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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.

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.
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.
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. 

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.
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.
2020 could be a momentous year for many reasons. But if you're trying to do tax planning for 2020, it doesn't look like this year is going to bring much in the way of massive changes to tax laws. No matter what happens in the 2020 elections, any changes in the White House or control of Congress won't take effect until 2021, and so this year is likely to continue the gridlock that has kept current tax laws largely unchanged since 2018's tax reform efforts.
Interest on mortgages taken out after Dec. 15, 2017 of up to $750,000, or $375,000 if you're married filing jointly, or $375,000 if you're married and filing separately, provided that the funds are used to "purchase, construct, or make substantial improvements" to your primary or secondary residence. The maximum amount for mortgages originated on or before December 15, 2017 is $1,000,000, or $500,000 for married filing separately.
Try for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. $0 federal (for simple tax returns) + $0 state + $0 to file offer only available with TurboTax Free Edition; offer may change or end at any time without notice. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or e-file and are subject to change without notice. Savings and price comparisons based on anticipated price increase. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases.
Consider the financial effect of his choosing to trade as a sole trader or, alternatively, through a company, paying him a salary of £12,500 and then the largest possible dividend, not giving rise to a loss of capital. Assume that accounting profits equal taxable trade profits and that alan will be the sole employee and a director of the company. Use 2017/18 tax rates.

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
The mortgage interest deduction allows homeowners to deduct interest on up to $750,000 of mortgage debt, with higher grandfathered deductions on up to $1 million in debt applying to those who had such mortgages outstanding before the beginning of 2018. Certain home equity loans used to purchase, build, or improve your home also qualify for the interest deduction.
Try for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. $0 federal (for simple tax returns) + $0 state + $0 to file offer only available with TurboTax Free Edition; offer may change or end at any time without notice. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or e-file and are subject to change without notice. Savings and price comparisons based on anticipated price increase. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases.
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.
The first published work on a double-entry bookkeeping system was the Summa de arithmetica, published in Italy in 1494 by Luca Pacioli (the "Father of Accounting").[21][22] Accounting began to transition into an organized profession in the nineteenth century,[23][24] with local professional bodies in England merging to form the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 1880.[25]
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