With more words than the King James Bible, the United States tax code has got to be one of the most complicated, if not the most complicated, documents ever committed to paper. To call some of the passages within that code mind-boggling would be a huge understatement, and there is a cottage industry developing around simply keeping up with the tax code changes that come in every single year.
With so much complexity, it is a wonder anyone even attempts to do their own taxes. And while it is true that the simplest returns can be done online in only a short time, most of us struggle for many hours simply collecting the documents we need to complete our 1040-A or 1040 long form return.
Bring in an Expert
Like so many things in life, hiring an expert to do your taxes can be a big help. If you are an attorney, you probably hire someone to change your oil and fix your car when it breaks. If you are a physician, you probably pay someone to cut your hair. That is because you recognize the value of hiring an expert. While you could cut your own hair, you might not like the results. The same is true if you try to do your own taxes without the expertise necessary to get all the deductions you have coming your way.
In fact, the consequences of making a mistake on your taxes are many orders of magnitude above the problems caused by a bad haircut. Your hair will always grow back, but if you make a mistake on your taxes, you could be missing out on some lucrative deductions at best. At worst, you could receive that dreaded letter from the IRS requesting clarification about your return.
If you hire an expert to prepare your taxes, you can avoid these unhappy scenarios and save yourself lots of time and hassle in the process. Instead of spending hours sorting through endless forms and schedules, you can relax, knowing that your taxes and your finances are in the hands of an expert in the field.
What to Look for in a Tax Expert
Of course not all tax experts are created equal, and not all of them will be able to provide you with the expert advice you need. Matching your needs to the expertise of the tax preparer is important, as is finding a tax expert with years of experience with all kinds of returns.
A good tax expert will take the time to meet with you one-on-one to discuss your unique tax situation. That expert will be able to address any specific questions or concerns you might have about your return. Different people have different challenges when it comes to taxes, and the concerns of the self-employed individual or business owner can be quite different from those of the high wage earner or the retiree. A good tax expert will be able to address all of these situations and bring their expertise to bear.
You might also want to look for a tax expert who can also provide assistance with other parts of your financial life. Taxes are just one part of the overall financial equation, and a good tax expert should be able to recommend ways you can structure your finances to lower your taxes in the future. This proactive and hands-on approach helps you save money now, and in the future as well.
If you think that working with a San Antonio CPA will be expensive, just consider the costs of not engaging an expert when you do your taxes. A single missed deduction could cause you to overpay Uncle Sam by thousands of dollars. A tax expert can spot that oversight and get you the money you deserve. You use experts in all other parts of your life. Why not use an expert where it counts the most?