CapellaTax Network™ Survey Reveals High Percentage of Errors from Big-Box Firms

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Survey Reveals 85 Percent of CPAs Found Errors on Big-Box Firm Tax Returns and 20 Percent Increase in Audits


Consumers are not only putting themselves at greater risk of being audited, but are likely losing out when it comes to determining their true tax liability and taxable deductions.

CapellaTax Network™, the industry leader in pre-paid tax preparation and advice services, today announced the results of its 2014 CapellaTax Network Survey of its Certified Public Accountants (CPA). According to the survey, 85 percent of CPAs surveyed said that they have found errors in tax returns of first year clients who were previously using the services of big-box firms.

While taxpayers often view big-box firms as a cost effective and viable option when filing their taxes, the CapellaTax survey concluded that in most cases, utilizing these services is detrimental to ensuring that state and federal taxes are done properly and consistently.

All CPAs who answered the survey said they saw a 20 percent increase of tax returns audited by the IRS last year. Out of those audited, 55 percent of CPAs said it was due to missing information, with 40 percent saying it was due to W2 or form1099 not matching the information reported. Just 5 percent said it was due to taxpayers failing to declare.

“With so many taxpayers now filing their tax returns online or via a big-box firm, the process may have become less taxing but the oversights and errors commonly being made are astonishing,” says Larry Devitt, President and CEO of CapellaTax. “Consumers are not only putting themselves at greater risk of being audited, but are likely losing out when it comes to determining their true tax liability and taxable deductions.”

When asked which was a more significant mistake, 60 percent of CPAs answered that filing a tax return late was a greater issue than filing an incomplete tax return, while nearly 35 percent of taxpayers wait until the last minute to file their state and federal tax returns.

“What taxpayers need to understand it that, at a minimum, taxes are 20 percent of their salary, if not far more than that,” Devitt added. “They need to be looking at their finances early and taking proactive strategies to ensure tax readiness and avoid inaccuracies. The need to have a year-round trusted financial adviser or CPA is paramount to the convenience of do-it-yourself websites and big-box tax preparation services.”

About CapellaTax Network™:
CapellaTax Network™ is the industry leader in group pre-paid tax preparation and advice services. CapellaTax members are given access to a high quality, affordable network of Certified Public Accountants for annual preparation of tax return and year-round advice. CapellaTax Network™ currently maintains ongoing partnerships with the region’s premier employees and credit unions, including University of the Sciences, Home Mortgage, Under Armour, Medstar Health, GBMC, University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Fawn Industries, PFCU and Annie Mac. More information about CapellaTax Network™ can be found on their website:

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Jessica Epperly