The Worst Tax Preparer Reviews

Client Review of

David O. Steckelberg

Englewood, CO

Parker, CO
January 26, 2019

Long story short – we really liked working with Dave, though were left confused and felt “dropped” when we attempted to connect to understand more about an unexpected bill we received after our 2017 taxes were filed. Despite several attempts to connect via phone and email, we never received acknowledgement from him or his office. Regretfully, we will not be seeking his services again. My wife and I decided to hire a tax specialist for our 2017 taxes due to several complexities for that year. To name a few – I was active duty military living in Washington, D.C., but working in Maryland. My wife worked both in D.C. and Virginia. During 2017, I completed my service obligation to the Navy and transitioned to civilian life. We relocated to Colorado mid-year, where I took a consulting job that included traveling to different states for various projects. My wife began working and then changed jobs, which added more W-2s to the mix. Long story short, we had five W-2s to file. We began communicating with David the first week in February to start the process of this complicated return. We met in person twice, and shared several emails and phone calls back and forth through April. We enjoyed meeting him – he’s friendly, professional, and an intelligent man. This process took us up to only a few nights before the deadline. Several nights before the deadline, he called asking for information that we had previously given him, which slightly concerned us, though we received confirmation that the return was submitted on time. When we received our final tax package and the invoice for his services, there was no advance notice that we would possibly owe beyond what was stated in the tax package. However, in November 2018, we received a bill from the State of Colorado that included a penalty fee. We did not understand why we were receiving the bill when we thought we were good and final regarding 2017 taxes, and we reached out to Dave to ask for clarification. He suggested we try to contest it, and the State denied it. When we informed him of this, the State gave us a tip of how to possibly resolve this, which Dave responded with offering to pay the interest fee, which was negligible though we appreciated the gesture. When mentioning our situation to close relatives, we were encouraged to seek a second opinion on the tax package and sought out another tax professional who reviewed our package and found several errors within it. This person prepared a corrected replacement return, which was submitted and actually showed a refund owed to us by the State of Colorado. We sent an email to Dave again seeking clarification on whether there might have been a mis-step, oversight, etc. and respectfully requested a refund for the services we were billed for. A week later, we did not hear back from him and sent a follow up. A week after that, we still did not hear from him and I gave him a call and left a voicemail. A week after that, I attempted to call him again and was not able to connect. We can understand if mistakes were made – it was a complex return package. However, we are having trouble understanding the radio silence, which feels unprofessional. At no point in our correspondence did we place blame, or express anger or frustration. It is because of the circumstances noted above that we write this Review today and would not recommend David's services to others.