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.

For the salaried class of taxpayers, the responsibility of correct deduction of tax at source is thrown on employers. While in the case of a business or profession, they are responsible for declaring correct income. So, an employee may hide his other income and not declare to his employer in order to avoid taxes, and business owners also claim excess expense claims and deductions to reduce their tax burden. So in these cases, it takes backstage, and tax evasion/avoidance takes center stage.
Tax credits are credited to your IRS as payments, just as though you had written the IRS a check for money owed. Most of them can only reduce your tax debt, but the EITC can result in the IRS issuing a tax refund for any balance left over after your tax obligation has been reduced to zero. Again, income restrictions apply. You won't qualify for this tax credit if you earn too much.
Professional accounting bodies include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the other 179 members of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC),[44] including Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), CPA Australia, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Professional bodies for subfields of the accounting professions also exist, for example the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) in the UK and Institute of management accountants in the United States.[45] Many of these professional bodies offer education and training including qualification and administration for various accounting designations, such as certified public accountant (AICPA) and chartered accountant.[46][47]
Professional accounting bodies include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the other 179 members of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC),[44] including Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), CPA Australia, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Professional bodies for subfields of the accounting professions also exist, for example the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) in the UK and Institute of management accountants in the United States.[45] Many of these professional bodies offer education and training including qualification and administration for various accounting designations, such as certified public accountant (AICPA) and chartered accountant.[46][47]
A single taxpayer who has $13,000 in itemized deductions would do better to itemize than to claim the standard deduction. That's an additional $800 off his taxable income, the difference between $13,000 and $12,200. But a taxpayer who has only $9,000 in itemized deductions would end up paying taxes on $3,200 more in income if she itemizes rather than claims the standard deduction for her single filing status.
TurboTax Help and Support: Access to a TurboTax specialist is included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed and TurboTax Live; not included with Free Edition (but is available as an upgrade). TurboTax specialists are available to provide general customer help and support using the TurboTax product. SmartLook on-screen help is available on a PC, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.
No matter how complicated or simple your personal situation is, it's never too early to think about tax planning for the coming year. By getting an early start on the 2020 tax year and using and referring to this guide to 2020 taxes throughout the year, you'll be in much better shape to take advantage of all the favorable provisions that can result in a lower tax bill this year and beyond.
Professional accounting qualifications include the Chartered Accountant designations and other qualifications including certificates and diplomas.[59] In Scotland, chartered accountants of ICAS undergo Continuous Professional Development and abide by the ICAS code of ethics.[60] In England and Wales, chartered accountants of the ICAEW undergo annual training, and are bound by the ICAEW's code of ethics and subject to its disciplinary procedures.[61]

A tax preparer can take the form of several different job titles, but they must have an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) to be authorized to prepare federal tax returns, according to the IRS. Some titles may include enrolled agents, who are licensed by the IRS, as well as certified public accountants (CPAs). Some tax attorneys may offer tax preparation and planning services, though not all are qualified to do this.
If you use accounting software, it likely performs many of these steps automatically. Once income and expense items are identified and entered into the software, the system updates the accounts and general ledger. Users can run reports directly from the system. A quarterly or annual audit of the entire general ledger can reveal any accounts of out balance that must be corrected through adjusted entries.

There are several reasons it could be worth it to have an experienced professional do your taxes instead of self-filing. For example, it can help reduce the chance of you making a mistake that could land you in trouble with the IRS. And, it could save you time for other important tasks. If you have a side job, rental property or many assets, having someone do your taxes can pay off in the short- and long-run.
Periodic Planning – Tax planning can either be of short or longer period of time, if done for less than 12 months, is known as shorter period planning, whereas planning done for more than 12 months is known as longer period planning. For example, there are short term and long-term capital gains taxes depending upon the holding period of assets/investments.

In most cases, accountants use generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) when preparing financial statements in the U.S. GAAP is a set of standards and principles designed to improve the comparability and consistency of financial reporting across industries. Its standards are based on double-entry accounting, a method in which every accounting transaction is entered as both a debit and credit in two separate general ledger accounts that will roll up into the balance sheet and income statement.
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