Avoid These Tax Preparation Mistakes with Randy Crabtree

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[167] – Is your tax person overworked and underpaid?

In this episode, Jeremy Keil speaks with Randy Crabtree, Co-Founder and Partner at Tri-Merit. R&D Tax Credits, for a behind-the-scenes look at the accounting industry and how you can get the most out of your relationship with your tax preparer.

Randy sheds light on the challenges faced by tax preparers, revealing the often-overlooked aspects of their demanding work. He explains why taxpayers should work with tax preparers who understand their individual situations and elaborates on what to look for in a tax preparer. Providing a behind-the-scenes perspective, Randy talks about the dynamics within the accounting profession and the impact it may have on taxpayers.

Randy discusses:

  • Why tax preparers are often overworked and underpaid
  • Why your tax preparer should understand your situation
  • What to look for in a tax preparer
  • A behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on in the accounting profession and its impact on taxpayers
  • And more

Avoid These Tax Preparation Mistakes

What should I look for in a tax preparer?

In searching for a tax preparer, it’s crucial to consider several key factors.

  1. Understanding of Your Situation: When seeking a tax preparer, ensure that they have a deep understanding of your unique financial situation. This involves more than just transactional reporting. Look for a professional who takes the time to comprehend your specific needs and circumstances.
  2. Not Just a Reporter: Avoid tax preparers who merely report what happened in the previous year. Seek professionals who go beyond the basic reporting function. Look for someone willing to meet with you on an ongoing basis, preferably at least once a year. This ensures they can actively influence and plan your tax return, reducing your overall tax burden through strategic planning.
  3. Personal Involvement and Relationship Building: Choose a tax preparer who is personally involved in your financial matters. Building a relationship with your tax professional goes beyond a transactional approach. It involves understanding your family situation, actively participating in tax planning, and demonstrating a genuine interest in your financial well-being. While such professionals may not be the cheapest option, they offer substantial value by actively engaging with your unique financial circumstances.
  4. Year-Round Availability: Consider tax preparers who are available year-round rather than part-time. A full-time, year-round tax preparer is more likely to provide consistent and reliable services. This becomes particularly important as the demand for tax services is expected to increase, and having a professional available throughout the year ensures ongoing support.
  5. Value Over Cost: While cost is a factor, prioritize the value a tax preparer brings to your financial situation over the upfront cost. Recognize that a higher-quality service, involving personalized attention and proactive planning, may come at a higher price. Investing in a professional who actively contributes to your financial well-being can lead to long-term benefits.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when selecting a tax preparer who aligns with your financial goals and provides comprehensive, value-driven services.

Why are tax preparers underpaid?

Tax preparers are underpaid and overworked due to several factors within the accounting profession. 

This is partly a result of a mindset within the industry that prioritizes helping clients without adequately valuing the services provided.

Additionally, there is a tendency for tax preparers to offer their services at lower rates, contributing to the overall issue of being underpaid.

The decline in enrollment in accounting schools and majors has resulted in a shortage of new accountants entering the workforce. The perception of the profession, including long hours and high stress during tax season, has contributed to a decrease in interest among potential accounting students.

As a result of this shortage, tax preparers are facing increased workloads, leading to challenges in delivering comprehensive services to clients. The demand for tax services is expected to rise, making it even more difficult for individuals to find qualified professionals to assist with their taxes.

The underpayment and overwork of tax preparers are intertwined with the broader issue of attracting and retaining talent in the accounting profession.

It’s important to build relationships with tax preparers who adopt a more relational business model rather than a transactional one. Establishing such relationships becomes crucial when you’re seeking consistent and high-quality tax services in the face of the ongoing challenges within the accounting profession.

What can I do to make my tax preparer’s job easier?

There are many ways to make your tax preparer’s job easier and ensure a smoother tax season.

One of which is to embrace technology by utilizing tools that facilitate the integration of financial statements, investment statements, and W-2s directly into software, streamlining the data collection and distribution process.

Being organized is crucial; have your financial data well-organized to minimize the need for follow-ups during tax season, recognizing that tax preparers are pressed for time.

During tax season, minimize unnecessary contact and refrain from calling your tax advisor, opting for email, or automated communication for non-urgent matters.

You may not expect this but don’t shy away from filing extensions. This can provide both you and your tax preparer with additional time for a more thorough and accurate tax review.

Finally, consider asking for a draft return before the final submission, allowing you to review and catch potential errors or make additional contributions.

Taking these steps contributes to a collaborative and efficient tax preparation process, giving you a better experience and your tax preparer an easier and more efficient job.


To learn more about how you can get the most out of your relationship with your tax preparer, check out the resources below!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or our guest, Randy Crabtree, using the contact information provided below!


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