Professional Tax Preparation vs. Filing on Your Own

Many people think that by filing their tax return on their own or with the help of tax software that they will save money.  We have found that the mistakes that occur in these cases can be much more costly than paying a Tax Preparation Specialist to complete the tax return for you; the fees incurred often reach into thousands of dollars.

Providing your qualified Tax Preparation Specialist with the right information is imperative to maximize your benefits and minimize your tax liability.  We see many clients who file their tax returns on their own the previous year who didn’t receive possible benefits available to them. Some received letters from the IRS stating they owe more taxes than what they calculated.  In this case, the client will pay the original tax owed, the penalties for paying late and the interest incurred.  Online tax preparation software can only guide you so far, there are complex tax issues that the software simply cannot detect or know how it will relate to your tax situation.  You can find all of the current tax laws online, but just as in the case of an attorney, you need a professional to interpret these laws and apply your unique information to your tax return.

The benefits from hiring a tax preparation professional go beyond eradicating mistakes in your tax return.  With PHD Tax, you are able to meet with your consultant prior to the beginning of tax season, which gives you a jump start on organizing and planning. Tax planning will help your preparer see where you are with your taxes mid-year so you can avoid paying the IRS a large amount at the end of the year.  Additionally, you can make any necessary changes so you can benefit from any new credits or rules you may not be aware of.

In order to gather all needed data, we ask our clients particular questions.  The following questions are just a few of what very person should ask before gathering their documents:

  • Did I change my marital status?
  • Do I have dependents whose status changed?
  • Did I receive any disability income or unemployment income?
  • Did I refinance my home?
  • Did I buy or sell any stocks, bonds or other investment property in that year?
  • Did I make any residential energy-efficient improvements or purchases involving solar, wind, geothermal or fuel cell energy sources?
  • Does anyone owe me money that has become uncollectable?
  • Do I have any foreign income or interest paid?
  • Do I have any foreign bank accounts or other financial accounts, such as pensions?
  • Did I make a contribution into or did I receive a distribution from my retirement plan?
  • Did I receive a gift totaling more than $100,000?

The previous questions is just a short list of the many important questions that can be missed if you are not working with a qualified tax preparer.  In order to assist our clients in the gathering of their documents and information, we provide an extensive list of “Items to Bring” to your tax appointment. This form can be found on our Client Center page and we encourage you to print it and use it for the 2018 tax season.

Tax Law and Code in the United States is not simple, in fact, it can be a daunting task to file an accurate tax return.  If you have any questions whether something you have done in 2018 will affect your tax return, we recommend seeking knowledgeable professional assistance.  Feel free to call our office to make an appointment at (425) 242-0636 or email us at e@phd-tax.com.

 

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Contact Us

Doreen Porat Hamaoui
Tax and Business Consultant
d@phd-tax.com

Joleen Burns
Office Manager, Tax Administrator
joleen@phd-tax.com


Phone: 425-242-0636
Fax: 425-896-8475
12006 98th Avenue NE, Ste 105
Kirkland, WA 98034