As tax season heads into full swing, Patrick Murtha, the managing partner of the accounting firm of Murtha & Murtha, LLC, says that even if you’ve always done your taxes yourself, now is the time to reconsider.
“It’s a tough landscape this year,” Murtha says, “and there has never been a more important time to work with a tax professional who really knows what they’re doing and can find deductions and credits that you’ll never identify if you’re just using software to file your taxes — especially if you are self-employed or any kind of small business owner.”
Patrick, his father Tom, and Kyle Flischel run Murtha & Murtha in the Seven Oaks Professional Park off S.R. 56 (near Sam’s Club) in Wesley Chapel. All three are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). Patrick and Kyle are managing partners, while Tom serves as senior partner for the firm, which handles accounting, bookkeeping, taxes, mergers and acquisitions and related services for its clients.
Together, the trio has more than 60 years of combined experience. Their expertise stretches well beyond tax season, but it is the busiest time of year for any accounting firm.
“We’re anticipating that this year will be a pretty harsh turn back to reality from the last couple of years,” Patrick explains.
After two years of generous credits from the federal government because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Patrick says it’s all coming to a halt for the 2022 tax year.
While all the changes may cause confusion — and people may not get as large a refund as they are used to, or may end up owing money — Murtha & Murtha promises that if you have the firm prepare your taxes, you will always at least understand the issues and exactly why you owe what you owe.
Patrick says communication has always been the top priority at Murtha & Murtha.
“A lot of clients who come to us from another practice say they liked who they were working with, but that they didn’t return calls or answer emails,” he says. “So, our primary goal is to communicate well with our clients.”
And, he says, while some tax firms have a strategy where CPAs meet with clients face-to-face but hire temporary seasonal employees who do the actual paperwork but never communicate with the client, that’s not how Murtha & Murtha does things.
“Whoever you meet with is who is going to actually be doing your tax return,” he explains, whether that’s one of the firm’s three partners, or one of two long-term employees who are taking on their own clients this year.
Those two employees are Kaitlyn Kociba and Kaitlyn Little, who have both been part of the Murtha & Murtha team for the past several years and have finished the education and experience requirements on the track to becoming CPAs.
Of course, they won’t be studying for the CPA exam during tax season, but fully expect to take the exam and be accredited as CPAs sometime in the near future. Meanwhile, they have been carefully trained and have the expertise to manage tax returns to the high standards Murtha & Murtha expects.
Although tax season is Murtha & Murtha’s busiest time of year, it’s just part of the services the firm provides.
Patrick says Murtha & Murtha’s “CFO retainer package” continues to attract new clients. With this package, the firm helps businesses and people who are self-employed do monthly accounting and bookkeeping, but also helps with budgeting, and provides an expert for advice when clients have questions about tax planning, mitigating tax bills, or about offering health insurance or retirement plans, for example.
Patrick understands that most business owners are too busy worrying about their primary business to really step back and look at the big picture, so Murtha & Murtha provides its clients with an extra layer of financial planning and analysis for their businesses.
Kurt Dimeler of Tampa Bay Pest Management is a client who says he appreciates what the CFO retainer package has done for him and his business. “Basically, they run everything for me, from budgeting to forecasting, and just keep me updated every couple of weeks, so it’s easy-peasy,” Kurt says. “It frees me up to really focus on what I’m best at.”
He says he used to have to do his own payroll and budget and figure out if financial transactions have any tax liability or benefit, but now, Kyle and Patrick handle that for him.
“It takes so much weight off my shoulders,” he says. “Kyle and Patrick and their staff are just fantastic to work with, and I would recommend them to anybody.”
As of January 1, Murtha & Murtha doubled the size of its Wesley Chapel office, which now occupies a full building in the Seven Oaks Professional Park.
“We’ve expanded and added five offices,” Patrick says, adding that, for the time being, because they don’t quite need that much space for themselves, they have hand-picked a couple of professionals to share offices that also will benefit their clients.
“Starting February 1, we’re sharing space with an estate planning attorney and a financial advisor,” he explains. “These are people we know well and trust, so if a client tells us they need to get their will put together or need a financial advisor to plan for retirement, I can walk them over to the office and know they’ll be in good hands.”
Tom Murtha, CPA, earned his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Management from Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY, in 1976, and his M.B.A. (Master of Business Administration) degree in Accounting from St. John’s University in Queens, NY, in 1981. He has been doing mergers, acquisitions and business valuations since the 1990s.
Patrick, who grew up around tax codes at his father’s business, graduated from the University of South Florida in 2009 with B.S. degrees in both Finance and Accounting. He joined his father in opening a firm in Tampa in 2010, focusing on mergers and acquisitions.
Meanwhile, Kyle Flischel, CPA, is practically family, having gone to school with Patrick at USF.
The firm operates a second office in Zephyrhills, as well, located at 5315 8th Ave., and known as Henson & Murtha.
Murtha & Murtha, LLC, is located at 2236 Ashley Oaks Cir., Suite 101. For more information, visit TampaTaxFirm.com or see the ad on pg. 35. Or, to schedule a free consultation, call (813) 991-1120.