Tax preparations are a literal pain for a lot of people – all of the paperwork involved, and more. What’s even more stressful is trying to do things like itemizing deductions, and because you may think that you’re going to save your precious money from being taken from the IRS and get the most out of your refund, so many people like you think that they’re better off filing taxes themselves from scratch.
The downside is that everything is confusing for a lot of people, the tax rules take a lot of time to figure out (and laws), and the continuous changes that the IRS makes ends up leaving you pulling your hair out at the end. There’s a high-quality solution though – hiring an online tax preparer. But should you do it? A lot of people have trust issues about hiring someone online to prepare their taxes, but it can actually help them in the long run.
What Does a Tax Preparer Do?
A tax preparer is a real pro when it comes to knowing how the laws of the IRS works, the proper protocols that you need to follow, and how to maximize the filing of your taxes. Many of them charge you for their services, such as the famous ones like H&R Block. Depending on how much advanced services and additional things you want to add into your tax preparation, you may end up having a higher or lower price for filing. Some of them even offer free federal personal tax filings, while you may have to pay for state taxes to have them e-filed.
If you run a self-employed business, you’ll end up paying more fees usually, just as you will end up paying more taxes, simply because you get more protection, and there is more paperwork involved says Finance Equation Accountants.
Tax preparation services often help you file your taxes, and they can also help to ensure that you’re not confused by anything. Having someone who has more knowledge than you in this can always help more than trying to figure it all out yourself.
Who Should Use a Tax Preparer?
With our busy everyday lives, we have the tendency to not make the time we need for things as complex as filing taxes. Therefore, you can go about your life with a tax prep specialist so you don’t have to do anything other than wait to get your taxes. Doing them yourself, your taxes can literally take an entire day to do. Most tax prep specialists can get you in and out the door in a matter of just about an hour, then they’ll file your taxes for you.
If you don’t think you have time to file your taxes by the deadline, or if you can’t handle the mentality to file taxes or you don’t understand all of the regulations, or if you have a very complicated financial situation, you may want to hire an online tax accountant.
Certain Groups of People Need Online Tax Services Too
Also, along with the above list for personal taxes, there are plenty of people that need someone to file their taxes, so they’ll get the most back or owe the least possible amount to the IRS. Those people are business owners (including self-employed and sole proprietors), if you buy or sell a home or piece of property that has significant value, those who are needing to prepare other large withholdings (such as stocks and bonds, etc.), and even those who are caregivers for another person. Even those who end up winning large amounts from lottery winnings would often be better off hiring someone than trying to figure out everything themselves.
Can I Trust an Online Tax Accountant?
There are numerous laws in place that a tax accountant has to have in order to be a real tax accountant, let alone a good one. Some of these things you’ll want to do in order to find out if they’re the right one and if you can trust them is to ask them about their qualifications – because they need to meet a certain IRS qualification list. You also want to get references, check the BBB (Better Business Bureau), and look at reviews from people who’ve used their fees.
Don’t hire someone who just bases fees on a person that can say they’ll get you more than their competitors. You also want to know about all of the fees, including hidden fees. Don’t give them any information until you have everything ready.
If a tax prep accountant wants you to sign a blank return, this is a very big no-no, and can end up hurting you in the long run. You also want to review every word, including the fine print in any form that you sign for your tax accountant. If they seem extremely pushy, then you may want to go somewhere else and report them to the IRS.
Whether you need an enrolled agent, a certified accountant (CPA), or a tax attorney, you can use them to e-file your taxes. Also, you can go to numerous online services such as TurboTax, H&R Block, and the IRS E-File system in order do your taxes yourself – and they can include tax professionals and an automated process that helps to guide you through the process so you don’t have to figure all of the details out yourself – if you have a simple tax return to file, then using one of the online service options and doing it yourself could be your best bet.
Otherwise, you’ll want to pay for the more advanced features and have an online tax accountant do it for you.
As a former CEO of a medium-sized business, I have a lot of experience in different aspects of business and finance. Now that I am retired, I love to share my knowledge with others and also love to help young entrepreneurs create and grow their life-long passions.