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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/i-dont-want-to-get-into-a-fight-with-you-about-a-21153040.aspx

Subject:  Re: Moving expenses and taxes Date:  8/12/2004  6:10 PM
Author:  ptheland Number:  72832 of 121563

I don't want to get into a fight with you about a company but to say that several people on this board reviewing the advice makes it better does not make it better than professional advisors.

I'm not interested in a fight either, so I won't go at things that way.

I see you're new here. We've got several practicing tax professionals that read this board on a regular basis and dispense advice. They include CPAs, Enrolled Agents, former IRS Revenue Agents and Officers, VITA/TCE volunteers, and even an attorney or two. (Although they disclaim even knowing how to spell TMF from time to time. <grin>) There's also a whole host of ordinary taxpayers who've encountered many situations in their own life who share their experiences and the knowledge gained - sometimes the hard way - from those experiences.

If you call in a question to H&R Block it would be researched and reviewed.

I have no basis to dispute this claim, but it sounds a bit fishy just on its face.

I work in a tax-oriented office myself. I'd like to think that we do a pretty good job, and are careful with the information we dispense. Still, for most off-the-cuff questions clients ask us, we don't do any significant research. If its knowledge we have in our heads, we give our advice. Of course, when it's something that we don't know, we go do some research. But then we get paid to do that research as well. I don't know exactly how an H&R office works, but I would expect it to be somewhat similar. So to say that it will be researched and reviewed sounds to me like a bit of a stretch.

Further, if I was to call up a professional (from a Big 4 firm all the way down to the local tax guy down on Main Street), I'd expect to have to pay to get any advice that involved research and review. I can't be sure from your original post, but it could be interpreted to suggest that you call up H&R to get some free advice.

At H&R Block you have to take courses and spend time in continuing education each year.

One of my co-workers has taken the H&R course. It's a pretty good course on individual taxes, from what I can tell. In reading through the coursebook she had, it didn't look like they cover much in the business side of taxes - partnerships and corporations.

Continuing education is one requirement that CPAs, EAs, lawyers, and other professionals have in common. Specifically, CPAs in California need 80 hours of continuing education every two years. How much CPE does H&R require?

Several people in our area have more than 25 years experience and their knowledge is certainly greater than mine.

So it sounds like you are a preparer for H&R Block? Welcome to the boards - we always appreciate another pro to help keep us all on our toes.

Just make sure you find the right person and stick with them.

That can be applied to any professional. Tax, medical, auto mechanic, plumber, or whatever. And it's good advice.

--Peter
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