In these times of change one thing we all dread is the horrendous tax season.
Coming close on the tail of the exuberant holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years; the tax season comes just as the last trace of cash flies from our checking accounts; to pay for all the pleasure of the last few months.
Each year, those ladies and gents, we return every two or six years to the Congress somehow think of new and devious ways to make our lives more interesting. They pass this change and that change; so that even the changes that save you money on paper, end up costing you money somewhere else.
Most of us lack the time and the determination to keep up with the changes and with the rulings on tax law. We take our little unsorted pile of papers and reciepts to someone else. Someone who may know how to figure it all out. (God Bless them!)
Many of us will be offered free assistance at local churchs or colleges if we are old enough and our problem straightforward enough. This is fine if we just need to come home with a workable filing. If all we have is Social Security and a small annuity this is a very reasonable approach. These tax preparers tend to do a very credible job, as long as the filing is routine.
For those who have anything that is out of the ordinary and those with somewhat complex taxes a professional tax preparer is the recommended fit.
In North Raleigh we have a plethora of tax preparers with varying degrees of skills and expertise. The first of these is the venerable H&R Block. This is a very easily recognized name. This is probably the company most responsible for moving the family tax preparation from the kitchen table to the professional preparer.
Even before electronic filing, H&R Block was using computer technology to aid their preparers in finding “ALL” the money due to the taxpayer. With their national network they have been able to identify key mistakes made in preparation. As a result they often save the taxpayer enough to pay for the tax preparation. This assumes some degree of complexity and a good income.
H&R Block is more than just a seasonal tax preparer. They can provide services for everyone from the single taxpayer to the largest business enterprise. As a result of this scale on their part, they provide the optimum level of service at a fair price. This is not likely to be the lowest price in the market. H& R Block takes most major cards including American Express, Discover, MasterCard, VISA and Diner’s Club.
Here are some of the locations in North Raleigh for H&R Block.
H&R Block Tax Service
Old Wake Forest Rd,
805 Spring Forest Rd Suite 2200
4532 Capital Blvd
Liberty Tax Service is the upstart service that is trying to make a name for itself in tax preparation. In Raleigh it has been involved in a running fight over freedom of speech.
Liberty hires people, often out of work or teenagers, to roam the streets in front of its stores dressed as Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam. These look at lot like a Halloween costumes. They are really noticeable and that’s what upset the city. The real concern is that drivers will get distracted by the costumes and cause accidents. The city felt it had to take action.
Seems there are some ordinances that restrict advertising signs. The zoning department classifies people who dress up in a costume for a business where the costume identifies with the business as “signs”. An example would be Ronald MacDonald and McDonalds. He’s allowed outside a McDonald’s but if he goes parading up and down the street he could end up in trouble with the zoning police.
If someone just dresses in a costume, but not for pay, that they say is freedom of speech. The business has argued otherwise. I have no idea how or if this will ever be resolved.
The publicity has definitely helped Liberty Tax Service get its name into the paper and in front of nearly every taxpayer in the region.
Liberty is a full service financial firm which offers many year round services beyond simple tax preparation. As a large organization they can easily manage larger accounts and issues. The offer fast loans on refunds, free electronic filing and tax advice.
They are still working on market penetration the price for service should continue to be very competitive this tax season.
If you would like to give them a try, they are located at:
Liberty Tax Service
4205 Wake Forest Rd Ste 200
Raleigh, NC 27609-6246
24 Hours-7 Days A Week
For the small business person, it is sometimes nice to work with a very small firm. A firm that understands the way small business works and all the tax entities that are trying to put you out of business. My personal preference is H. Sharpe Ridout. Located in North Raleigh near St. Raphael’s Church, he and his team provide year round CPA services, including payroll and tax services.
If what you are looking for is a personal touch, Sharpe is the person that can provide it. It your service needs are in that middle range, as they often are in a small business, this is the right type of place for you.
Sharpe on top of everything is a person who likes people; more important than that he likes animals. Several times I have visited his second floor office to be greeted by one of James fluffy little fur-balls. Varying in size from teacup size to maybe small poodle size, they apparently are welcome in the workplace. It has nothing to do with taxes, but seeing the smaller two sitting in a desk draw always gets a smile out of me. ( I am not known for smiling) They are just so cute!
The services offered by Sharpe and James are always done in a professional manner. This personal approach to service is the type I prefer over the large business where I feel just the inverse of the large number they give me to stand in line.
Sharpe specializes primarily in small businesses; providing payroll, accounting and tax preparation services.
To locate Sharpe:
Ridout, H Sharpe, CPA
5876 Faringdon Pl Ste 200
Raleigh, NC 27609
Hours are usually weekdays 7 to 5 most weeks. He or James may be available later if you call ahead.
These are just a few of the many places where you can get quality service in tax preparation in North Raleigh.