Why You Should Meet with a CPA this Tax Season

Posted by Laine Smith on 3/2/15 2:30 PM

Topics: Economy

With the popularity of tax preparation software on the rise, many Americans have chosen to prepare their own taxes from the comfort of their own homes. Whatever your motivation to take the DIY route, taxpayers of all income levels should consider meeting with a Certified Public Account (CPA) for a variety of reasons when it comes to filing federal and state taxes, including accuracy and sound advice.

CPA

CPA’s are Highly Qualified

Though you may have gone to a tax preparation agency in the past, that doesn’t necessarily mean your taxes were completed by a CPA. Certified Public Accountants are different from tax preparers and bookkeepers. CPAs are required to meet stringent qualifications and licensing requirements, making them highly-regarded in the financial world and why individuals, businesses, non-profits, and financial institutions turn to them for financial planning and tax preparation, among many other things.

More Complex Tax Situation

If you can no longer get away with filing a 1040EZ, an IRS income tax form for taxpayers with a minimalistic tax scenario, it’s best to have a qualified CPA prepare your taxes for accuracy. Some of the following tax situations are best prepared by a CPA:

  • You own your own business or own rental property.
  • You have moved within the year and will need to file in more than one state.
  • You are facing tax issues, such as back taxes, tax debt, or an IRS audit.
  • You have stock market investments.

Though tax preparation may seem like a black and white situation, CPA’s are a good option for clearing up the gray area.

Strategizing to Benefit Your Tax Scenario

When choosing a method to prepare taxes, everyone is likely looking for the best way to get the most for their money in the long run. While filing on your own or through a tax preparer may seem like a cheap alternative to a CPA, you’re likely not to receive much advice for the next year.

A CPA will give extensive guidance on how to reduce taxes, pay attention to areas sensitive to IRS audits, and give an idea of what your next year’s tax scenario should look like.

To find the best CPA for your personal tax circumstance:

  • Ask for referrals from your banker, investment advisor, lawyer, insurance agent, etc.
  • Determine your financial plans and objectives and ask a potential CPA candidate how they can help you accomplish them.
  • Ask candidates about their expertise with your tax scenario, whether it’s self-employment, rental properties, tax issues, etc.

CPAs come from a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise. The idea is to find someone you feel comfortable with, specializes in the areas that you require assistance, and shares your desire to minimize your taxes.

 

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