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Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter
Friday, November 21, 2003
Is Your tax Preparer In India?
Many people may not be aware of the fact that the trend of companies farming out many of their back office services to India isn't just with telemarketers and technical support lines. It seems that some large tax preparation offices are doing the same thing.

Several months ago, out of curiosity, I checked out the similar service offered by Sure Prep. I was planning to write an article on it back then, but got side-tracked.

I was very unimpressed with the entire concept of this approach to dealing with tax prep work. With all of the time needed to scan all documents to send to the Indian preparer, this concept doesn't make much sense to me. Their rates, as I recall, weren't much better than just hiring local CPAs for the tax season load, which is what I used to do back in the PRC.

I have no idea how many of these services exist in India; but their numbers will grow if the demand does. One other one I just learned of, courtesy of Ohio CPA Dana Stahl, is this so called Tax Portal from a company in India called eSoftCircle.

I have no current info on the quality of their work. What I think is important is that clients be informed of exactly who is working on their tax returns. Back when I had a large staff of preparers in my offices in the Bay Area, clients knew who was doing the bulk of their prep work, and that all returns were reviewed closely and signed by me before being sent out. If tax prep firms just use Indian preparers in impersonal assembly line style to pump out returns, I can't see that as being good for clients.

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