Am I Holding a Sign that says ‘Free Tax Prep: Mooch Here?’

17 Mar 2011

Club 75 Candidate Bloggers

Virginia is a weekly Club 75 Blogger as she documents her journey through the CPA Exam. She has been a member of's Club 75 since December 2010.

One of my biggest pet peeves about being an “accountant” is being asked to do other people’s taxes. I use the word accountant in quotes because I do not even call myself an accountant.

When someone asks what I do, I say “auditor.” I work as an experienced staff auditor in the Nonprofit and Government (NPG) Division of my company. Busy season right now for us means that we have a lot of December 31st year end clients, and therefore we are very busy with audits and filing Form 990’s.

As it is busy season for NPG, I am logging extra hours, and I find it annoying to do my own taxes. Though, for any IRS readers out there, I did file my return for 2010 already. ?

The only 1040 I have ever completed is my own. Yet somehow, it’s this big joke to everyone else that I don’t do taxes and won’t help them. I’m sorry, let’s just review. I spent countless hours (and dollars) on my Bachelors and Masters degrees in accounting, let alone all the time and dollars spent on my CPA exam, for what? To do their taxes…for free?

No thank you.

Just one year I’d like to be able to not have to fend off the “oh you’re an accountant, will you help me with my taxes?” question.

It’s not like I ask for free hand outs from all my friends in the professional world, why is it ok to bug us “accountants”?


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Erica 13 years ago

I think doctors get it as bad and probably worse than accountants! If people ask me to do taxes, I quote them a price. Problem solved!

Jason 13 years ago

There's a major difference between answering a few tax related questions and completing someone's entire tax return. I'm in my early 20's so many of my friends have no clue about their taxes so they ask me questions all the time (can they deduct their recreational drugs?...em no buddy, sorry). I don't do their taxes but I try to help educate them and encourage them to ask me whatev's on their mind. I am also a non profit auditor who does not work in tax. However I am comfortable enough with all the materials I have studied (in college and for the cpa exam) to be able to offer at least some professional advice/guidance. ODD FUTURE. FREE EARL. CREATE THIS.

Gwen 13 years ago

Well, even if it's casual advice, I would feel like a jerk if I turned out to be wrong. I try to over advice, but let them know if I'm not sure. And if I have no fing clue, I admit it!

Andrew 13 years ago

Why do people ask "accountants" for this? Because we are perceived as push overs, of course.