As the year comes to a close, many people are starting to pull together the documents they need to file their taxes. And while many will be turning to discount tax preparers and tax preparation services, there are many compelling reasons why using a CPA might be a better idea.
Certified Public Accountants (CPA) undergo a rigorous process in order to obtain a license to practice in the state they serve. In addition, they are required to take continuing education courses every year in order to maintain that license. These means that you can be sure that they have extensive knowledge of tax law and how to apply it to your situation.
It also gives you an additional avenue to use to ensure that the CPA you choose is offering quality service.
Doors are Always Open
Most CPAs do much more than just taxes. This means that the firm is always open to answer questions and help you deal with inquiries from the IRS when they come. Most tax preparation services close their doors at the end of tax season, meaning that you have limited options for support.
A CPA has requirements that mandate they hold your records for a finite period of time before they can be destroyed. This means that if you lose yours, you can get a copy. Tax preparation software will keep a copy of your return safe, but rarely have copies of the supporting documentation. And, discount tax preparers have so many customers that storing your returns and documents is nearly impossible.
As mentioned previously, CPAs provide services beyond tax preparation. They can work with you throughout the year to plan for your taxes and ensure that you are doing everything you can to save money on your tax bills.
Tax Audit Defense
One of the best things about using a CPA is the ability to have someone on your side in the event you are audited. While discount tax preparers and tax software publishers claim to offer audit defense services for an additional fee, your CPA will be there for you for free. What’s even better is that a CPA has personal knowledge of your taxes and financial situation as they are the ones who actually prepared the return. If you pay for the service, the other providers will offer the services of someone who has no previous knowledge of your situation to help you.
Using a CPA to help you prepare for your taxes may seem like an expensive endeavor. However, thanks to all of the extra service and knowledge you receive, the tax preparation fee really isn’t more than what you would pay to a discount tax prep service or tax software publisher. For your protection and peace of mind, request an appointment with a local CPA today.