The Benefits of Hiring a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Like a good family doctor that knows your medical history, you can develop a relationship with an CPA so that he or she understands your family’s financial situation and future goals. A CPA is often able to make valuable tax savings suggestions that a software program just can’t anticipate. The value of this advice can easily exceed the additional cost of consulting with a professional. For example, a CPA can provide you advice on tax-friendly ways to save for your children’s education, or how to reduce taxes on your capital gains.
CPAs Can Answer Your Questions Year Round
As a trusted professional, a good CPA will be able to answer important questions that arise not just during your annual consultation, but at other times during the year.
A CPA Saves You Time When Handling Complicated Issues
Taxpayers who find themselves at the center of complicated business and investment matters may even have the skill to sort through their taxes on their own, but is it worth their time? A professional tax preparer is so familiar with the system, he or she can quickly and easily accomplish tasks that might take even skilled taxpayers hours of research. For busy non-tax professionals, their time can generally be better spent earning money in their area of expertise. Even if your tax situation is straightforward, hiring a professional will save you the time and stress of doing your taxes.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, there is no universally correct answer to the question of hiring a CPA or doing your taxes yourself with software. Your comfort and familiarity with IRS rules will be part of your decision, but the complexity of your finances should be the key deciding factor. Those with a single employer and few investments may save hundreds of dollars by preparing their own taxes, while those with business income or rental properties will find the expense of hiring an CPA to be worth their peace of mind and potential tax savings.