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Pilot Taxes

Davi8r

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Jun 24, 2002
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24
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It's that time of year again. For anyone who needs to see state tax laws and download forms, I've checked and posted the links to all 50 states' official tax sites at http://www.legal.com/area/tax/index.html

Could someone post the link to the pilot tax prep services? Is there still just one provider in this specialty?

Thanks
 

GogglesPisano

Pawn, in game of life
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
Posts
3,939
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enough
I've used Pilot-Tax.com for many years. Very happy with them.
 

J Dawg

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Posts
45
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7500
Stay away from CPA Daly of Scarsdale, NY. To begin with, he's expensive.

He did all my taxes in 2005. A few months ago, I got a letter from my town stating I underpaid my local 2005 taxes, and I owed back taxes and interest. After some research, Daly made a simple error. When I called him, I expected some kind of effort on his part to reconcile his error. Before it was evident he made the error, he didn't even offer to pick up the phone and call my town's tax agency to find out what was going on. After continuing to blow me off, he finally stated it was my responsibility to make sure the tax return is done correctly. Of course the info I supply to him is my responsibility, but if we are also responsible to make sure the CPA does the return correctly, then why have a CPA?

The money isn't the issue; it was the guys unwillingness to even care about his work and my situation, and his attitude.
 

RCA

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Jun 29, 2004
Posts
331
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I used turbo tax 5 years ago and still feeling the effects of the frustration it caused.
Gave turbo tax a second try last year and was pleasantly surprised. Truly user friendly.
 

SkiFishFly

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Mar 22, 2005
Posts
779
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4000
Ever see Money Magazine where

they take a fairly average set of data and put a dozen or so tax agencies/cpas to the test. They almost always come up with different tax returns/refund amounts - all wrong. These are supposed to be professionals...

You have to know about all your financial stuff in order to provide the CPA/tax preparer the information they need to do your return. This is the hardest step in my book. Turbo Tax is great. Learn it and the tax code - prepare it yourself, save lots of coin and you will probably be more accurate than one of the afformentioned pros.

OBTW - if you are concerned about audit protection - Turbo Tax offers that when you go through the steps of filing the return. I bet you will get much better representation through this than you would with any cpa/tax preparer.
 

Pervis

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Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Posts
1,620
Total Time
12000+
Pilot-tax.com. $259.00 for Fed and State in 2007, filing jointly. Very good, and always a person to speak with as you're going through the questionaire.
 

GoABX

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Joined
Dec 10, 2001
Posts
277
Total Time
?3500?
I just finished a state audit and I was represented by Turbo Tax's Tax Audit Defense. They assigned a real CPA (out of California) to my case. The BS has been going on for 4 months... had I paid an accountant only $50/hr the bill would be several thousand dollars. So in the future I will stick with TurboTax and spend the they extra $40-50 for the audit insurance policy.

Maybe I am like most pilots...I think I am smarter than most people and I want the control of doing it myself and having final decision making authority...so that is why I self-prepare. I heard of a CPA (from NY) who ALWAYS got his clients big refunds. When I heard his main trick was to expense 100% of 'every' day on the road because per diem isn't on the W-2 so the IRS won't know about it, I knew he was f^<kin! nuts. I am very aggressive but I'm not that f''ing stupid! Imagine the reverse retro bill of them finding out you took an extra $8000 of deduction every year for the last 10 years!!! Risk-Reward ain't there on that one.

Final outcome: I thought I was owed a $3200 refund, the State of Alabama claimed I owed them $2000. When we finished my refund got bigger.
 

Davi8r

Member
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Jun 24, 2002
Posts
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Final outcome: I thought I was owed a $3200 refund, the State of Alabama claimed I owed them $2000. When we finished my refund got bigger.

Yes!!
 

Truckdriver

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Feb 10, 2004
Posts
976
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5000
When I heard his main trick was to expense 100% of 'every' day on the road because per diem isn't on the W-2 so the IRS won't know about it, I knew he was f^<kin! nuts.

1st, perdiem is on the W-2 so the IRS does know about it.

2nd, if your not a federal employee you can legally deduct 100% of every day on the road according to an IRB issued in 2003. They say:

"The rate may be prorated using any method that is consistently applied and in accordance with reasonable business practice. For example, if an employee travels away from home from 9 a.m. one day to 5 p.m. the next day, a method of proration that results in an amount equal to two times the federal M&IE rate will be treated as being in accordance with reasonable business practice (even though only one and a half times the federal M&IE rate would be allowed under the Federal Travel Regulations)."

This is from an Internal Revenue Bulletin Section 6 paragraph (2) that can be found here for all of you that are tax geeks.

http://www.irs.gov/irb/2003-45_IRB/ar17.html#d0e7351

If you use this method you will have three figures to come up with the amount for a 4-day trip. You have to choose which one to use twice, either the first overnight or the last overnight. This trick is it has to be consistent so if you must use either the first overnight twice or the last overnight twice on every trip for the whole year. This is a legit way to do it, and this IRB would hold up in an Audit.
 
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Truckdriver

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Feb 10, 2004
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I think everyone who doesn't own a business should do their own taxes. They are simple to do and if you spend a couple hours per year researching the changes, it is a piece of cake. It also informs you as to how the tax system works and I think as Americans we should all know that.

If however, you would rather slit your wrists than do taxes I would pay someone who has a history of doing taxes specifically for pilots. Most CPA's have no clue how to correctly figure out your perdiem amount if you itemize. If you only need to figure out your perdiem issue to plug into TurboTax try the following site. This guy is good at what he does, if you don't want to do it yourself.

http://www.pdcalc.com/Public/Default.aspx

I have a spreadsheet that I use to keep track of my Perdiem. At the end of each month I simply type the overnights I had on each trip along with the amount from the CONUS list. I tally them up and at the end of the year I add all 12 months up. It takes about 10 minutes per month and I usually do it on an overnight. You take that figure along with what you were paid in perdiem and plug it into form 2106 or Turbo Tax and your done. For most lineholders this will get you a couple grand extra in writeoffs if you itemize.
 
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n6604f

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Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Posts
86
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Lots
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Cookie Monster

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Jan 31, 2006
Posts
89
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lots
ezperdiem.com

I used it last year and it was easy and helpful. I will try it again this year. They also have calculators for typical pilot expenses. Enter your data and transfer the numbers to turbo tax. Easy.
 

pipe

fuggedaboutit
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Oct 27, 2005
Posts
660
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www.jcherrenco.com

In STL. John is an AA Capt and he and his wife have been doing pilot taxes for about 30 years. I've run TurboTax parallel and they did better.

Got a letter from the IRS a few years back stating that I owed them another $1900. Called Herren and they said send them the letter and they'd take care of it. Called back a couple of days later and the matter was closed (IRS was, of course, wrong).

I've been using them for about 8 years.

PIPE
 

Thedude

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Joined
Dec 15, 2001
Posts
1,277
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8000+
I just finished a state audit and I was represented by Turbo Tax's Tax Audit Defense. They assigned a real CPA (out of California) to my case.

The problem is they will assign you a rep and most of them don't understand aviation. My first go-round with 'em I got lucky and got a guy that knew the ends and outs (for the most part) of international per diem. The second guy I got was a blithering idiot. My advice is, get a descent aviation tax guy.
 
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