Tax credits are extremely valuable breaks for taxpayers. Credits lead to a greater reduction in tax than deductions because they are directly applied to your tax bill in a dollar-for-dollar manner. For instance, a $1,000 credit would cut your tax bill by $1,000, but a $1,000 deduction would reduce your taxes by less than $1,000 -- more specifically, typically somewhere between $100 and $370 under current tax law. In particular, the following tax credits are among the most common and can produce significant savings. 
Tax planning is the analysis of a financial situation or plan from a tax perspective. The purpose of tax planning is to ensure tax efficiency. Through tax planning, all elements of the financial plan work together in the most tax-efficient manner possible. Tax planning is an essential part of an individual investor's financial plan. Reduction of tax liability and maximizing the ability to contribute to retirement plans are crucial for success.
Your AGI is your income from all sources plus and/or minus any adjustments to income you might qualify for. Adjustments can increase or decrease income, depending on the type of adjustment. They are not the same as deductions, so you don't have to itemize to claim them. Instead, you take them on Schedule 1 of your 1040, and the total of Schedule 1 can reduce—or even increase your adjusted gross income.
Empirical studies document that leading accounting journals publish in total fewer research articles than comparable journals in economics and other business disciplines,[68] and consequently, accounting scholars[69] are relatively less successful in academic publishing than their business school peers.[70] Due to different publication rates between accounting and other business disciplines, a recent study based on academic author rankings concludes that the competitive value of a single publication in a top-ranked journal is highest in accounting and lowest in marketing.[71]
At least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field is required for most accountant and auditor job positions, and some employers prefer applicants with a master's degree.[54] A degree in accounting may also be required for, or may be used to fulfill the requirements for, membership to professional accounting bodies. For example, the education during an accounting degree can be used to fulfill the American Institute of CPA's (AICPA) 150 semester hour requirement,[55] and associate membership with the Certified Public Accountants Association of the UK is available after gaining a degree in finance or accounting.[56]
Financial accounting refers to the processes used to generate interim and annual financial statements. The results of all financial transactions that occur during an accounting period are summarized into the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement. The financial statements of most companies are audited annually by an external CPA firm. For some, such as publicly traded companies, audits are a legal requirement. However, lenders also typically require the results of an external audit annually as part of their debt covenants. Therefore, most companies will have annual audits for one reason or another.
×