Tax Time 2016: How Did It Go?


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The majority of taxpayers have had their taxes done by now, so it is a good time to ask yourself, “how was the experience?”  The question relates more to your satisfaction with the preparer than with whether or not you received a refund.

There are a lot of different firms that prepare taxes, and the fees usually are comparable. Generally, fees are determined according to the complexity of the tax return.  The different types of tax services serve different needs. Each firm is unique and the people who work there are what determine whether a client receives value for the fees paid.

Some tax preparers will take your documents and “crunch the numbers.”  Others will review your paperwork and give you financial advice and tell you things you can do to reduce your tax burden in future years.  Frequently, new clients inform us that their previous accountant never asked about a situation or the accountant didn’t advise them of an available benefit. This happens because no discussion occurred. Instead, the raw data was entered on the return and the service ended, without any possible savings or strategies discussed.

A good firm should offer people who are experienced and technically competent. The physical location of the office should be conducive to your needs. The accountants should have a presence within the community as well as be there for questions, not only during the filing season, but also throughout the year.

You may own a business, investments, or hold property. Your family structure changes over time and your accountant should be a part of a larger team.  This team can coordinate the tax and / or business aspects of life changes with the legal, insurance, banking, and brokerage firms that also may be needed. If there are no other team members, your accountant should be able to refer professionals in your community to help you with all your financial needs.


Sternbach RoseSternbach & Rose, CPAs offer full service accounting and tax services and are available to assist you through the years, before, during, and after, tax season. We may be reached at: 115 Stevens Ave., Valhalla, NY 10595; by phone: (914) 940-4449, and by e-mail: [email protected].  Check our website at

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