Hi I’m Rus Garofalo, I own Brass Taxes, a company that specializes in helping freelancers save money on their taxes. I started it because when I was a freelance video editor and actor, I thought tax help was a rip-off for lazy people, anxious people frightened by numbers, or really rich people. Then I worked with a tax preparer and got mad that I’d been screwing myself so badly. So I started telling my freelancer friends about it and doing their returns. Then I took lots of boring classes until I became a tax pro.
My friend Russ (yes, same name, weird) has always done his taxes himself. I asked him to do his taxes using an online service, then I would do them and we’d compare the results. Watch the video yourself to see if doing taxes yourself is really worth it. (The video is staged, but the return numbers and times are real. The carrots and hummus are real too.)
See, I’ve had lots of clients come to me after trying to DIY their taxes, and many of them made the same mistakes as Russ:
1. Doing it yourself costs more than you think, but once you’ve invested your time you won’t quit. TurboTax, for instance, advertises as free and “state additional,” which starts out at $27.95. By the end it cost Russ $111.90. (I cost $200)
3. You’re guessing a lot. Often Russ couldn’t didn’t know the right answer and resorted to Googling. Then you’re on Yahoo Answers getting tax advice from Ninja441.
4. You get things wrong and don’t know. Russ expensed things he shouldn’t have, but he was unsure and including it got a higher refund so….you do. Russ deducted some clothes he used in a video shoot that are not actually deductible. Understandable mistake since they were for a video (his business), but they are not deductible for a boring reason that I explained to him later.
5. You run out of self control and make bad decisions. Self-control can be exhausting. Russ stopped caring about getting it right, and just wanted it to be over.
I know taxes bring up waves of nausea and anxiety and you want as much money in your wallet as possible. I also know you don’t want to deal with a mess of trouble later on. Brass Taxes exists to treat people well, lower your anxiety, and to save you money.
To prove it, I’m offering a tax-prep giveaway to one randomly selected Brokelyn reader. Send an email to [email protected] by Tuesday, March 20, and if you’re chosen, I’ll do your taxes for FREE this year. If you make an appointment to see me before the contest ends on March 20, and you win, I’ll refund the $200 fee. So enter my Brokelyn tax prep giveaway, and book an appointment by emailing me here. If you still need further convincing, visit the Brass Taxes web site to read testimonials from happy customers who saved money by seeing me. Just like Russ.
Friend me on Facebook, maybe we know someone in common.