The Pros and Cons of Using Tax Professionals

Tax season can be stressful - learn about the pros & cons of using tax professionals & how they compare to online software & applications.

The Pros and Cons of Using Tax Professionals

Tax season is a stressful time for many people, and it can be difficult to decide whether to use tax preparation software or a professional tax preparer. While there are pros and cons to both options, it's important to understand the differences between them before making a decision. Cost is one of the major drawbacks of hiring someone to prepare and file your return, as the price of professional tax preparation will be higher, especially if your tax situation is comparatively complicated. It will also cost you more if you need to prepare your state and federal tax returns.

On the other hand, you can get a good tax job without undergoing the rigorous training and licensing requirements of a CPA. The job of a CPA is more complex and has a broader scope than filing tax returns for individual clients and businesses. Evaluating the pros and cons of a professional tax preparer can help you decide if an income tax preparer's job is right for you. You won't have many options when it comes to professional tax preparation if you try to contact someone a few days before the due date of your return (usually April 15), although online tax preparation software will still be available.

If your tax situation is relatively complicated, you should expect to pay more for professional tax preparation. This is because most tax preparation software is designed for people with simpler tax situations and is not suitable for taxpayers with complex finances. In the unlikely event that you are audited, a tax professional (just a CPA, an enrolled agent, or a tax lawyer) can work with you to organize any necessary paperwork and can deal directly with the IRS on your behalf, making sure you are well represented. If you put a monetary value on your time, you may find that the hours you spend working on your tax return end up costing you more than the services of a tax professional.

Tax preparation fees are considered a “miscellaneous deduction” (based on itemized deductions) and can be reported on Schedule A of IRS Tax Form 1040. Income tax preparer checks vary from week to week during tax season, depending on your workload. If you meet any of these criteria and want to file your taxes quickly and efficiently, you may find it best to use tax preparation software or a mobile application. Filing a tax return isn't something you have to deal with alone, and it's often best to have it managed by a tax professional depending on your situation. If you decide to work with a tax professional, you should start preparing for the next tax season and speak to a professional in the fall.

Sometimes, using a tax professional, who can represent you before the IRS and who also prepared your tax return, can help to simplify things with an audit. As you prepare to file your taxes, it's important to consider all of the pros and cons of using tax professionals. Cost is one of the major drawbacks, as professional services will be more expensive than using online software or applications. However, if your taxes are complex or if you need help dealing with an audit, then hiring a tax professional may be worth the cost. Additionally, if you value your time highly then it may be worth paying for someone else to do the work for you. Large company tax preparers can process thousands of returns every tax season, according to Traceview Finance.

A tax professional can give you advice on the best way to file your taxes, as well as help you file your returns. While tax season is still far from the near future, I've learned that it's never too late to start preparing your next tax return, and doing so early will save you not only money but, more importantly, time.

Jimmy Hatman
Jimmy Hatman

Total tv expert. Music fan. Unapologetic travel fanatic. Alcohol nerd. Typical beer advocate.

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