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Not applicable

How to find an accountant for Trader

As it has been discussed here many times. Most CPA are kind of auditors and they may have taken 1 or 2 or minimum number of tax courses on TAXES and they are not specialists.


Traders or investments have very particular tax issues. I have seen in reports outside or New York or Chicago area it is very hard to find accountants who have specialization in this area.


Most accountants are self employed and it is like you "you eat what you kill" so no will say no if they "know how to do taxes for traders or public traded securities". As a matter of fact many will be offended if asked if they handle taxes for traders. Many options have very peculiar tax issues.


How do I find accountant in my area or even outside? TT is very big firm so they spend lots of money on security and software and now sure how individual CPA operates?


How are TT live or Full Service service offered by Intuit? It is lot cheaper (much cheaper than any CPA) but not sure if they have right kind of accountant and even make an effort to find one suitable for you.


Other question if someone has a particular specialization, why would they work for TurboTax when perhaps they can make lot more money else where (I am NOT sure about  TurboTax compensation/payroll structure).

4 Replies
Not applicable

How to find an accountant for Trader

I am really thankful to all of those people who take time to answer these questions and helping other.


Are some of you employed by TT or volunteers or some affiliation with TT? If most people are employed by TurboTax, are they  going to give any advice how to find CPA outside of TT universe?



Level 15

How to find an accountant for Trader

many of your assumptions are incorrect. I worked for more than 6 different CPA firms in my career. a couple were sole proprietors others had hundreds of employers with departments that specialized in  Technology, Audit, Valuations, Taxes, Forensic Accounting, Gift Taxes, Estate Planning, Financial Planning, and  more.

one sole practitioner I worked for was capable of doing the most complex of tax returns and did handle traders and investors. He didn't do any audits.  The other I wouldn't trust to do a child return that only had a W-2.  What I saying is size doesn't dictate the capabilities of the firm. Many other cities have a large number of CPA firms ranging from small to international. Many law firms also specialize in taxes and other legal areas. use the web to search for firms and see if provide details on the services they offer. Of course, fees are based on the location and size of the firm. law firms in the same location and of the same size generally charge more than CPA firms.  also, be aware that in an accounting firm if just one partner is not a CPA it can not use CPA in its title. 

Not applicable

How to find an accountant for Trader

I understand that. Lawyers charge by hours and if your know lawyers, their clocks move very fast and rates are very high.


Many big CPA firms also charge by hour and when I say by hour it is like $100 + (+ plus part vary a lot).


What you are saying has lots of depends and only way to dissect those depends is ask right questions to find out right CPA at appropriate cost for me. As I said most CPA will NOT refuse to do my taxes even if they never handled a tax return of S corp Trader.


Now Turbo Tax Live and expert for small business owner are listed as $200 and $280 respectively. I bought TurboTax CD for $65 from Costco. You can buy even cheaper from Amazon after April 15th (if you use extension). My bank gave me TT online for free. So tax preparation cost are all over the map.


I just don't want to pay $5000 for my taxes for lets say $100K income. I rather do my business as it is. Any tax saving I will have for entity formation will be eaten away by accountants!


Just curious, what would be appropriate "range" CPA compensation in a mid size USA city for a Trader Tax return?

 Many CPA quotes something like minimum fees is like $500 or $1000. I just made this number up and no idea what are their fees for Trader.

Not applicable

How to find an accountant for Trader

I talked to one CPA and I don't want to use him as even though he sounded very smart and nice but he has never handled Traders Tax return or even K1 from public traded company.


Traders Tax return is NOT much different than any individual who trades under his/her name. In case of S corp there is additional W2 and 1099s from S corp. Tax return Lay out is different as there is Sch C. I am not trying to under estimate work or services of CPA. That's why I kept on using work right CPA.


Many CPA assume Securities Trading is like any other business with employees, pay roll issues, compliance issues, clients and money moving in and out. CASH payment which IRS hates. Trading business (in a single member LLC) is easy compliance  as IRS itself can count each and every penny from Brokerage without any help from me. These day all trading is electronics.

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