Options For Preparing Your Taxes

By Gray Rollins When tax season rolls around each year the are a number of individuals who need to decide how their tax returns will be prepared and filed. Each taxpayer has a number of tax preparation options. These tax preparation options can include self preparation or hiring the services of a tax professional. Individuals who makes the decision to hire the help of a tax professional are likely to hire an accountant or professional tax preparer. The majority of professional tax preparers are employed by a large company that specializes in tax preparation. Taxpayers are often required to take the necessary documents to a tax preparation office. Popular professional tax preparation companies include H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt. There are likely to be other smaller or locally owned tax preparation companies located in cities or towns throughout the United States. Taxpayers also have the option of hiring an accountant to prepare and file their taxes. Many individuals who have complicated financial records are likely to hire the services of an accountant because accountants are not only trained in tax preparation, but bookkeeping as well. When choosing a tax accountant to do business with taxpayers are encouraged to ask an accountant about their qualifications or relevant business experience. There are two main types of accountants. One is a person that may just have previous accounting experience and then there are certified public accountants (CPAs). Certified public accountants (CPAs) are required to take a set number of college credits and pass…

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Doing Your Own Taxes Vs. Using A Tax Pro

By Jack Newton A struggle that many people experience at tax time is deciding whether to do their own taxes or hire a tax pro. To reach the correct decision – and make this tax time a less stressful experience – it's important to understand the different types of tax professionals, and the pro’s and con’s each one brings to tax preparation. We'll explore when it may make sense to do your own taxes, and then look at situations when you should strongly consider hiring a professional. Making an informed decision simply makes good financial sense. Convenience, time, cost, and the degree of complexity in a person's tax situation are the primary factors that need to be considered when choosing whether to do your own taxes or hire a pro. The lowest cost option, of course, is always doing it yourself – whether it's pen and paper or using a tax prep software product. The downside is that you'll end up spending several hours of your time on the task. Furthermore, dealing with today's complex tax code on your own means you run the risk of making a mistake that could adversely affect how much taxes you'll end up paying. Equally important, you also may not recognize a tax savings or beneficial financial opportunity. On the other side of the coin, a good tax professional – for a fee – almost always saves a person both time and effort and can potentially offer advice and expertise that can reduce one's…

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