CPAs vs Licensed Tax Preparers

Why You Should Get A Cpa To Prepare Your Taxes

How much you need to pay can vary considerably based on how well you prepare your tax return. Numerous deductions, exemptions and credits can make your tax bill much more affordable. A National Society of Accountants fee survey released last year tracked the national average of what CPAs, EAs, and other tax preparers would charge to complete 2014 tax returns. You own a business or are self-employed and feel comfortable navigating business-related tax forms. Business income adds another layer to preparing and filing a tax return.

Why You Should Get A Cpa To Prepare Your Taxes

A certified public accountant has the knowledge and professional training necessary to fully comprehend the various tax codes that may apply to you. A CPA will be able to file a tax return that accurately represents your financial situation and ensures the best outcome for you. Most tax return preparers provide outstanding and professional tax service. However, each year, some taxpayers are hurt financially because they choose the wrong tax return preparer. Be sure to check our tips for choosing a tax preparerand how to avoid unethical “ghost” return preparers.


It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Intuit TurboTax is the most popular tax preparation software. With its expansive feature set and slew of options intended to provide live advice or protection from an IRS audit, TurboTax may appear to be the best solution for filing your taxes. If meeting with an advisor in person isn’t critical, you may consider getting help online. Many online tax preparers now offer live assistance, so if you do have a question while you’re filing, you can get help in real time. You will be able to itemize some deductions while working in the United States if you are required to report your income. If you were a non-resident alien or you are considered a dual status alien during any portion of the year, you are not entitled to the standard deductions.

  • The preparation and filing of your return is a very operational job.
  • If you want to claim a tax credit or get a refund for any tax withheld from your pay, you’ll need to file.
  • If they have filed more than ten returns in a given year, they are required to e-file every single return they prepare.
  • The Internal Revenue Service is the U.S. federal agency that oversees the collection of taxes—primarily income taxes—and the enforcement of tax laws.
  • You’ll even get your copy of the return and supporting documents in a nice little folder for you to file away yourself if you want.
  • Whether a tax accountant is self-employed or working for an accounting firm, they specialize in assisting clients with tax return preparations.

Several software programs are available to help you prepare your own return and save money, says Tai Stewart, accountant and owner of Saidia Financial Solutions in Houston. “They’re good for people who have simpler returns — they’re in their first few years of work or single with no kids. The programs ask questions to make it easy to Why You Should Get A Cpa To Prepare Your Taxes understand the directions and input your data.” You can also check the professional organizations many tax preparers belong to. While businesses and individuals need to file an annual tax return,not everyone does. For example, if your income is less than the standard deduction, you won’t owe any tax and don’t have to file a return.

When Should You Get an Accountant To Do Your Taxes?

Or you may have moved out of state or tapped into your 401 for supplemental income. Like a good family doctor who knows your medical history, you can develop a relationship with an accountant so that they understand your family’s financial situation and future goals. If you pay an IRS or state penalty or interest because of a TurboTax calculation error, we’ll pay you the penalty and interest.

  • Bring receipts, invoices, medical bills, charitable contributions, IRA contributions, job-hunting expenses, mileage logs, educational expenses, self-employment expenses and more to your accountant.
  • That’s in addition to practicing financial and managerial accounting, tax preparation, and tax planning on a daily basis.
  • It includes preparers with PTINs and IRS-recognized professional credentials.
  • New York City is the financial capital of the country, and a CPA based there will have more experience handling a wide variety of income tax related issues than accountants in other areas.
  • These agents must meet all the same requirements as licensed tax professionals, but some former IRS employees can earn an examination waiver and become an EA by virtue of their prior experience.

Foreign bank accounts and investments can trigger more tax-filing requirements, even if you don’t earn any income from the accounts. Thank you for explaining your advice in a straightforward manner. This late in the game too many words in an explanation leaves me more confused than when I started. I appreciate the time you committed to passing on your thoughts.

What kind of tax preparer do I need?

David Kindness is a Certified Public Accountant and an expert in the fields of financial accounting, corporate and individual tax planning and preparation, and investing and retirement planning. David has helped thousands of clients improve their accounting and financial systems, create budgets, and minimize their taxes. I would much prefer going to a CPA to do my taxes over a company such as H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt (unless it was my ex who’s been employed by JH).

If your tax return is simple, an RTRP is fine, but if you need someone who can handle more complexity, hiring a CPA might be smart. Someone who has been preparing returns for a few years is likely to have a better understanding of tax laws, IRS procedures, and tax-planning strategies. Your opportunities for saving on your taxes will depend on your situation and how complex it is. If your main tax concerns are your job’s income and the interest on a savings account, you probably don’t have many opportunities to save. However, if the IRS caught your mistake and is charging you back taxes and penalties or selects your return for an audit, you might want to talk to a professional.

What’s the Difference Between Tax Software and a Tax Professional?

Get the latest tips you need to manage your money — delivered to you biweekly. In 2020, Tanza was the editorial lead on Master Your Money, a yearlong original series providing financial tools, advice, and inspiration to millennials. Tax season can be stressful and time-consuming if you haven’t prepared properly. Here are a few tried and tested tools that can help you get organized. As White recommended, once you’ve narrowed down your list of referrals, contact them to learn more about their experience and to give them information about your needs and expectations. In California, this form allows you to check a CPA’s credentials.

Why You Should Get A Cpa To Prepare Your Taxes

I’m not going to lie and say that you won’t have to spend a little time preparing your tax files to bring to a CPA. They’ve gone through tons of accounting classes, a challengin exam, and must maintain continuing education credits each year. You’ll even get your copy of the return and supporting documents in a nice little folder for you to file away yourself if you want. A Certified Public Accountant is a licensed professional with advanced education and training in many areas of accounting and business. At Gamburg CPA PC, we use a proactive approach and innovative thinking within the limits of the tax code to tackle tax problems and find solutions for the future for our clients. We believe in building a strong and productive business relationship by communicating with our clients and getting to know their needs.

Require a CPA, law license or enrolled agent designation

Even if someone else prepares your return, you are still responsible for the content and for any additional payments, penalty and interest that may result from an error. The preparation and filing of your return is a very operational job. You compile data, fill in the boxes, sign your return, and mail it off. There is potential for human error if you file taxes the old fashioned way, and for a small cost tax prep software eliminates most of that risk. According to the National Society of Accountants, the average American pays $220 for professional preparation of a regular Form 1040 with no itemized deductions and $323 for itemized deductions.

  • Will using one of those services be the best option, or do you need a more personalized, hands-on resource for filing income taxes?
  • While they are hired to serve their client, they must also diligently remember their obligation to the IRS and not break any laws or help others file a fraudulent return.
  • If you already work with a financial advisor, check to see if they offer tax planning or advisory services.
  • A tax preparer isn’t going to hurry through your return, hoping to get it done.
  • Do you review your tax return before you sign it to make sure that such a thing will not happen to you?
  • Either way, only you can decide which tax preparation method will work best for your situation.

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