpayers), pay property tax, and buy health insurance. 
Therefore, we use incentives like a deduction to assist and incentivize people into doing the right thing.


You are way too eager to use the word "we".
pfb.blob.core.windows.net
 
2014-02-06 02:29:53 PM  

Kiler: Tax Boy: Choosing between Jackson Hewett and Liberty Tax is like your choosing a blue latex glove or a green latex glove when your doctor checks your prostate.


I like the third option...the doc with the biggest fingers.


On a more serious note, where is a good place to get your taxes done? This year I've had a baby, bought a house, have my in-laws living in my condo that is fully paid off, and a few other things. I usually do my own taxes but for this year I want to make sure I can get everything back that I can.


You want a local CPA firm.  They'll have the same employees there year after year, instead of 3-month temp workers.  Ask local friends and family for referrals.  You want the firm that has the best relationships with their clients, not the flashiest yellow page ad.
 
2014-02-06 02:32:06 PM  

suburbanguy: You want a local CPA firm. They'll have the same employees there year after year, instead of 3-month temp workers. Ask local friends and family for referrals. You want the firm that has the best relationships with their clients, not the flashiest yellow page ad.


Agreed.  My CPA charges me about $600 every year.  It saves me WAAAAAAAAAAAAY more than that.  If you have anything complicated in your tax picture a local CPA is the only way to go.

When I switched to a CPA I had him re-do my taxes that another "tax service" had done.  I went from owing $4000 to getting a $6000 refund when he re-did it and did stuff correctly.
 
2014-02-06 02:39:20 PM  
Cue Fark display ads for H&R Block...
 
2014-02-06 02:53:45 PM  

ReapTheChaos: I used Liberty tax service once, they had a sign out front advertising returns as low as $25 so I thought what the hell, I'll give them a try. I'm single, one income source along with a small amount of interest from a savings account, all standard deductions, no itemization or any tax write-offs involved, I was in and out in under 15 minutes and they charged me $210. Of course they don't tell you the charge until they're done and already E-Filed. Screw that place.


You got exactly what you deserved. Too dumb to fill out a one page form? Enjoy your fleecing, sheep.
 
2014-02-06 03:04:20 PM  

Meecht: I know this now, but when you're just starting out on your own it can be a little scary.  You're afraid that a single mistake can cause you to be audited or flagged for tax fraud.  At least by going somewhere else, you can blame them for any mistakes.


True, and even more a reason that basic financial/consumer math should be taught in high school. It would make these things less intimidating. It would also probably improve people's economic decisions (especially with credit cards, etc). I taught a college class once where we did some problems like "You put $10,000 in a 3-year CD with 3% interest compounded annually. How much money will you have in 3 years?", and I would routinely be amazed by the number of students (~0) who had never encountered such a problem before nor had any clue how to approach it (incidentally, the answer is 10000*(1.03^3), or $10,927.27). More fun was look of shock when we did examples like "You charge $10,000 on a credit card. The card has an APR of 28%, compounded monthly. You only pay the 2% minimum payment each month. How many months will it take before your balance is less than $1,000?"
 
2014-02-06 03:12:02 PM  

wetrat: Meecht: I know this now, but when you're just starting out on your own it can be a little scary.  You're afraid that a single mistake can cause you to be audited or flagged for tax fraud.  At least by going somewhere else, you can blame them for any mistakes.

True, and even more a reason that basic financial/consumer math should be taught in high school. It would make these things less intimidating. It would also probably improve people's economic decisions (especially with credit cards, etc). I taught a college class once where we did some problems like "You put $10,000 in a 3-year CD with 3% interest compounded annually. How much money will you have in 3 years?", and I would routinely be amazed by the number of students (~0) who had never encountered such a problem before nor had any clue how to approach it (incidentally, the answer is 10000*(1.03^3), or $10,927.27). More fun was look of shock when we did examples like "You charge $10,000 on a credit card. The card has an APR of 28%, compounded monthly. You only pay the 2% minimum payment each month. How many months will it take before your balance is less than $1,000?"


I totally agree with you.  Despite what teachers tell you, K-12 does NOT prepare you for the real world.  I remember only a handful of times throughout my entire school career where financial math was taught, and that usually only had to do with figuring loan payments.
 
2014-02-06 04:16:01 PM  
i236.photobucket.com
 
2014-02-06 05:03:59 PM  

The_Hound: ReapTheChaos: I used Liberty tax service once, they had a sign out front advertising returns as low as $25 so I thought what the hell, I'll give them a try. I'm single, one income source along with a small amount of interest from a savings account, all standard deductions, no itemization or any tax write-offs involved, I was in and out in under 15 minutes and they charged me $210. Of course they don't tell you the charge until they're done and already E-Filed. Screw that place.

You got exactly what you deserved. Too dumb to fill out a one page form? Enjoy your fleecing, sheep.


AllYourFarkAreBelongToMe: ReapTheChaos: I used Liberty tax service once, they had a sign out front advertising returns as low as $25 so I thought what the hell, I'll give them a try. I'm single, one income source along with a small amount of interest from a savings account, all standard deductions, no itemization or any tax write-offs involved, I was in and out in under 15 minutes and they charged me $210. Of course they don't tell you the charge until they're done and already E-Filed. Screw that place.

First of all, "as low as" doesn't mean that's what they're going to charge you.

Secondly, if you aren't intelligent enough to fill out a 1040EZ (which is all you needed to do given the above scenario) on your own, well, I feel sorry for you .... The form is free, and it's ONE piece of paper.  All it requires is for you to be able to copy some numbers off your W2, and do some 2nd-grade level subtraction.


MadMonk: ReapTheChaos: I used Liberty tax service once, they had a sign out front advertising returns as low as $25 so I thought what the hell, I'll give them a try. I'm single, one income source along with a small amount of interest from a savings account, all standard deductions, no itemization or any tax write-offs involved, I was in and out in under 15 minutes and they charged me $210. Of course they don't tell you the charge until they're done and already E-Filed. Screw that place.

If you can't fill out an 1040EZ form yourself, you deserve to be taken for $210.



Most online sites charge more than $25 just to E-File your tax return, that's why I went to them. I knew my taxes would be simple and to have them do it for $25 rather than sign up for and use some online site seemed like a deal. If they would have told me the price up front I would have walked away and did them myself. Bottom line, they're just scam artists.
 
2014-02-06 05:26:47 PM  
Only time I ever paid anyone to do my taxes was my mom and my brother. Took them both to a nice dinner. Now I do my own, takes about an hour or so.
My job used to have me stationed at a accounting firm, I hated being there from January to April. The one good thing is if we stayed late or worked weekends they fed us and one of the managers would usually double check my taxes.
My roomate probably wont do her taxes this year.....again. She expects people to do them for her. I told her I would but I get 90% of her return.
 
2014-02-06 06:30:55 PM  

PrincessZorra: exboyracer: What does the sign "Avoid the Obamacare tax penalty -- ask our experts:"  mean in the HJ shop.  I'm thinking I wouldn't do business with either of these guys.

They're talking about the ACA individual mandate. If you don't purchase health insurance and don't meet a loophole, you get fined.  However there's no teeth to the enforcement--IRS can't really engage in any of their usual methods to collect (IRS levy at your place of employment or on your bank account, etc.).  Their only tool in this instance is to take the penalty out of any tax refund you may be due.

So ultimately, signs like that are for the most part referring to arranging your deductions (the W4 form you give your employer) so you pay less tax during the year and owe the government a check at tax time, rather than getting a refund.


Or you can ask a republican and they just tell you to lie.
 
2014-02-06 06:36:22 PM  
I've done my own taxes for the past five years with the free version of Turbo Tax, and I have some deductions, so anyone with fairly simple taxes paying a preparer is burning their cash.

I had been paying a guy $150 to do them (local CPA). He ended up in the federal pen for (irony) failing to pay payroll taxes for his staff.
 
2014-02-06 10:04:12 PM  
  Despite what teachers tell you, K-12 does NOT prepare you for the real world.

To be fair, they're teaching stoned people and football players.
 
2014-02-06 10:17:33 PM  

tommyl66: Tax Boy: Choosing between Jackson Hewett and Liberty Tax is like your choosing a blue latex glove or a green latex glove when your doctor checks your prostate.

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free

Um, so I should check my own prostate? Without a glove?



go on
 
2014-02-07 07:27:45 AM  
Was driving through (Ottawa neighbourhood) Vanier the other day, and the lady in the Liberty suit outside Liberty Tax was the saddest-looking granny I've ever seen.  Broke my heart.  She should be sitting in a comfy chair with a cup of tea somewhere, not hawking tax services.

\Also, this is Canada.  I understand it's their brand and all, but couldn't they change it to a drunken John A. MacDonald or something for us folks up here?
 
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