Regular CPA versus CPA for traders

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Toonces, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. Toonces


    Is there really a reason to use a CPA that specializes in doing taxes for traders only? If you have a quality CPA that you trust, is there anything that he would miss, that a CPA that caters to traders, wouldn't miss?
  2. I don't think a regular CPA can handle complex options and other exotic trading tax reporting. It may be in your best interest to find a trading CPA if you are into those types of trades.

    I asked my regular CPA should I report my options trades? He said no. Only report what is reported to IRS on the 1099. :D
  3. lol and when the irs audits you'll owe a huge negligent penalty and back taxes and interest
  4. Surdo


    My CPA only handles trader's returns.

    el surdo
  5. If you have an ordinary CPA or a trader CPA for that matter, I would run your brokerage account through gainskeeper or one of those other programs that figures it all out for you and give that to your CPA. That should save you a lot of money, rather then have him spends hours figuring it out.
  6. It's probably best to negotiate a reasonable rate upfront than to write him a blank check for his service.
  7. Good question. I would liken the question to - would you rather see a specialist when you have a concern regarding your body or a generalist? The generalist will probably be cheaper and take a shotgun approach whereas the specialist will be more like a sniper, but probably cost more as well.

    We can think of thousands of analogies that work here.

    Just keep in mind that in the end, you are 100% responsible for YOUR taxes should there ever be questions. Just saying 'Joe Smith down the street did them' is not an option.

    I personally do not mind paying for top quality professional services. I have found that more often than not, you get what you pay for.
  8. Surdo


    Anybody that makes money trading is foolish not to pay for a top notch accounting professional that knows tax law.

    It's freaking deductible off next year's return anyway.

    el surdo
  9. EXACTLY surdo.

    There's a few key words there though - "makes money". If you are net losing for the year or making a couple bucks, the expense of paying a firm that knows what they are doing will seem silly. And it should.
  10. Toonces


    The reason I bring all of this up is this...let's say you have a CPA that you have worked with in the past in a different business, and you have full confidence in him...then you start trading, go to someone else you will probably never meet face to face, unless you happen to be close to them. They seem to have a good reputation, but that's based on people who post in chat rooms, again whom you will never meet.

    All things being equal, I'd prefer to work with someone I have worked with in the past. But are all things equal? I'm trying to imagine specifically what a "traders' CPA" would catch (deductions, for example) that a typical CPA would miss?

    I mean, it's not like a good CPA won't know about marked-to-market handling of trades, home office deduction, etc. Maybe my taxes aren't as complicated as some of yours. I don't trade options, for example, just stocks.
    #10     Apr 18, 2007