With all of the tax software options available today, there are still millions of Americans wanting or needing an accountant for tax return preparation and tax planning. It is our belief that tax software works well for simple tax returns for taxpayers with taxes that are not complex (like a 1040 EZ) or when you do not own a house or have state income taxes (when the standard deduction is used as opposed to itemized deductions.)
Even some the less complex 1040's may be done well in today's tax software environment. However, when it comes to individuals with real estate, small businesses or investment activity a software program might work but may not be the smartest choice. We find that most small business owners do hire a tax accountant and those that don't, well let's just say that they usually "don't know what they don't know" and certainly have the most opportunity for tax compliance and tax reduction within the law. But some people can be penny wise but miss the boat on the larger opportunity.
Tax software is a good choice for some but here are the top 5 reasons clients choose to hire a CPA for their tax services:
1. Complex Tax Situation. Whether you own a business, have a large estate or trust, own real estate or have a large investment portfolio, many people have tax implications that are very challenging to the taxpayer.
2. Complex Tax System. The tax system is a combination of law, administrative guidance and court cases. The tax system is not always black and white and there are constantly changing laws and interpretations of the law by various parties in the government and the courts. Did you know that the law can be interpreted differently in Georgia than in other parts of the country?
3. Large Infrequent Event. Many of us have had an occasional event or life changes where we may need professional guidance. Whether it is winning a lottery, exercising stock options, buying or selling a business, departure of a family member or selling a house, there are often times when professional guidance is helpful or even an absolute necessity.
4. Allocation of Time. Let's face it, time is limited and most people need or want to spend time on other activities. Whether it is making more money, putting more time into family activities or spending time on hobbies, taxes are not the top on many people's choice of activity that they want to spend their time on. IRS audits are even less enjoyable – when was the last time you looked forward to sitting across the desk from an IRS examiner? This leads people to their local CPA, maybe even for the next time.
5. Professional Work. When you need a service, you want it done right. In the event of a major home remodel, one might call an electrician, plumber and carpenter to do the various jobs they are skilled at. Though some people may call a handyman, those of us wanting to be sure all is done correctly, we want a professional who has years of learning and experience.
The Goldstein Firm, CPA, LLC is a CPA practice located in the metro Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta. Visit our website to read more about tax strategies and similar topics. We help business owners with tax strategies, tax preparation and accounting services.
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