I bet you’ve done it. I know I have. I go to Google and type in something like 2013 tax planning and look for articles.
There could be a lot of problems that you set yourself up with by doing this one simple thing.
First of all, you have no idea how current the information you’re getting is. Little tidbits of tax strategies get passed around, often years after they were effective. For the same reason, I don’t want you to pick up a book I wrote back in 1994 and start using strategies I wrote back then. A lot of it is wrong.
A few years ago I had to get a client out of a fix because she had followed some information on the IRS website. The thing she hadn’t noticed was that it had been updated and she was using old info. It got her in a real pickle and could have cost her thousands of dollars. Luckily, we were able to fix it. Even the IRS website has old information!
The other problem is that there are a lot of so-called experts on the internet. And the so-called part is right – there is no assurance that they know what they’re talking about.
And, if you are in real estate, we have to get real about one thing. The AICPA – American Institute of CPAs – says that 80% of CPAs don’t understand basic real estate accounting. That’s BASIC. And what you guys are doing isn’t considered basic. So even if you have someone with great credentials it doesn’t mean they understand real estate accounting and tax strategies.
When it comes to professional advice, you get what you pay for. Free advice might be the most costly advice you ever get.