Income Tax Return Shops

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I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
I have only been at this a year, but last year there were tons for several different top MSCs. I do not see any with some of the MSCs I remember, but tax season is still a bit early.
Some have started. I have one tomorrow.

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I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
I've seen tons listed already. The sad part is my mom does taxes for a living at one of the big tax places, so I don't qualify smiling smiley
Personally, I wouldn't want to walk in with all of my Msing 1099's and do my taxes a place I am shopping. How would I explain those 1099's that scream Mystery Shopping Company or the 1099 for the MS company that shops the tax place you go to. The preparer would be sure to know what company shops them.
I wouldn't take in the 1099's. Just total up your income and tell them the figure. It is not necessary to know the details.

I'm going in with my "business consulting" income already totaled up (I didn't get any 1099's anyway), my mileage computed, and my reimbursable expenses totaled, and the equipment (recorders, scanner, printer, etc) totaled up.

Likewise for my petsitting business.

I've got my home office information listed -- insurance, repairs, utilities, mortgage, taxes, etc.

I am bringing in my W-2's, my K-1 from my rental income, my mortgage interest statements and last year's tax return.

There's no reason at all for them to know I mystery shop. I'm a business consultant. I help small businesses become more efficient.

You don't have to show them your receipts and records -- you just need to know you have them.

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I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
Apparently, I just didn't expand my zip far enough out. I must not be allowed to go to the locations I went to last year. Ya know they might recognize me a year later from my 15 minute visit. But these are super easy from company on the top ten list. The fee is higher than it was last year, but if you wait....it gets much, much, much higher! smiling smiley
SecretagentMom, the tax shops, if you do the audit you are only allowed to do 1 this year. The regular tax return shops for the same chain have been available this week.
Just so everyone knows, companies have until January 31 to send out 1099s (and sometimes they send them out even later). I have not received any 1099s for 2012 yet, but I do expect to by the beginning of February.
Well.........

Houston, we have a problem.......

I did the tax return/RAC shop today.

In addition to my W2's and two schedule Cs (petsitting and mystery shopping -- oops, I mean "business consulting"winking smiley, I have a K-1 from my LLC that owns my rental houses.

Apart from the fact that nobody can efile anything until January 31, anything that has any depreciation on it AND anything with a K-1 apparently not only cannot be filed until LATE FEBRUARY TO MID-MARCH but H&R can't even fill out the K-1 input form yet, which means they can't compute the FEE until the form is activated. And the preparer didn't know when that would happen. So we did as much as we can and know what the refund will be, but couldn't finalize it to the point where it was just waiting for efiling. It's totally on hold.

I have a "guesstimate" that the fee will probably be around $700 but nothing in writing.

I haven't tried to fill out the report yet. Will be REAL interesting to see how this one gets reimbursed, when I can't tell them the amount or prove the return is filed for possibly another four to six weeks.

And apart from that the shop took over two hours (because of complexities on my return). The good news is it was right near the Five Guys so I had lunch there (on my dime, darn it, couldn't get a shop for today).

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I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
Geeshus, what a snafu, ItsASecret. It'll be interesting to find out how the MSC handles it. Hope all goes ok. Thanks for sharing the info.

Bummer on you having to outlay for FiveGuys yourself. You deserved a free burger and sack o' fries after that. smiling smiley

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"Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
~Viktor Frankl
Actually even the burger and fries disappointed a bit today. The bun was squashed and the fries were "okay," but not as great as they were the first time I had them. Tiniest bit overcooked I think. Still good, but not "excellent."

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I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
Our Five Guys locations vary in that one reallllly browns up those fries while another leaves those burgers on the grill just a shade less than the client would like. The other location is pretty straight down the line in being consistent with the client's standards.

May your next dining experience be worth expressing in superlatives, ItsASecret. Mediocre dining experiences are not a fun way to outlay your own cash.

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"Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
~Viktor Frankl
Well, it filled the growling stomach and the peanuts were good. smiling smiley

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I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
I've never seen peanuts at Five Guys. sad smiley

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Have PV-500 & willing to travel.
"Answers are easy. It's asking the right questions which is hard." (The Fourth Doctor, The Face of Evil, 1977)

"Somedays you're the pigeon, somedays you're the statue.” J. Andrew Taylor

"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him." Galileo Galilei
What? No peanuts at Five Guys? I thought that was standard. There's always a half wall made of cases of peanuts in the locations around here.

I love their peanuts. I wish they would let us buy them by the pound. So much fresher than those I find at grocery stores or restaurant supply houses.

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"Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
~Viktor Frankl
Our store has a sign about not taking the peanuts out of the store! Or at least they did... now that I think about it, I don't remember seeing the sign last time I was there.

I take my nephews along on these shops in exchange for them helping me out around the house and yard. : )

And, around here, the Five Guys are absolutely awesome.

Happiness is merely life's way of keeping you off-balance.
I saw that sign the other day and don't remember seeing it the other two times I went to 5 Guys. And both times I took a handful with me. Probably have had people filling up their sack with them.

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I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
None have popped up in my area yet. I've started mine on TaxAct already. It looks fine but I don't know how to do my Schedule C.

Little lady shopping Southern Louisiana & Mississippi. smiling smiley
I've seen the sign about not taking peanuts outside the store due to others having allergies to nuts. But I usually am naughty and throw a handful in my purse for the squirrels hanging out in my yard. I hand-raised this bunch from tiny pups when they lost their momma.

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"Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
~Viktor Frankl
Schedule C for mystery shopping isn't really that hard. Put everything you received (money) in 2012 on the Income line. Subtract what you paid (in 2012) for things you were required to buy as "Refunds and allowances" I think it is -- it's right under the line where you put the Income.

Remember that you might have paid in December for stuff you won't get reimbursed for until January. Report the cash in the year it happened. So report what you paid in the year you paid it and then report the reimbursement in the year you received the payment.

Your mileage goes under the Automobile expense thing. Hopefully you added up your business miles. Just follow the form to fill that out.

Anything else you spent (if you bought a recorder or camera or scanner or whatever) goes under "other expense".

If you plan to take the home office deduction -- go to a tax preparer. That's not something to do on your own the first time. Once someone has done it for you, you'll have an example to follow for next year.

Going to a tax preparer for your first Schedule C isn't a bad idea either.

You don't need a CPA and you can probably find someone cheaper than H&R Block (I can't believe what the fee is for my return on that shop I did the other day; my tax preparer doesn't charge half of that!).

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I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
itsasecret,
Thanks for that information. I would like to go back to the lady that I shopped last year but I think that it would be obvious to her that I shopped her last year considering the complexity of my return.

Little lady shopping Southern Louisiana & Mississippi. smiling smiley
I've seen one MSC that I went in to get certified only to discover that I am ineligible to do a tax shop for them because I don't get a W-2. That sucks! We retirees have to pay income tax on pension and social security so it seems to me that should allow me to do a tax shop. Anyone know a good reason why they only want folks who have a W-2?
I did my return before I went in, that's how I knew I was getting a refund. (It wasn't completely done, but done enough to know I was getting way more than the required $300.)

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I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
I am considering doing an income tax shop where u have to apply for a RAL but I didnt see anything about the interest being reimbursed only the fees on the loan..up to $54..I am thinking the interest may be quite a bit more than that depending on how big your refund is. Anyone w experience doing one of these?
I'm pretty sure there is no interest involved. It's not a loan, per se. It's an advance refund with a fee. Because they're only advancing it for a week or two from when the IRS would have given it to you the "fee" is predictable and small. They are no longer allowed to gouge like they used to. I knew someone who got one of these once (years ago) and the "fee" was about $150. Now they're in the $30-50 range. The client should pay ALL fees, and make you "whole" regarding the amount of your refund. If your refund is supposed to be $800 and you get $100 deposited in your bank due to the preparation and RAC fees, they should reimburse you the other $700.

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I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
Thanks for the insight. Having never received a refund by RAL, I just assumed the 'Rapid Refund' or RAC was a loan with interest. The MSC states they will rebimburse all fees, which is why it peaked my interest. I usually fork over a nice chunk of change to have my taxes professionally done so if I can get them done for free...yippee!!
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