Do You Need a Tax Preparer or a Tax Consultant?
As tax season draws near, mostly everyone (I hope) is getting ready and setting appointments to get their tax returns prepared and filed. Good for you. With the speed and convenience of retail franchises like HR Block and Liberty Tax or already online free software, most people don’t have to worry too much about where or how they will get their tax returns done before the filing deadline. But then, there are those that dread tax filing season because:
- They have more than one source of making money like having a two income household;
- They function a business;
- They make a lot of money;
- They have more than one kind of income like wages from a job, income from a side business, retirement income, or already income from investments;
- They own either personal or business assets that they might have sold or gave away during the year
So… what do these people do? Better however, what’s better: a tax preparer or tax consultant? Let’s discuss…
A Trusted Advisor
Though most preparers are trustworthy, they’re chiefly obtainable during tax season (January to April). For those that are working at retail tax franchises, they are working part-time hours and have limited accessibility beyond the time they are preparing taxes. Tax consultants are usually obtainable all year because tax preparation and consulting is their complete-time business. Another advantage of being obtainable for the complete year is for you to consult with tax consultants on transactions that could cause you to pay too much or not enough in taxes.
thorough Knowledge of the Tax Code
It’s typically the norm for consultants to have a thorough and thorough knowledge of the tax code. Most of them either have specialized credentials such as Enrolled Agents (EA), Certified Public Accountants (CPA), or certifications obtained by accredited programs such as the National Tax Training School and other vocational institutions. Also, they have usually acquired many years of experience either working with clients or by past jobs related to tax prep or consulting. Why is this important? It’s not to sound like a tax nerd and talk in lingo that’s too hard for anyone to understand. Absolutely not. Unlike preparers (not all, but most), consultants rely on their knowledge of the code to offer strategic options for reducing your tax bill that’s legal and fair. Also, this saves you time because they are often able to locate the reference needed in the code to take a certain deduction or exclusion without much effort or research.
If you’re looking for speed, convenience, and the lowest pricing possible, then definitely go with a preparer at one of the retail franchises or maybe already complete your return online yourself. However, if you’re looking for a trusted advisor with a thorough understanding of the code that’s obtainable all year, then choose a tax consultant. You won’t regret it.