Why Do I Need a Tax Pro?

By Diego De Jesus

It’s tax season, and everyone is scrounging up their receipts and payment records, calculating digits that’ll sum up to their tax return for the year. Every year it seems like it’s becoming more and more complicated for the average American to compile an accurate tax return. This isn’t a coincidence. Due to its sheer length and complexity, the tax code has become arduous for everyday people to digest. For these reasons, here are five pointers on why you should consider hiring a tax professional or a Certified Public Accountant to navigate your taxes with some wisdom from Josue Mendoza from Jason Wiley Simpson, PA and Lance Schmidt from CliftonLarsonAllen.


They Are Trained to
Know What You Don’t

According to Marketplace.org, 90% of Americans hire a personal CPA or use other filing services to file their tax return. Anyone can do their own tax return, but there’s a lot of room for error which could cost you more money. The tax code is tens of thousands of pages long, too much information for the average person to process on their own time. Every year this code is altered, making it more complex. For this reason, it’s essential to acknowledge the certifications that CPAs have and consider how their services could help you. A level of trust needs to be established between you and the CPA to assess your situation adequately. It’s good to research beforehand, but trust the experts and know they want the best for you.


They Look at Prior Tax History to

Help You Plan for a Better Financial Future

Planning out tax strategies varies with each client, and the strategies professionals compile rely on what you tell them. If you’re a person that’s visiting a CPA for the first time, you need to be prepared to provide records of your financial history. The more information you provide, the clearer the picture a CPA will have to work with. A survey from the National Society of Accounting found that the average cost for a CPA to file a 1040 tax return was on average $323 in 2020. They’ll be able to analyze what actions you took in previous years, so they can improve your current tax return so mistakes won’t be repeated. There are many different scenarios with even more hypotheticals that come into play that are impossible to ignore when your CPA assesses your tax situation.


You Have and Audience to Tell
the Story Behind the Numbers

Many people think that handling taxes is just a matter of paperwork and punching numbers, but everything presented to your CPA is part of your story. Your CPA is a human being who actually has their own taxes to figure out, and you can talk to them about the circumstances behind your numbers. It’s an opportunity for you to have helpful conversations with an expert rather than trudging through your stress and crunching numbers. This ties back to that level of trust you can establish with your CPA to get the possible outcome. You can talk with your CPA about situations you may be going through—such as a divorce that requires you to pay child support—to help them better understand your entire tax situation.


Big Things Ahead Require
Professional Planning

Planning ahead is always best, but even more so for your finances. We all want to expand and grow in various ways but that requires preparation. In most cases, what we want doesn’t come overnight. Think of everything you want financially as an individual or business when your CPA compiles a strategy for you. You have a specific goal in mind, so you need to plan ahead and look at everything before making the first move. You want to make sure everything is in good financial standing with absolute certainty before taking action. Talking with your CPA will create multiple contingency plans in case something goes wrong, including necessary steps to avoid any more losses.


They Help You Set Short-Term
and Long-Term Goals 

What are your goals? This is a question asked by CPAs and one that most clients, especially business owners, need time to think about. In Schmidt’s words, “What’s your secret sauce?” What makes your business tick and gain revenue? Business owner’s minds start racing with realizations they didn’t think about before, and from there, the CPA fosters those ideas into beneficial strategies. If you open a business you’ll have your CPA asking you a slew of questions like, “Do you know what licenses and registrations are needed?” Mendoza remarks that many new business owners walk into the firm without filing the proper paperwork to begin consulting—resulting in CPAs doing the paperwork and charging their clients for the service. CPAs know the terminology, so they can talk about everything you want to do one-on-one while helping you process their advice in a way you’ll understand. That being said, these strategies are only suggestions. It’s up to the client to institute them to hopefully achieve optimal results. 

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