You may have seen the commercials: a TurboTax expert helps a celebrity with a tax question from their phone. Is it too good to be true? Nope, it’s the real deal! TurboTax SmartLook™ experts are credentialed CPAs and Enrolled Agents who provide you with live help, on demand right from your screen. They’ll give you one-on-one answers to your tough tax questions and guide you by drawing on your screen so you can file with confidence.
We recently sat down with one of our bilingual SmartLook experts, Alberto Del Valle, to talk taxes and what he loves about his job.
How long have you been a tax expert?
For more than 25 years. I really enjoy it!
What is your usual day like?
Generally, I take calls from a wide variety of people. They usually have basic questions about having more than one W-2, how to claim the EITC, and they want their tax refund as soon as possible, which I understand!
People who have more involved taxes oftentimes ask about how to treat something that happened in their life that year on their taxes.
How many people do you talk to?
It’s different everyday. On average, I spend 10-15 minutes with someone. Most of the time, they just want to understand. They are at their computer, they’ve clicked something, and they aren’t quite sure. TurboTax will give them a number, and the question in their mind is “Is this right?” So it’s nice to have someone available who can verify or clarify, really give them a sense of comfort: yes, it’s right the result and here’s why. Generally, after we chat, I’ll follow up with an e-mail that gives them additional background about what I told them.
Why do you enjoy helping people with their taxes?
I consider myself a “common man” and if i can help a fellow “common person”, it makes me happy. Especially when you can sense the tone in their voice when the video session starts: they’re fearful, uncertain, and when you’re done, most of the time you can hear the relief and a sense of contentment! Most of the time, they did the right thing already, so they are happy to confirm and open their mind to additional insight they can use in the future.
What are some common questions you receive?
It really is a big variety. I get a lot of homeowners asking questions about selling their house the previous year. Also a lot of new small business owners, they’ll ask “I just started a small business this year, but I’m not sure what version should I use?” I steer them in the right direction that they go. Sometimes I get state tax questions, which is funny because I live in Florida, where we don’t have state taxes!
And you can offer help in English and Spanish!
Yes, I do speak Spanish. I have found that many people who are Spanish speakers, and are less comfortable with reading and writing in English, will wait to file their taxes, often until the last minute. I’d say, don’t wait, even if you’re worried. You’ll be less stressed and your refund will arrive earlier if you file sooner. And we’ll be there to help you!