There are tax credits for college expenses, for saving for retirement, for adopting children, and for childcare expenses, you might pay so you can go to work. The Child Tax Credit is worth up to $2,000 for each of your children under age 17 subject to income restrictions, and the Earned Income Credit (EITC) can put some money back into the pockets of lower-income taxpayers. 

Tax Advice, Expert Review and TurboTax Live: Access to tax advice and Expert Review (the ability to have a Tax Expert review and/or sign your tax return) is included with TurboTax Live or as an upgrade from another version, and available through December 31, 2020. These services are provided only by credentialed CPAs, Enrolled Agents (EAs), or tax attorneys. Some tax topics or situations may not be included as part of this service, which shall be determined in the tax expert’s sole discretion. For TurboTax Live, if your return requires a significant level of tax advice or actual preparation, the tax expert may be required to sign as the preparer at which point they will assume primary responsibility for the preparation of your return. Intuit may offer a Full Service product to some customers. For the Full Service product, the tax expert will sign your return as preparer. Payment by federal refund is not available when a tax expert signs your return. On-screen help is available on a desktop, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Unlimited access to TurboTax Live CPAs and EAs refers to an unlimited quantity of contacts available to each customer, but does not refer to hours of operation or service coverage. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.

The word "accountant" is derived from the French word compter, which is also derived from the Italian and Latin word computare. The word was formerly written in English as "accomptant", but in process of time the word, which was always pronounced by dropping the "p", became gradually changed both in pronunciation and in orthography to its present form.[28]


Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world. Follow @DanCaplinger Follow @DanCaplinger
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 accounting in the United States concentrates on the preparation, analysis and presentation of tax payments and tax returns. The U.S. tax system requires the use of specialised accounting principles for tax purposes which can differ from the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for financial reporting.[42] U.S. tax law covers four basic forms of business ownership: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company. Corporate and personal income are taxed at different rates, both varying according to income levels and including varying marginal rates (taxed on each additional dollar of income) and average rates (set as a percentage of overall income).[42]
Some employers offer different alternatives for workers. For instance, the SIMPLE IRA is easier to administer than a 401(k), making it a popular choice among small businesses. Yet employees can still set aside substantial amounts in a SIMPLE IRA -- up to $13,500 if you're younger than 50 or $16,500 if your 50 or older in 2020. Those numbers are up $500 from last year.
Both the words accounting and accountancy were in use in Great Britain by the mid-1800s, and are derived from the words accompting and accountantship used in the 18th century.[26] In Middle English (used roughly between the 12th and the late 15th century) the verb "to account" had the form accounten, which was derived from the Old French word aconter,[27] which is in turn related to the Vulgar Latin word computare, meaning "to reckon". The base of computare is putare, which "variously meant to prune, to purify, to correct an account, hence, to count or calculate, as well as to think".[27]
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.

According to the University of Ohio, there are four types of accounting. Within each of these four major categories there are multiple specialities. For example, corporate accounting may be divided into for-profit and nonprofit accounting. Public accountants may provide auditing services or specialize in tax accounting. Government accounting may refer to employees of the IRS (who examine tax returns) or to local accounting departments who manage town, county, or state budgets. 


529 plans let you set aside money toward educational costs in accounts that generate tax-free income. As long as you use the money for qualifying expenses, then you'll never pay tax on the money. With generous contribution limits that in most states are well into six figures, these accounts offer a substantial amount of flexibility with no income-based restrictions on their use.

A doctorate is required in order to pursue a career in accounting academia, for example to work as a university professor in accounting.[57][58] The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) are the most popular degrees. The PhD is the most common degree for those wishing to pursue a career in academia, while DBA programs generally focus on equipping business executives for business or public careers requiring research skills and qualifications.[57]

The history of accounting has been around almost as long as money itself. Accounting history dates back to ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Babylon. For example, during the Roman Empire the government had detailed records of their finances. However, modern accounting as a profession has only been around since the early 19th century.

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