Filing your tax return could be a tedious and time-consuming task, and even more so for those who aren’t familiar with tax jargon, rules, and guideline changes. However hard it is, tax filing is mandatory, and there’s no way around it. But that doesn’t mean you have to do it yourself; you can always have someone do it for you. This is where tax professionals come in.
Tax professionals are individuals who are trained in tax laws, procedures, and filing for a fee. They prepare your tax according to IRS guidelines, and keep in mind the local (State, County, City) taxes, for example, sales tax rates for Beaver, UT may differ to the combined sales tax in West Jordan, UT. Tax. Tax professionals are further divided into tax accountants and tax preparers.
Tax Accountant and Tax Preparer
One should be aware of the difference between a tax accountant and a tax preparer: both are qualified to assist you with preparing and filing your tax returns. Tax accountants are CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) that have undergone certification after passing the CPA board exam. Tax preparers are certified and authorized by the IRS after passing an examination to establish their competency in preparing tax returns. CPAs are not required to take this examination but are still required to register with the IRS to get their Preparer Tax Identification Number if they wish to practice as tax accountants and prepare tax returns for a fee.
One of the common observations is that dealings tax preparers are often short term engagements (or only when needed), while CPA/tax accountants offer more long-term assistance to individuals and companies. Regardless of whether you opt to hire an accountant or a preparer, both can offer the following advantages:
Advantages of Hiring a Tax Professional
Save you time and effort. Although this goes without saying, hiring a tax professional is convenient. Yes, it may cost you, but the time and effort you save may well be worth it. You can focus more on your job, family, hobbies, or yourself instead of slaving away at a desk while trying to reconcile your tax return.
Trade Expertise. If you’re not well-versed with business, accounting, or taxing, the chances are that you’d miss out on a lot of possible deductions that you can claim, but didn’t know you could. The good thing is that tax professionals do. In fact, the more inclusive tax deductions you’d be able to claim may even be enough to cover the cost of hiring a tax professional.
Hiring one Tax deductible. On top of the additional tax deductions, keep in mind that tax preparation fees are deductible as well (for the following year of filing).
Safety. Lastly, tax professionals are duly trained and certified, and won’t risk their names and certifications by making a questionable tax return. A tax professional ensures that your tax return is safe and legal.
If you’re not ready or haven’t decided to hire a tax professional just yet, there are still other options you can take to guide you in preparing your tax returns such as tax software, or taking a seminar or training course on tax preparation. Whatever the case, if you’re ever in doubt when filing your tax, consulting or hiring a tax professional is always a good option.