by Walter Wotman, CPA
At the end of the year, it's time to watch the dust settle on all of your financial transactions. From making the money, to spending the money, to investing the money, taxes are sprinkled on almost every financial move we make. It's very rare to pay exactly how much you owe over the year. Filing a tax return summarizes for the IRS what you've done financially in a given year, in order to be sure that you have paid what you owe in taxes for your financial decisions and/or to be sure that you didn't pay too much. It's essentially a way to "settle up" with the IRS on a yearly basis.
Pulling together all of your financial information for the year and the documents to support what you are declaring is called tax preparation. Tax preparation is usually done by a trusted tax professional. Finding the right tax professional to make sure your tax preparation is done correctly the first time is crucial in avoiding costly financial hiccups down the line.
How do you do that, exactly?
There are many types of tax professionals to choose from. From a licensed Tax Preparer to a Certified Public Accountant to a Tax Attorney to more, it can be hard to determine which tax professional is right for your tax preparation needs.
Here is a short list of tax professions and their general strengths. Use this list to determine which type of tax preparer is right for you.
The law only allows an individual to do your tax preparation if they are licensed to do so (however, you do not need a license to do your own taxes.) Hiring a licensed tax preparer allows you the comfort of knowing that a formally trained tax professional is putting together your tax return. A tax preparer is limited to tax preparation in their prescribed duties as a tax professional, and tend to be reasonably priced.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
A Certified Public Accountant is an accountant that answers to the Board of Accountancy. They are usually well versed in tax preparation and resolution, financial planning, and of course different types of accounting and bookkeeping, Certified Public Accountants usually have a well rounded cornucopia of knowledge on all things money and will help you to manage your finances with your tax return preparation at the end of the year in mind. Certified Public Accountants tend to be reasonably priced and are also a good source for questions throughout the year.
Many people feel a certain amount of security when hiring an attorney to work for them. The truth is, most attorneys pass their tax work on to a contracted tax preparer. With their expensive hourly rates and their oftentimes lack of experience in tax work, a tax attorney should be your last resort. If the IRS is accusing you of breaking the law (i.e. tax fraud or evasion), a tax attorney is an appropriate choice as you will need someone knowledgeable in tax law to represent you in front of the judge against the IRS. Leave the tax preparation to the tax professionals experienced in tax work and at a fraction of the cost.
As you may have realized by now, your best bet is usually going to be a CPA. The level of knowledge, experience, and customer service you receive for your hard-earned dollar is the best value.
Tax Champions have CPAs on hand with over 30 years of experience dealing with the IRS. We invite you to contact us today for your free initial consultation. We can help you with your tax preparation, tax resolution (including amended tax returns), tax resolution, business set up, and any other financial guidance you may need. We look forward to hearing from you.
Tax Champions Free Consultation
Call us or complete our contact form and schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your installment plan options. We can help you settle your back taxes, remove IRS Liens and levies, wage garnishments, and finally get rid of your IRS stress. Our free consultation is your first step to tax relief and resolution of your IRS problems.
Our clients come to us from all over the United States owing the IRS as little as $10,000 to well over $1 million. In most cases, we are able to completely resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the IRS and our client. In some instances we will advise potential clients how to do the work themselves when appropriate. What we require from our clients is the desire to resolve their problems with the IRS and with their installment plan in place, go on to be in full compliance. Hear it for yourself in the testimonials of our clients.
"We worked with Tax Champions to save one of our clients in excess of a million dollars on a negotiated IRS tax settlement... Our client is completely thrilled with the results that they got. I would highly recommend them."
- Kevin Bond - Watch the video