Someone posted on the forum (and forgive me since I can't remember who) that the shops are more about testing the refund process, so the tax folks are aware that mystery shoppers are doing their taxes.
Right. And to make it crazier, you will need to have done your taxes before you go to the tax preparer to make certain you are going to get a refund at least as large as required by the MSC because if your refund turns out to be less they will not reimburse you for having your return prepared or pay the fee.
1099s is miscellaneous tax form for miscellaneous income. Generally 1099 do not need explanations, they speak for themselves. Tax preparers have few questions when you have legitimate paperwork or non questionable receipts.
Over the years I have had 5 different tax shops by 2 different MSCs prepare my taxes. No problem from the MSC or the government so I am ok.
BTW, because I generally have to pay State income taxes, the tax shops only prepare my Federal tax. I file my State. The tax shop do not reimburse for taxes owed. Just for the cost of filing.
I tried to get a tax shop and it was an automatic nope. I see half a dozen more on the board but haven't answered the questions yet. I will get two W2's this year from having two jobs, and I'll get a bunch of 1099's. I have income from my own business, donations and time, Etsy sales, volunteer hours, mileage, and student loan interest to report as well as large medical/dental bills totaling more than 10% of my income... I had major dental surgeries this year and last. I don't know what, or if all, set off the NO SENSORS. Ah well, I'll use my software as always and go through H&R, Turbo, etc. for double checks. I always test out several online programs too and don't click the pay button. You can fill out your taxes fully online and put in all the info and even print it without paying -- and then choose which tax service company you go with afterwards. I do this to test out a few and be sure we don't miss anything on taxes. I've always been entitled to a refund, and especially since I opt to have even more extra held out of my paychecks. I am a penny pincher by nature, but spend even less when I request $150 out of every two weeks pay be held. I love getting that large sum after taxes and I can save it or use it to stamp down bills for a few months.
Last couple of years two different tax preparer companies did them with two different MSCs.
MF resets the quiz each month and the fee will go up by then too. But if you're in a hurry--do you know any schedulers by name? If you've got a relationship with one of them they might reset it for you.
You do NOT have to show the tax preparer your 1099's -- just list them for yourself, and tell him/her the total. Since I don't put "mystery shopping" in as my business ("business consultant" works just fine), the preparer will not know.