I recently discovered that there’s a substantial tax break if you sell stocks after having held onto them for over a year, versus selling stocks you’ve had for under a year.
It’s the kind of thing I wish my accountant had told me when he saw all those stock sales and buy backs I did last year in some of my early stock-trading experiments.
I’m deeply unhappy with my accountant, who doesn’t seem capable of explaining things to me that need to be explained, like that for instance. He is, however, superior to my accountant the year before who was a rote incompetent. That first accountant was recommended to me by my boss, the second by my mother. I’m wondering if incompetency is endemic to the accounting profession.
But the real question I have now is, how does one find an accountant other than word of mouth? Surely randomly picking someone in the yellow pages is a recipe for disaster, and my taxes are complex enough (especially as an independent contractor) that I don’t trust some McFirm like H&R Block. Is there some kind of Zagat guide to accountants where one can get some kind of independent appraisal of the accountants in a given area? Anyone have any thoughts?
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