Why a Professional Tax Preparer is Important
Tax time is rapidly approaching. There are many commercials out there advertising do-it-yourself software, but let’s be honest; tax time is stressful for many individuals. And while software can help, making mistakes on your tax return can be costly. Also, no one wants to pay more than they have to when it comes to taxes, and tax prep software can only use the information you put in to calculate what your tax burden (or refund) might be. There are several reasons you may want to use a professional tax preparer:
Knowledge and Experience: Tax laws are constantly changing. The average taxpayer may not be aware of all the changes that occur year to year and how it affects their return. CPAs (Certified Professional Accountant) and EAs (Enrolled Agents) keep up with changing laws and regulations in order to provide their clients with the best service. These credentials ensure that your preparer has passed exams, abides by a code of ethics, and is required to take a number of continuing education hours each year.
Tax Planning for the Future: A tax professional can help you plan. You are able to consult with them regarding your future plans and how they may impact your taxes. For example, you may have a change in marital status, change in dependents, or perhaps you may want to start a business. A tax professional can help advise you on the impact of these changes.
You Want to Save Time: In 2017, the IRS reported that it took the average person a little over 24 hours to complete their tax return. This doesn’t include the time spent on the state return. An experienced tax professional can work quickly and efficiently.
Complications: In addition to the some of the life changes talked about above, there are other events that can impact your tax return:
You’ve had investment losses or gains
Real estate transactions
Your income and residence are not in the same state, city, or even country
You have self-employment income
Choosing to use a tax preparer is ultimately up to you. However, knowing you have a professional in your corner can ease your mind and relieve stress. Finding the right professional allows you not only to file your taxes, but gives you access to someone who can explain your tax situation and provide you with advice for the future.