General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

You're a great friend, but how good at your job are you?

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I'm trying to figure out a way of hinting to my husband that his great friend may not be the best possible at his job, without implying that that makes him less of a good person.
We've known him for  years, and he really is the nicest guy, but......Friend is an accountant, though he has been working in another accounting field, he is trying to start up his own tax prep business, and got my husband to agree to be one of his first clients. So, we talked out what our estimated taxes were going to be and we'll owe a LOT more this year. A lot more than previous years, and a lot more than my doing a quick run through of the numbers came out. I' m wondering if it's because friend is so new to a tax business and hasn't gotten everything worked out yet. Now, I know taxes are up, but I don't know if it ought to be by that much. Several of the deductions numbers are not quite adding up either, but I worry that if I bring this up, friend will get offended and take it very personally. I get that his dream is to own his own business, but I also don't want us to lose by it. Is there a way to tactfully ask for a second opinion?

Tax is not something to joke around with so, anyway to have someone else look over them before sending them?
Would it be possible to frame it as such: "Friend, since you're new with this kind of accounting, and it can be tricky, how about you do a practice run with our tax, then we have it done by OurUsualTaxCompany and then you can compare how they did it and learn a few tricks?"

This is the problem with mixing business with personal relationships -- which is your mistake in all of this. If you are afraid of giving him honest feedback then you shouldn't have agreed to have him do your taxes.

I'd go to someone else, or use one of the online tax programs or TurboTax and not worry about offending your friend.

If you can afford it, I'd get a second opinion from another accountant, and not mention anything to your friend.

If you can't afford it, I'd raise the issue with your friend. Ie, point out that the figure is much higher than in previous years, etc and ask him to double check the numbers.

I suggest you do a trial run on Turbo Tax before meeting with the friend - and before he submits your tax return, which could be wrong and end up costing you a lot (either in lost deductions or in unpaid taxes and penalties).

I'm sorry that your DH jumped the gun and told his friend that he could do your tax return without discussing with you first.

We never mix business with family or friends. And we've had plenty of opportunities to do so. But I have always argued against it, because you can't be frank, you can't complain about the work or service, and you are in a world of difficulty if something goes seriously wrong.

This is a bad idea. If you can't persuade DH to cancel this idea, at least protect yourself by preparing carefully or getting a second opinion. Then next year, go with someone else.


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