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Rene-R
Valued Contributor

Phoenix, AZ
USA
171 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2012 :  7:33:26 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sandra Dee


He thinks he would qualify, but without doing his taxes, he is only guessing at the $1000 refund.



He can do a mock-up of his taxes on FreeTaxUSA.com, which will give him the exact figure they think he should get. I always go thru their form anyway just to make sure that I have all the figures I need, even if I'm having my taxes done by a CPA. It also tells me whether anything has been forgotten when the CPA gives me my final figure. Anyway it's free to fill out and if his refund is less than $1K then he can just file his federal taxes from there for free (there is a small charge for the state filing tho).

Gold shopping metro Phoenix & airports everywhere, since 2005. ~ Have Video equipment, will travel!
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CarlaH
Contributor

Wentzville, MO
USA
52 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2012 :  08:43:13 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I would like to complete a tax shop and there are many in my area but they all state I have to receive a least $2,000 refund. How do I know how much refund I will qualify for until I have my taxes done?

Carla Houghton
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MattMS
Star Contributor

Genoa, Illinois
USA
360 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2012 :  5:33:55 PM  Send MattMS an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Carla - you can go to freetaxusa.com or hrblock.com, input all your info, "do your taxes" and just don't submit. It should give you a total.

OR, if you want, you can go to the IRS's website, download a 1040, Schedule C, Schedule A if required, and any other forms. Fill in all the info using the instructions for each form. The old fashioned long hand way. I'm guessing most people won't wanna do this, but since I've been doing my own taxes and a few family/friend's for years, I understand the forms very well. It only took me like 45 minutes to do a rough estimate of everything. If you have any understanding of a 1040, that is a good way.

Matthew - shopping North Central & North West Illinois
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KariK
Contributor

Minneapolis, MN
USA
86 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2012 :  05:24:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've been seeing the emails stating:
You must get a minimum return of $2000 to be eligible to perform this shop.

Who the heck gets a return for that much?

You can use any of the tax prep online to figure out how much you owe or get will get refunded. I usually use one and then write them out on paper since I owe every year (by choice).
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TinaMarie
Star Contributor

USA
1811 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2012 :  11:17:15 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The rich and the poor gets that much refund. The poor is because they get EIC from the government, in another word, taxpayer money.

~*~TinaMarie~*~
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JenR
Trainee

Columbia, SC
USA
8 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2012 :  11:53:06 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I get back more than that each year, and I am neither rich or poor. I think it depends on deductions, dependents, etc.
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EmilyPWa
Valued Contributor

Willard, UT
USA
168 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2012 :  9:15:14 PM  Send EmilyPWa an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I get that back but I have 4 kids and a mortgage! :)

Emily
Now shopping in the Ogden UT area
MSPA Gold Certified
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TJ Monty
Trainee

Kasson, MN
USA
6 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2012 :  9:12:03 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I can see it now....."So, Mr. Monty, let's look at all these 1099s you have. My, there sure are a lot from Mystery Shopping Companies....ha ha,...eh,...you wouldn't be shopping me right now, would you?"

TJ Monty
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John MrBeth
Valued Contributor

Mount Laurel, NJ
USA
184 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2012 :  5:58:10 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Why would someone who makes enough money to be eligible for a $2000 refund do mystery shops? It does seem unusual that MSC's often want high end shops done and offer an inappropriate shop fee... then wonder why there are few takers.

John
Southern NJ
Professional Couple
Both Gold Certified
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Cary in Cincy
Star Contributor

Cincinnati, OH
USA
259 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2012 :  12:25:27 PM  Send Cary in Cincy an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
If this person was your accountant, I would. In fact, I have. If you are involved in mystery shopping, you should use an accountant. But, it is your choice.

Cary
Mystery shopping and Merchandising in Ohio, KY, IN, WV, and More....
Video Certified with Own Camera
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CorrieS
Star Contributor

Briarwood, NY
USA
932 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2012 :  11:31:41 AM  Send CorrieS an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have never done one of these, but to answer John's question: I work FT and have taxes withheld from my paycheck. I mystery shop on the side. Anyway, I (almost) always have a refund of a few thousand. Probably means I should adjust my withholding, but like many people, I have gotten used to the big refund check...

Corrie S.
MSPA Silver Certified
shopping NYC & Nassau County... and willing to travel...
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TinaMarie
Star Contributor

USA
1811 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2012 :  7:22:52 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by John MrBeth

Why would someone who makes enough money to be eligible for a $2000 refund do mystery shops? It does seem unusual that MSC's often want high end shops done and offer an inappropriate shop fee... then wonder why there are few takers.



Do you assume mystery shoppers are in the lower income bracket? So not true!

~*~TinaMarie~*~
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JenR
Trainee

Columbia, SC
USA
8 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2012 :  1:35:25 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Definitely not true! I have two degrees and work full time as a chemical engineer in the radioactive waste industry, so I make fairly good money. I mystery shop part-time because I'm frugal and I like knowing the husband and I can have date night for free :)
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Sarah Ahmad
Member

Folsom, California
USA
20 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2013 :  09:57:52 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hello. I completed one of these tax shops last year but the MS company I did if for is not offering them this year. Can someone possibly message me about what company might be offering them this year?

Shopping Sacramento and vicinity and loving it!
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Sandi G
Star Contributor

Tallahassee, FL
USA
918 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2013 :  10:55:55 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've seen them offered by both Measure Consumer Perspectives and Market Force (blue portal). I don't know if it is the same chain of preparers in different markets, or if they have different clients. I'm not eligible for the shop this year (no W-2) so didn't pay much attention.

--Sandi
traditional & video shopping FL and GA
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MicahPage
Star Contributor

Norwalk, CA
USA
278 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2013 :  11:39:45 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I was thinking about why anyone would want to give the feds a tax-free loan. If you have that much of a return you are not focused on your finances. My returns are usually less than $500 or I owe about $500.

However, I contemplated making a $2K extra payment to federal withholding from my final paycheck of 2012 just so that I would meet the criteria for the shops.

My taxes can get quite complicated and instead of paying someone $500 (or more) to do multiple forms and states, I might as well just loan the $2k out for 2 months to the fed by making an early payment so I can get taxes done for free.

Micah
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Sandi G
Star Contributor

Tallahassee, FL
USA
918 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2013 :  11:53:19 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Micah, if your taxes are complicated and you don't know how to do them yourself, I would not recommend using these shops as a way to get them done. In my experience, they have not been people skilled at doing more than basic, simple returns. I had to tell them which forms I needed filled out when it was more than just a 1040. The poor person had to call the help desk several times to find out that yes, she needed to do the forms I said she did. It was slightly nightmarish; I was glad it was bonused and still wondered if it was worth it.

--Sandi
traditional & video shopping FL and GA
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MicahPage
Star Contributor

Norwalk, CA
USA
278 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2013 :  6:01:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did a couple several years ago. When I saw the locations, I would call first and ask who they had and how long they've been doing it. I know most places are on the shady side or with new people, but I was able to find some people who did it on the side every year and been doing it for over 15 years, so they were knowledgeable.

I do agree thought that most probably have no clue.

Micah
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EliseSm
Valued Contributor

USA
222 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2013 :  8:01:03 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TinaMarie

The rich and the poor gets that much refund. The poor is because they get EIC from the government, in another word, taxpayer money.



Low-income working families get EIC money at the end of the year as an incentive for them to work, rather than to receive constant welfare. The government figured out that it would be much less expensive if the welfare recipients were working with the incentive, instead of receiving welfare all year.
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1853 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2013 :  12:04:27 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MicahPage

I was thinking about why anyone would want to give the feds a tax-free loan. If you have that much of a return you are not focused on your finances. My returns are usually less than $500 or I owe about $500.


Because the tax laws are constantly changing, we went back to letting the Fed use our money interest-free. We'd estimated the year before and came up short. If you're more than $1,000 short, added fees and interest get tacked on. So we're back to 'insurance' withholding, and to padding the income with a miscellenous category in case we forgot something. Yes, I know it means we pay a little extra in taxes, but we're looking at it as insurance. With thousands of new IRS agents being hired and small businesses being targeted, those filing a Schedule C are going to eventually get audited.

Sandi, do the shops require that you actually SUBMIT your taxes, or just that they are prepared? Unless the company assumed liability for errors, I wouldn't want to submit something that would have to be amended (amended raises red flags).

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
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