There are a lot of benefits to hiring a Certified Public Accountant or CPA to handle your tax affairs. First of all, they live and breathe tax. They know what information and documents to present to the IRS and how to fill up the forms accurately. You’ll also be able to turn to them anytime you have a question about your taxes.
However, you need to understand that you would be paying a tax professional for the service he offers. You could easily avoid this fee and still be able to file your tax return with ease by using tax software. All you need are the necessary documents and you could finish your return in an hour and send it the IRS without having to pay anyone anything. You could definitely save your money if you do your return yourself.
Nonetheless, the decision to get a tax professional to handle your tax return for you is yours to make. If you are still uncertain if you really need the services of an accountant, try answering the questions below. Although they don’t encompass all the possible circumstances that could describe your situation, you should consider hiring an accountant if you have more affirmative answers to these questions:
- Do you own a business? A tax professional can help you navigate tax laws that are specific to your industry.
- Have you bought or sold a home or any property? This kind of transaction will affect your tax liability. Buying and selling properties are not things we do every day so they will involve areas in the tax code that you might not have any experience with.
- Have you had a major change in your life? If you got married, divorced, bore your first child, adopted a child or have started taking care of your elderly parents, you’ll most likely need the help of a tax pro as these milestones will also affect how much you owe Uncle Sam.
- Have you bought or sold investments? These transactions will affect your tax liability so you need an accountant to ensure that you are handling your tax affairs correctly.
- Have you received an unexpected inheritance or had an extremely good year trading stocks? Receiving unexpected windfalls is definitely good news but you have to remember that you’ll need to pay tax on them. A professional will help you navigate the tax liability that this situation poses.
Whether you hire a tax professional or not, make sure that you keep in mind that you are still the person responsible for the accuracy of your tax return. Before affixing your signature on your return prepared by your accountant, see to it that you review it and understand every item there. If there is something that you don’t understand, make sure that you ask.