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Accounting reviews in Scotch Plains

Real People ~ Real Reviews ~ Real Results

  • Scheduled an appointment with Joe.  We met and I gave Joe all of the tax documents that I had.  As we went though all of the documents, Joe asked me numerous questions as he prepared a draft of my returns.  After approximately one hour, we had completed the draft and we discussed next steps.  Joe told me that during the next week he would do another review of my return before finalizing it.  In less than a week, Joe called to advise me that my return was complete, but he wanted to meet again to discuss the results.  A few days later, we met and Joe explained that I was subject to the alternative minimum tax ("AMT") because of my income.  Joe filed my federal and state returns electronically and gave me a hard copy of the returns for my records.
    - Sera S.
  • It went great. When I first called, he answered the phone. No computer or answering machine to deal with. He spent time with me on the phone answering my questions about fees and services. When we met with him in person,he took the time to explain what we needed, and to answer our additional questions. It was much more painless than I expected. I called him because of the reviews on Angiie's List and we were not sorry. We have found our new tax preparer. We will work with him durning the year to make sure we are on track for next year. Thanks Joe. We wish we had found you sooner.
    - Joyce G.
  • Joe Gerbino is the answer to why I DO NOT and NEVER will use Turbo Tax again. My wife and I are returning customers and we are always looking forward to tax season to have a sit down with Joe. However, you should know that if you are a repeat customer he offers you the option to send in your tax information to him without needing a formal sit down. Understand this is a friendly option and not a formal request. He truly cares about his customers and always looks out for the little guy.  If you do decide to go in for the appointment it is always a nice warm welcome and friendly conversation whereas most other accountants just sit there and have you watch them work on your taxes in silence with the occasional head popping up to ask a question. Joe is full of life, loves good conversation and loves to save you money. Let me say that last part again?. Joe LOVES to save you money! He even puts happy faces next to areas you saved money in and encourages you to continue to plan for retirement. You should also know that Joe is knowledgeable and honest. He is not going to have you run out and by a bunch of office supplies and ask you to do an hour of work from home using items you bought just so you can claim it on your taxes as a work expense. Don?t laugh; I know others who used such accountants that would do sketchy things like that. Joe?s name is on these taxes and he takes his work serious he would never put you or himself in jeopardy for a few measly pennies. Secondly he never charges you up front for his work, he charges you once the work is done. I have dealt with other accountants that demanded payment upfront before even taking their computers out of sleep mode. 
    On that note, this year my mother-in-law and her son were in a bit of frenzy. My father-in-law was suddenly stricken ill and is now under constant care. They had to go through a lot of financial hoops to get approved for Medicaid. It was a nightmare involving lawyers and hospital fights on top of the uncertainty of his condition. Mom was so worried about the financial impact she would endure on taxes we told her to go see Joe Gerbino. Joe took excellent care of my mother-in-law. He calmed her nerves and walked her through everything he needed in order to file her taxes. She swore that she would owe money and was fearful because of all the bills she had endured to date. Joe explained to her she was going to be fine and everything would work out.  In the end, she got money back! It was a small win for all of us with having such an unexpected ride this past year.  In addition my brother-in-law is a fulltime college student and was surprised to learn Joe doesn?t charge full time college students for their tax returns. To top it off, even though we told him it was not necessary, he gave my wife and I a $25 referral credit for having my mother-in-law come in to see him. Here is a man who was doing all of us the favor by helping my mother-in-law during a tricky tax situation and still gave us a referral credit and didn?t even charge my brother-in-law for his taxes! Needless to say, he gained two more customers for life. 
    Now I assume most of you are wondering why I would make such a bold statement as to say Joe is the answer to why I do not use services like turbo tax. Our tax return for 2014 was easy this year. We have only one income, no children, we don?t own a house, nor do we have any major contributions to stocks or charities. We take the standard deduction and do not own any back taxes or missed filings. We could have easily downloaded turbo tax and plugged in a few numbers and viola taxes filed. However, when working with Joe you will learn the value of a dollar. Joe charges more than a do it yourself tax program, but those programs don?t work nearly as hard as Joe does for you. Turbo tax helps you file your taxes once a year, but the following year you wonder if you are going to owe taxes or not until you plug in the numbers again. With Joe he works for you pretty much all year around and you know where you stand on taxes before getting your W2 for the year. Last year Joe did our taxes and gave us advice on increasing our withholdings as so we do not wind up paying more in taxes than usual. By July he sent an email asking for our W2s to do a tax projection and he noticed we were way paying way too much in taxes as it was. Joe immediately requested we increase our withholdings and beef up our 401k contributions. After we did the requested changes we noticed we were getting an extra $90 in our pay check per month. He predicted that we would still wind up getting a certain dollar amount back and he missed the exact number by just a few dollars. The return was also a substantial one and helped to pay off our credit card debt and finish paying off a new car we bought 3 years ago. Joe also assisted us with some questions concerning our IRA accounts and all our questions regarding taxes throughout the year.  So for $300 or so, I got tax advice, a mid-year projection, advice on increasing or decreasing withholdings, a referral credit for a relative, a college student?s taxes done for free, an extra $90 per month in our paycheck in the last half of the year, and a hefty tax return to boot. Turbo tax gives me a green or red number to tell me I owe or not. Final Score Joe 10?.Turbo Tax 0. The value of a dollar goes to Joe! 
    In the end you can pay Turbo Tax $100 to file your taxes and worry every March if you will owe or not and then worry every April if you filed everything right as to not get an audit. Or you can pay Joe a bit more, but have the peace of mind that someone is looking out for you the whole year, a service that not even the most sophisticated software can do.  My advice, put your trust in Joe he will treat you like you are his #1 customer. 

    - David Z.
  • This is the second time I have used Joe Gerbino for my tax
    consulting and services. Joe is just a fantastic gentleman and very well educated
    in tax laws. I wrote an extensive review from my first contact with Joe which
    can be found in later posts. I am writing a second posting as a return customer
    because he has gone well above and beyond my expectations throughout the year. My
    wife and I owed money from our 2012 tax returns and Joe worked with us
    throughout the year to ensure that we were making the proper deductions in our
    paychecks to ensure that our tax returns would not wind up in the red. In July
    of 2013 he contacted us to send him our most recent paychecks so he can do a
    projection as to what our returns would look like by the end of the year. He
    offered suggestions to help mitigate any additional taxes we may owe and we put
    them in play. It was a simple as adjusting our tax withholdings through our
    human resources departments. All of this was a service he offered without
    charge.  My wife and I setup an
    appointment with him on March 8th. We were not only greeted as
    family upon walking in, he also remembered our deep love of coffee from the
    prior year and already had the cups made up and ready to go for us! It ended
    with us getting back a very nice return instead of owing money like we have had
    in the prior 5 years. As we go through our tax records, Joe keeps us
    entertained with good conversation as opposed to being all business and just
    wants to fire numbers off at you.  It
    took only 1.5 hours for him to gain the information he needed to file our taxes
    and send us a very nice packet just a few days later with his invoice and forms
    we need to sign off on.  From the quick
    turnaround, to the midyear checkup, to the great conversation, to the little
    details of remembering our coffee habits, I can truly say you just don?t get this
    kind of service anywhere else.
    I did notice someone left a comment about Joe talking a lot
    and not focused on the subject of tax returns. It is true that Joe will entertain
    you with conversation that is not focused on doing taxes. I find that to be a
    huge asset, tax conversation is dull and boring and I really don?t want to
    spend 1.5 hours of my life discussing taxes. If I wanted to do that I would
    have went to school to become an accountant.  I would like to add from my own personal experiences
    that Joe noticed a few discrepancies and gave us detailed plans to put into
    place in order to lower our taxes.  He
    even caught errors on some stock options I sold that were made by Merrill Lynch
    and went to work on correcting them. Finally, any question my wife or I ever
    had, he was able to answer them. I would not mistake Joe?s polite, friendly and
    lively conversation for apathy or ignorance when doing the work you hired him
    for.  I am sure if you asked him not discuss
    anything else but your taxes, he would.  However, I rather just interrupt the good conversation
    when I have a question then be pounded into a catatonic state with tax laws and
    explanations that don?t relate to my income tax outcome.  Joe is a great find if you?re looking for a
    competent CPA for any tax needs you may have.  I look forward in working with him and his family
    for decades to come.  


    - David Z.
  • My wife and I were in search for a new accountant this year. It?s not that we did not like our previous accountant, but we never got that warm feeling when working with him and we thought he was a bit pricey for what we needed to have done. Being very skeptical of making a wrong choice in searching for new accountant, I scoured Angies list to find someone who was highly rated and close by. Joe Gerbino was the accountant who was recommended. My wife and I decided to give Joe a shot. When I called Joe to setup the appointment he spent a good amount of time with me on the phone gathering information as to what we needed, what he is capable of doing to help and ensuring that I felt as comfortable as possible by contacting him for my financial services. When I asked him how much it would cost to do our returns he quoted a price that was half that of my previous accountant. Don?t get me wrong, he is not going to do a return for $25.00, but he was much lower than previous accountant I used in the past. Not only was his price fair and reasonable, I also got much more out of his services then I ever did with my previous CPA. 
    Upon arriving at his office on a Saturday, we were met at the door by Joe and his son Joe Jr.  Immediately I felt like I was a part of his family. Joe welcomed us to the office and engaged in some small talk before we got down to business. His son was equally as impressive. His son is in his early twenties and works with his father while he attends school. His son was well spoken, outgoing and very pleasant. He was not shy like most young adults and treated my wife and I with the utmost respect and extended hospitality. He even brought us cups of coffee in REAL mugs and not in some small cheap styrofoam cups. He also made sure we were as comfortable as possible and checked up on us to see if there was anything else we needed throughout the meeting with his father.  My wife and I cannot say enough nice things about Joe Jr. and how pleasant he was.  His father was as equally hospitable ensuring we were comfortable in his office, conversing and joking with us and really making us feel like were a part of his family and not just another notch in his CPA client belt. His lively spirit and witty sense of humor turned the mundane task of doing tax returns into a more pleasant and less burdensome experience. My previous accountant would usually just bore me with endless tax laws and jibber jabber that would having me practically falling asleep and wishing for a quick death.  I think Joe knows that taxes can be boring and cumbersome to his clients and so he made sure to try and discuss things that were not tax related as he entered in information. This concerned me a bit because I am one who makes mistakes if I get too distracted however, when Joe finished entering everything in, he printed out the forms and we went through it line by line to ensure all the information was correct. He also put our 2012 tax return side by side with our 2011 tax return and looked for anything that seemed off. For me there was a discrepancy in one of the numbers as it was off a considerable amount of money, but Joe and I figured out that it was from stocks options I sold for a loss in 2011 that contributed to the large discrepancy. All in all he was thorough and checked his work not only with us but also with previous returns to ensure the data was correct and accounted for anything that seemed a bit off. 
    Joe finished our returns in the same day and my wife and I wound up owing money to the government, but this is where the services of Joe Gerbino really paid off. My previous accountant would just tell us if we are getting money back or if we owned money and how to pay. Joe, on the other hand, spent a considerable amount of time explaining why we owed and what we need to do to avoid owing next year. He explained to us the reason why we owed money, the steps we should take now so we don?t wind up owing in the future and how to calculate in some future plans of ours so we can keep our tax return in check. Furthermore, he offered to meet with us again over the summer to look over our paycheck stubs and other contributions to ensure we are on track in our tax planning for 2013. This was totally unexpected. I am so used to having CPAs explain to me why I owe, but never what I can do to ensure that I mitigate the tax hit for the following year. The entire meeting took about 1.5 hrs. 
    Before our meeting was over, one of his clients arrived a bit early. Joe excused himself and both he and his son ensured they greeted her, explained to her that our return was taking longer than expected and gave her the option to wait or come back in about half hour or so.  When the client elected to stay, they did not just let her sit in a waiting area by herself. Instead Joe Jr. stopped what he was working on took her to the break room, offered her something to drink and engaged in small talk with her. When I was walking out, I could hear the client chatting and laughing with Joe Jr. and she seemed to really enjoy his company while she waited.  Joe and his son probably didn't think I took notice to this act of professionalism as it was almost second nature for them to take care of their clients.  However, I have been on the other end of that situation with other service providers and I had to wait by myself in some small waiting area and it sucks not knowing when you would be called in and asking yourself why they didn?t just make your appointment an hour later. After all, there are only so many magazines you could read and talk shows you can watch before it becomes frustrating and you feel as though you are wasting time. It was refreshing to see them both really engaged and taking care of their clients as if we are all good friends of the family.
    My wife and I returned to Joe?s office to sign our returns and pick up our copies once he got confirmation that our tax returns were accepted by the government. He went over what we needed to do to pay our taxes, gave us printed envelopes with the addresses of the state and federal agencies that we had to mail our checks to, provided us instruction sheets as to how to pay Uncle Sam if we wanted to pay by credit card, echeck or by regular check and he gave us a choice of having our copies to be printed out for our records or placed on a CD in a PDF file. He also made sure that we did our homework with some of the changes he asked us to make to our tax elections and informed us to contact him over the summer to come in and review where we are at for the year. All in all we got more than we expected from Joe Gerbino as we were not expecting the future planning piece, the warm and friendly hospitality and the great overall service that he provided us. 
    My wife and I highly recommend Joe Gerbino and we would be very surprised if you do not find him to be friendly, courteous, helpful and reasonably priced. Give Joe a try I don?t think you will be disappointed. Personally I look forward to working with Joe and his family in the future. I am even excited about next year?s return and to see how his advice and knowledge helped us to owe nothing on our returns.   Thank you to both Joe and his son Joe Jr. for giving us a very pleasant and over the top experience.
    - David Z.
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