Any individual with a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) is eligible to file your income taxes on your behalf. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will be the best candidate to provide the help you need with your income tax preparation. The IRS explains that CPAs, attorneys and enrolled agents are all allowed to legally represent their clients before the IRS. They have a more thorough understanding of tax code than an individual operating solely with a PTIN or an Annual Filing Season Program participant who provides their services on a volunteer basis. Consider the complexity of your tax return and what level of expertise you’ll require. Before entrusting someone with your private financial and personal information, do some research on their qualifications. The IRS has a searchable database where you can verify the background and credentials of your income tax preparation professional. Once you have selected someone, ask about their service fees and confirm their availability. Then provide them with all the documentation they require, including W-2s, 1099s and more. Always ask to review the paperwork before it is submitted, and never sign a blank tax return.
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]
As long as this guide might seem, it still only scratches the surface of some of the most important tax issues for taxpayers. For example, if you're self-employed or own a business, then there are many other issues to consider. That's a topic that would take its own guide to cover, and there are several situations that deserve similar planning considerations.
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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. 
Accounting or accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entities[1][2] such as businesses and corporations. Accounting, which has been called the "language of business",[3] measures the results of an organization's economic activities and conveys this information to a variety of users, including investors, creditors, management, and regulators.[4] Practitioners of accounting are known as accountants. The terms "accounting" and "financial reporting" are often used as synonyms.

Mark is by far the best accountant/ tax prep individual I've ever worked with. Not only is he honest, he is friendly, prompt, responsive, hard working, and very wise! He's been in this business for a long time so he knows exactly what he is doing. This tax year was a bit complicated for me so I did some research to find someone who can help me with situation. Mark went above and beyond! He was able to literally squeeze every penny he can for my tax deduction! In addition, he worked way more than I expected and his price is well below any competitor out there! I've had some tax preparer that charged an arm and a leg when I first had to start doing taxes and with confidence Mark is the most affordable and beyond a stretch the most helpful! He was able to uncover a lot of things I never knew being newly married and also entering the realm of self-employment. If you want your tax in good hands, Mark is definitely the man! I will continue to work with Mark not only as just a tax prep person, but also a personal accountant/ business advice guru for my self-employment ventures! Highly recommended!
Most minor children don't have to file taxes at all, but if they have income from a job or from investments held in their name, then it's possible that they will need to file. If so, they typically aren't allowed to claim the full standard deduction. Instead, they're subject to reduced standard deductions. For them, a standard deduction of at least $1,100 is available. Those who have earned income from a job or other source get a standard deduction of at least their total earned income plus $350 more, until that amount rises above the regular standard deduction shown in the table above. These numbers are the same for 2020 as they were in 2019.

A medical equipment manufacturer receives an order for equipment to be shipped to a hospital. The order is placed on May 1 and the equipment ships June 1. Payment is received on August 1. The medical equipment manufacturer records the revenue on May 1 – the date the sales contract is received (or accrued) – rather than on August 1 when the payment is received.
Even though accounting has existed in various forms and levels of sophistication throughout many human societies, and the double-entry accounting system in use today was developed in medieval Europe, particularly in Venice, and is usually attributed to the Italian mathematician and Franciscan friar Luca Pacioli.[9] Today, accounting is facilitated by accounting organizations such as standard-setters, accounting firms and professional bodies. Financial statements are usually audited by accounting firms,[10] and are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).[7] GAAP is set by various standard-setting organizations such as the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in the United States[1] and the Financial Reporting Council in the United Kingdom. As of 2012, "all major economies" have plans to converge towards or adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).[11]
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]

One key tax planning strategy is to keep track of your itemized expenses throughout the year using a spreadsheet or personal finance program. You can then quickly compare your itemized expenses with your standard deduction. You should always take the higher of your standard deduction or your itemized deduction to avoid paying taxes on more income than you have to.


Saving via a retirement plan is a popular way to efficiently reduce taxes. Contributing money to a traditional IRA can minimize gross income up to $6,500. As of 2018, if meeting all qualifications, a filer under age 50 receives a reduction of $6,000 and a reduction of $7,000 if age 50 or older. For example, if a 52-year-old male with an annual income of $50,000 who made a $6,500 contribution to a traditional IRA has an adjusted gross income of $43,500, the $6,500 contribution would grow tax-deferred until retirement.
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]

When most people think of tax preparation, what comes to mind is filing a 1040 before the middle of April. However, there is much more to it than that. There is no reason every individual should not have their own tax strategy customized to fit their specific needs. A reduction in taxes can benefit individuals with retirement income, gifts received, estates and more. Franklin P. Sparkman specializes in maximizing tax deductions for individuals and their families.

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.
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.
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.
Financial accounting focuses on the reporting of an organization's financial information to external users of the information, such as investors, potential investors and creditors. It calculates and records business transactions and prepares financial statements for the external users in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).[7] GAAP, in turn, arises from the wide agreement between accounting theory and practice, and change over time to meet the needs of decision-makers.[1]
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