How CPAs Can Help You File Your Taxes

By: Kris Koonar

With March rolling in, the tax season moves into focus yet again. All the organizations and entrepreneurs take to preparing and filing returns and getting the tax deductions and rebates. A tax payer has a number of tax preparation options like self preparation and filing of taxes or taking the help of hired services of a trained and experienced tax professional.

With March being the end of financial year, there is a lot of stress on the businesses to get all their finances in order. At such a time, where an entrepreneur has to keep an eye on almost all the nooks and crannies of the business, the businessman usually opts for a hiring a tax preparer. They are usually employed with bigger tax specialist consultancies like Jackson Hewitt. However, there are other big and small consultancy companies as well.

Another option for taxpayers is the accountant who not only helps in preparing and filing taxes, but also looks after the Book Keeping of the organization. Businessmen who have complicated financial accounts are more likely to hire the services of an accountant than the others are. While choosing an accountant, the main focus is always on the accountants qualification, training and experience.

On the basis of training and experience, accountants can be categorized in two categories, regular traditional accountants and Certified Public Accountants (CPA). A CPA is required to meet certain requirements laid down by the AICPA or the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, including passing the CPA exam and taking a set number of college credits before being certified. CPAs are likely to charge their clients more because of their extensive training, but for the very same reason they are also the best people to handle the delicate issues and implications of finance.

The only disadvantage of hiring a professional tax preparer is that for their services, they are likely to charge a large amount of money. A majority of professional tax preparers charge their clients on the basis of number of federal and state tax forms that are to be filled and the complexity involved in preparing them. For this very reason, many small time businessmen believe in filing their own taxes.

There are a number of tax preparation options if a businessman decides to prepare and file his own tax returns. Until now, individual taxpayers who file their own tax returns relied on paper tax forms, but not anymore. With the advent of online tax software, the taxpayers are very relieved because it not only helps to file but also prepare the tax return correctly. Tax software programs are readily available in most retail stores and even online. The software is equipped with a mathematical checker that helps in preventing errors from being reported in the tax returns.

Tax preparer software is designed in such a way that not only does it help in allowing an individual to prepare and file tax accurately and quickly, but also transfers the information from one source to other. The tax software programs come in three versions standard, deluxe and premium, with the premium and the deluxe version including both federal and state tax return forms. The standard version includes only the federal tax return forms.

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