Blog Post: What A 1967 Sting Ray Has In Common With A Tax Expert
My husband has a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray. It’s a stunning car. Marina Blue that gleams in the sunlight with a white convertible top. When we drive it around our beach town, we often get comments from other drivers when we sit at stoplights.
As pretty as this car is, it requires a lot of work. It’s not something my husband trusts to many people. And luckily for him (and our joint finances) he grew up fixing cars. Spending a Sunday under the hood is something he enjoys.
What could a 1967 Sting Ray have in common with taxes? To some degree, quite a bit.
As this tax season has unfolded, I have taken the opportunity to look up and check out the financial news out there. It is customary during the March/April news cycle to have tax experts on television giving advice on what taxpayers should do. While a good number of them are actual tax professionals, it has been shocking at how many ‘experts’ appear who are not. These are individuals who do not prepare returns and have no experience in studying the tax code. Yet this lack of experience is never mentioned when they give tax advice to the public.
Tax planning and preparation is a delicate mix of art and science. To some degree, it’s like working on a classic car. When you are under the hood, you gain a different experience of how the tax code works. It’s delicate and nuanced. You understand that while theoretically a certain number should flow one way, that it has to be inputted another way. Further, our tax returns are key financial documents in managing our financial lives. An error on a tax return, could hurt you in the long term financially.
Here’s my advice – when you see an ‘tax expert’ on television or doing a podcast giving advice, before you take the advice, look up this person. You need to confirm that this is an individual who does have the experience to give tax guidance from credentials to actively practicing. This check on their references could have a big impact on whether their advice is worth considering.
After all, your tax return is like the 1967 Sting Ray – you don’t want to take advice from just anyone on how to make it run.