Why you should have a CPA
Come tax time you may find yourself asking should I hire a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) to prepare my income taxes this year? The simple answer is YES, but let us explain why. Every year taxpayers fail to file their taxes and they make simple mistakes that can cost thousands of dollars. A CPA can help reduce the number of errors and remind you of tax filing deadlines. To sit for the CPA exam, a candidate must possess a certain education level geared towards accounting. In addition to education, there are work experience requirements. To maintain a license, a CPA is required to complete Continuing Professional Education Courses each year. Under the AICPA a CPA has a code of ethics the must be adhered to and followed.
Choosing a Local CPA
Now that you have decided to use a professional let’s take a look at choosing the right CPA. First, you will want to make sure the CPA license holder is, in fact, licensed. Most states provide a means to check the credentials, but each state can be different. For instance, in Missouri, a database is kept for each licensed individual, such as Shawn Williams, CPA. You can also check on the status of the CPA Firm in the State of Missouri. When you begin your search using terms such as Find a CPA or CPA near me you will be given a list of results, but how do you sort through this list? There are some questions you should ask. What is the policy in regards to satisfaction, i.e. if I am not satisfied with your services what are my remedies? You will also want to check that the CPA and/or firm maintains Professional Insurance, this insurance is in addition to general liability. Professional Insurance can be used when the CPA firm makes a mistake. Another important question to ask about is billing procedure for general inquiries. Some companies charge for every phone call or email. The practice of this firm is not to charge for general inquiries and issues lasting less than 15 minutes.
Some other advantages of choosing a CPA for Income Tax Preparation:
- Provide timely tax savings advice.
- Provide family tax planning for issues such as children education, divorce, trust, and estates.
- Act as a liaison between yourself and the Internal Revenue Service or State Government.
- Guidance as it relates to deductible and non deductible retirement contributions.
- Calculate future tax amounts including quarterly estimates and employer withholding.
- Explain general income tax related questions.
- Tax Notice response and Tax Audit support.