Why you should have a CPA prepare your Income Tax Returns!

The tax code keeps getting more complicated.  Believe it or not Congress made major changes to the tax code in February of 2018 that affected tens of millions of tax returns that had already been filed. In December of 2017 Congress made the largest changes to the tax code in over thirty years and it will take the Internal Revenue Service most of the rest of this year just to interpret the law Congress passed last December.

If your taxes are very simple you may well be able to file your own taxes successfully.  If your taxes are a little more complicated you might be able to use one of the national franchises that prepare tax returns; however, those large tax franchises have a lot of weaknesses when compared to a Certified Public Accountant who specializes in tax return preparation:

  1. Their staff have little training when compared to a Certified Public Accountant.
  2. They often try to get your taxes done in one sitting and they often estimate expenses and omit deductions if you did not bring the documentation with you to the meeting in their office.
  3. The large tax franchises are often more expensive than we are and this has always surprised us.
  4. The tax franchises have very limited hours in the off season and often do not even save source documents from their clients.

We amend a lot of tax returns that are self prepared or prepared by others.  Each year we have tax returns we amend that result in our clients saving thousands of dollars and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars.  I recently had a client who self prepared her taxes and I amended three years of tax returns she had filed for herself and saved her twenty four thousand dollars of income taxes.

You should likely have your taxes prepared by a Certified Public Accountant if:

  1. You own and operate a business.
  2. You have income from a Trust.
  3. You own rental properties.
  4. You have income from more than one state.
  5. If you are uncomfortable with the tax returns you just filed.

Mike Sylvester, CPA/ABV, MBA


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