It’s everyone’s favorite time of year: tax season!
For average people busy with jobs and not lots of financial minutiae to their lives, it may seem to make sense to step up and file your own taxes. Personal tax-filing software such as TurboTax and easy access to online IRS information makes it seem like only people with cash to burn would bother to pay CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) to file for them.
However, there are more reasons to hire a professional to file your taxes than procrastination and being math-challenged. Good CPAs makes tax law their lives 365 days a year. He or she knows the loopholes…(ahem!)…the opportunities, the exemptions, and all the little tricks to make filing your taxes as painless (and to maximize your deductions so you pay as little) as possible.
As a San Francisco attorney stated: “Filing a client’s tax return is manageable, but keeping up with tax law is my full time job. With all the changes in the tax law, the average person may erroneously take deductions or not take advantage of tax credits.”
The tax laws change every year, so it’s important to stay on top of possible exemptions and credits. This year, you may be eligible to get money back under any of the following tax exemptions:
- Making Work Pay credit
- New Vehicle Purchase deduction
- Residential Energy Efficiency credit
- Earned Income Tax Credit
- Additional Child Tax Credit
- American Opportunity Credit
- First-Time Homebuyer Credit
- Health Coverage Tax Credit
This is not to say that there aren’t more exemptions, there are. Plus, don’t forget that you can claim a deduction for charity donations on your tax return, so if you gave to a cause such as Haiti, be sure to let your CPA know about it
If you really want to weed through all of this information yourself, see the IRS’s official web site at http://www.irs.gov/.
More importantly, a good CPA knows how to avoid the red flags that are likely to get you audited. For those of you that have been audited, you know what I mean. For those that have not, avoiding one is priceless.