Hiring a certified public accountant (CPA) could be a better option instead of doing your taxes by yourself, but it depends on your tax situation and preferences. Having a CPA do your taxes is usually recommended if you have a business or any type of side job, or if you’ve been contacted by the IRS for a tax-related matter. Others who can benefit are those who own rental properties or have many assets. You can also hire a CPA if you need help understanding what deductions or credit you might qualify for.
Tax gain-loss harvesting is another form of tax planning or management relating to investments. It is helpful because it can use a portfolio's losses to offset overall capital gains. According to the IRS, short and long-term capital losses must first be used to offset capital gains of the same type. In other words, long-term losses offset long-term gains before offsetting short-term gains. As of 2018, short-term capital gains, or earnings from assets owned for less than one year, are taxed at ordinary income rates. 
For example, if an investor in a 25% tax bracket had $10,000 in long-term capital gains, there would be a tax liability of $1,500. If the same investor sold underperforming investments carrying $10,000 in long-term capital losses, the losses would offset the gains, resulting in a tax liability of 0. If the same losing investment were brought back, then a minimum of 30 days would have to pass to avoid incurring a wash sale. 
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.
Hiring a certified public accountant (CPA) could be a better option instead of doing your taxes by yourself, but it depends on your tax situation and preferences. Having a CPA do your taxes is usually recommended if you have a business or any type of side job, or if you’ve been contacted by the IRS for a tax-related matter. Others who can benefit are those who own rental properties or have many assets. You can also hire a CPA if you need help understanding what deductions or credit you might qualify for.

Meanwhile, the Lifetime Learning tax credit offers additional educational tax breaks even beyond traditional college. A 20% credit on up to $10,000 in eligible expenses every year is available to taxpayers making less than $59,000 if they're single or $118,000 if they're filing jointly, with reduced credits available up to $69,000 in income for singles and $138,000 for joint filers. This credit is available for graduate school, vocational training, and certain other nontraditional educational expenses.


Keeping tax returns and the documents you used to complete them is critical if you’re ever audited. Typically, the IRS has three years to decide whether to audit your return, so keep your records for at least that long. You also should hang onto tax records for three years if you file a claim for a credit or refund after you filed your original return.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) upended tax rules to a significant extent when it went into effect in 2018. The Internal Revenue Code used to provide for personal exemptions that could further decrease your taxable income, but the TCJA eliminated these exemptions from the tax code. The rules for deductions, adjustments to income, and tax credits cited here are applicable beginning in the tax year 2018 and going forward. They do not necessarily apply to tax years 2017 and earlier.
Accounting firms grew in the United States and Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and through several mergers there were large international accounting firms by the mid-twentieth century. Further large mergers in the late twentieth century led to the dominance of the auditing market by the "Big Five" accounting firms: Arthur Andersen, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.[48] The demise of Arthur Andersen following the Enron scandal reduced the Big Five to the Big Four.[49]
The earned income tax credit gives sizable reductions in taxes to workers with low- or mid-level incomes. The credit amount varies by family size and income, with maximums of $6,660 for those with three or more children, $5,920 for those with two children, $3,584 for those with one child, or $538 for those with no children. The income limits below indicate which taxpayers are eligible for at least some of the earned income credit, but bear in mind that the top credit amount phases out gradually over a large portion of the income range.
Recent Examples on the Web That includes more than 360 different ESG accounting standards. — The Economist, "In the soup The proliferation of sustainability accounting standards comes with costs," 3 Oct. 2020 The tax returns pointed to a curious, and potentially criminal, bit of accounting sleight of hand that roped in what matters most to Trump: Ivanka. — Casey Michel, The New Republic, "Ivanka Trump’s Starring Role in Her Father’s Financial Troubles," 30 Sep. 2020 Bloomberg reported earlier this month that the watchdog was considering an accounting probe. — Stephan Kahl, Bloomberg.com, "German Regulator to Probe Grenke Accounting as Scrutiny Widens," 30 Sep. 2020 If the New York Times’ accounting is correct, Trump has paid little (or nothing) in income taxes for a long time. — Jonah Goldberg Tribune News Service (tns), Star Tribune, "Trump isn't unpatriotic because of tax avoidance — just a lousy businessman," 30 Sep. 2020 If Trump's tax situation was triggered by huge business losses, accounting experts agree that the tax system rightly enables a business to deduct appropriate losses. — Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Donald Trump's tax returns have many wondering what they're doing wrong," 29 Sep. 2020 But only one area of that farmhouse had remained untouched - a crawl space inside the president’s office where accounting records are kept, said employee Vanessa Close. — Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "2020's fire damage to Napa wineries already far exceeds 2017, and it may not be done," 29 Sep. 2020 Her most recent project has been updating the city’s accounting system over the last year. — Alyssa Alfano, cleveland, "Medina’s Spring Grove Cemetery seeks to become arboretum," 29 Sep. 2020 The World Economic Forum, working with the Big Four accounting firms, recently published a new report that seeks to standardize stakeholder capitalism reporting on environment, social, and governance goals. — Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "Are you ready for a stakeholder driven world?," 28 Sep. 2020
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