If you asked many business owners how they feel about their accounting strategies, we are sure you will get a variety of responses. Some business owners may feel comfortable about embracing the financial aspect of their business because they can use it as a learning tool.
On the other hand, many other business owners will shake their head in frustration. Many business owners are seriously afraid to take a peek at their business finances. Regardless of how you feel about the finances of your business, your business cannot live without the finances. Your business cannot only live, but it cannot thrive either. Every business needs a great accounting foundation, and it is important that you create a solid system that you can depend on, especially when you need it the most.
You Need A Solid Foundation
Your business's accounting and bookkeeping records need to be in great shape in order for you to stand tall and thrive in your industry. If you use the wrong accounting solution to manage your finances, this can result in a creation of huge boundaries and barriers that will take a significant amount of money and time to overcome. On the other hand, the worst thing that can happen is that your business will be crippled with various inconsistencies and a long list of compliance problems.
Is It Time For Re-Evaluation?
Many businesses make the decision to re-evaluate everything once they discover that the accounting aspects of the business take too long to complete. Unfortunately, before business owners can actually realize that a re-evaluation needs to take place, there can be a variety of other problems that are getting in the way of keeping their financial accounts on the right track.
If your business notices any of the following warning signs, it may be time for you to re-think your business's accounting strategy.
Warning Sign #1: Inaccurate Reports
Your accounting strategy cannot grow and improve if you do not give it the attention it needs. If you are not constantly checking on your accounting strategy, you will not be able to determine if you are accounting reports are adequate or inadequate. Your financial reports should be reports that you are able to turn to when you need to reassure yourself of your accounting strategy. No business owner wants to make major decisions based on reports that are not accurate.
Warning Sign #2: You Have Trouble Accessing Your Data
When you are a business owner, you will generally have a clear notion of what is happening within the walls of your business. When you have the right accounting process in place, it should be very easy for you to interpret all the financial data that your business has. Your accounting system should give you a clear idea of whether or not your business is headed uphill or downhill.
Warning Sign #3: You Have Trouble During Tax Season
For many of us, tax season brings a variety of confusion. We understand that many business owners feel as if they are left in the dark when it comes to their tax strategy and their tax plans. While a business owner may not know everything that is going on behind the scenes, a business owner should have confidence in the accounting strategy they have created. If a business owner has an uneasy feeling about compliance issues, there should be no hesitation to contact an expert for assistance.
We want you to do your due diligence when it comes to organizing your finances. Are you ready for more information about how you can protect your business by having a solid business accounting strategy?
One of the best perks about working for someone else is the retirement benefits: many established companies offer pensions, match you on 401(k) contributions, or have high-deductible health care plans that give you the opportunity to invest in HSAs. You don't automatically get those perks when you're self-employed, but what you can do is build them for yourself.
How can you plan for retirement when you're self-employed?
No matter what the state of your employment, you can always invest in your IRAs. Traditional IRAs are pre-tax and can help keep your taxable income in just the right range for any other tax strategies you're using. Roth IRAs are post-tax, which means you pay taxes on that income the year in which you made it, but you can tap into your contributions if you absolutely have to.
You can also create a solo 401(k). This retirement account functions just like the 401(k) you might have had at your previous job, but you get a lot more freedom. You can choose the investment company, pick from a wider range of index funds, and even contribute more: if you're both the 'employer' and 'employee' of a business you run by yourself, you can contribute up to fifty-three thousand pre-tax dollars or no more than 20% of the earned income plus an additional eighteen thousand dollars. This plan also allows for Roth rollovers for additional tax flexibility.
What does this have to do with taxes?
Business taxes are high, especially if your business falls square in the 'small business' category. That makes your actual income smaller. Running a business on your own is already risky because you don't have access to group healthcare plans or a corporation paying half of the qualifying taxes. Putting some of your income away into retirement accounts now lowers your current tax bill and your future one.
But if you're taking the plunge into running your own business and putting the profit away in independent retirement accounts, the most important step you can take for running the back-end of your business is to document everything. Even if you're your only employee, make sure you have a spreadsheet, a dedicated card, and clear financial records for every travel expense, office purchase, and penny you make.
Why is documenting everything so important?
If you're self-employed, you have access to a large number of deductions that can help make those first rocky years of business easier to manage. However, the IRS digs a bit more deeply into many self-employed deduction claims and the tax benefits of retirement accounts, so you need to have a record full of every scrap of proof in case you're flagged for an audit.
Documentation also helps your tax professionals find deductions you might not have known about. While you might have read up on a home office deduction and travel deductions, a tax advisor can help point out the small details that add up over time. They can also help you select the backup documentation that makes your tax return clean, ironclad, and easy to defend.
If this is your third year of business, a few years of thorough documentation can even make your previous tax years better. The IRS allows for tax amendments that let you correct or adds claims for credits and deductions, so if you learn something new about your taxes that you could have used a year ago, it's not too late.
Just like with all investments, self-funded retirement accounts have complicated regulations and tricky rules to navigate. Contact MSM Accounting and Tax Services, LLC about the best way to lay out your self-employment retirement infrastructure.
Every year, tens of thousands of Americans receive a troubling phone call, ostensibly from the Internal Revenue Service. Typically, the caller (often with a foreign accent), says the call recipient owes money to the IRS, which has issued a warrant for their arrest. The caller demands payment to satisfy the supposed debt and make the warrant go away.
Fortunately, most people are sufficiently skeptical to ignore these calls, or to report them to the authorities. Many, however, are so frightened by these calls they comply, turning over their hard-earned money to IRS scammers. According to the IRS, for example, in 2014, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) received more than 90,000 complaints from targets of this scam. They also identified about 1,100 victims who had lost in total more than $5 million.
How Do Scammers Get Away with It?
This scam, and the many others foisted on taxpayers and tax preparers every year, might seem to be foolish on the part of the scammers. After all, most people are too smart to be tricked into turning over their money without checking to see that the caller is in fact a representative of the IRS.
For scammers, however, it's a volume business—if even a tiny fraction of people fall for their scam, they can make huge amounts of money. And they can do so with relative impunity: it's extremely difficult to track down perpetrators or these scams and bring them to justice.
What Are the Most Common IRS Scams?
Scammers are creative—and persistent. They're continually coming up with new ways to separate gullible people from their money. Some scams, however, are more profitable than others, including the following 3:
1. Pay Or Be Arrested
This is the scam detailed above. The caller, typically with a foreign accent and a fake name (beware of a caller with a thick Indian accent who says his name is "John Smith"), and often giving a fake IRS badge ID number, says you own the IRS money. They often say you'll be arrested if you don't pay, or tell recent immigrants (a favorite target) they'll be deported. They usually ask for money in the form of a gift card or wire transfer. It's not unusual for these scammers to become both hostile and insulting if you ask questions.
There are easy ways to know that these calls are a scam. For one thing, the IRS never calls taxpayers about outstanding debts—they always send such notifications by mail. For another, the IRS does not threaten to have people arrested, won't ask for immediate payment through spurious means, such as prepaid debit or gift cards, and will never ask for someone's credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
2. We Need Information about Your Clients
Scammers don't only target individual taxpayers. Increasingly, they're focusing their efforts or tax professionals. Their goal is to trick tax preparers into turning over their clients' personal financial data, so they can file fraudulent state and federal income tax returns and receive the refunds.
Often, the scammer uses the ruse of "informing" tax professionals about scams, including the so-called e-Services Scam, in which scammers send a phishing email urging tax preparers to sign a new e-Services agreement. The goal is to steal passwords and other sensitive data. Other tax professional scams include those which attempt to steal PTINs, EFINs and e-Service passwords, those which mimic software providers, and those which seek to "unlock" tax software accounts.
To protect themselves and their clients, tax professionals need to stay abreast of the latest scamming initiatives. A good start is to read Publication 4557, "Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, A Guide for Your Business."
3. They've Gone Phishing
An increasingly pervasive IRS scam in one in which scammers send bogus emails, typically using both the IRS name and logo, in an effort to obtain personal and financial information. The scammers then use this information to commit identity theft. In some cases, the scammer will claim to be a representative of popular tax software companies, or even the victim's personal tax preparer.
In some cases, scammers directly ask for financial information. In others, they send emails (or text messages) infected with malware, which can infect your computer to steal that information. The bottom line: just as the IRS doesn't communicate important notifications by phone, they don't initiate contact via emails. If you receive an email ostensibly from the IRS, don't respond, and report it immediately to the IRS.
This is just a small sampling of the many scams of which you need to be aware to avoid being victimized. You work hard for your money, and that means you need to remain vigilant in protection of it, and of your rights.
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to partner with an experienced, competent CPA firm. To learn more about the ways our personal and business tax preparation, accounting and bookkeeping services can help you meet all your tax needs, contact us today.
Congress has passed tax reform that will take effect in 2018, ushering in some of the most significant tax changes in three decades. There are a lot of changes in the new bill, which was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017.
You can use this as a high-level overview of some of the most significant items in the new bill. Because major tax reform like this happens so seldom, it may be worthwhile for you to schedule a tax-planning consultation early in the year to ensure you reap the most tax savings possible during 2018.
Key changes for individuals:
Here are some of the key items in the tax reform bill that affect individuals:
One of the changes in the tax bill is the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”) individual mandate penalty. The penalty is set to zero starting in 2019 but remains in place for 2018 and prior years.
Key changes for small businesses:
Here are some of these key items in the tax reform bill that affect businesses:
This brief summary of the tax reform bill is provided for your information. Any major financial decisions or tax-planning activities in light of this new legislation should be considered with the advice of a tax professional. Call if you have questions regarding your particular situation. Feel free to share this memo with those you think may benefit from it.
As a small business owner, every team member matters a great deal and your controller is an undeniably vital member of your team. Their job of handling the business' finances is no small one and in any growing business looking to improve year by year, maintaining a financial status quo simply isn't sufficient. Part of the natural business experience is constantly facing opportunities to grow profitably and cut unprofitable practices in order to become more efficient as a company. While there are many ways to make these decisions, your controller should have some great advice ready for what is and is not valuable to your company and how to go about cutting what seems to be unnecessary. As a small business owner, ideally you will be working closely with your controller on almost all major business decisions and a reasonable number of smaller choices as well in order to make every dollar go as far as possible.
Who is My Controller?
Your controller is your business' financial manager. This could be you, your bookkeeper, or a hired professional firm that manages your company finances. Under their umbrella the books are kept, financial decisions are made, taxes are prepared, accounts are processed, then everything is documented and secured. These are all very important tasks, but that's just the dry bits. In an active business, financial management is anything but routine. Your Controller is also responsible for tracking the rise and fall of your profits and costs, item by item. They (and their department if they have one) need to know which items sell like hot cakes and which ones have seen a selling slow down, then find out why. The controller's written and personal reports to you, the owner, should include not only a confirmation of business as usual but also interesting notes on the last month's sales and advice on how to optimize gross profit next month. While the mathematical skills and precision of your controller are quite important, it's their insight thta will make the real difference.
Very Useful Financial Data
Almost every decision you make for your business is also a financial one. From breakroom furnishings to color selection of your products. You need to know which of these many decisions benefit or detract from your growth and profit, and your Controller is the person to ask. Here are a few things to check up on.
Not Getting the Full Report?
That's okay, your controller probably isn't holding back on purpose. Make sure they know that you're taking a deeper interest in the minutia of your business finances and you want the detailed report. Make sure to schedule regular meetings with your controller to discuss better financial decisions the business can make and places for improvement. Invite them to propose suggestions when they see an area that could benefit from different financial decisions and encourage them to help the company grow by applying their unique expertise.
The controller is an important member of any small business team. In order to get the best benefit from your controller, make sure they know that their insights and opinions are valued and vital to the growth of your company. Driven Insights offers professional controller services and in fact can be your entire finances department. If you don't yet have a great controller involved in your small business, contact us! We're ready to help you grow with expertly managed finances and highly detailed reports.
You may not realize it, but the R&D tax credit can deliver some breathing room in terms of tax savings. However, thousands of small businesses don't even realize how it's available to all businesses including the small ones. If you have R&D costs, you could deduct them. It has remained as part of the tax code since the 1980s, and while most considered it a "temporary" credit, it was extended 16 different times before being made into a permanent law called the PATH Act of 2015.
Why Businesses Don't Take Advantage of It
Perhaps it's the on-again and off-again uncertainty of the availability that makes this tax credit less commonly used. It has been designed to help, and whatever the cause, many people have failed to claim this credit available to small businesses. In fact, some of the members of Congress have introduced legislation aimed at educating small businesses on this subject.
Reason #1: Small Businesses Don't Know It Exists
To put it simply, a lot of businesses don't even realize this tax credit exists. Especially when you're first getting started, it can be difficult to know what to take as a deduction and what not to take. Many businesses may not have even educated themselves on taxes as much as they should have, so they miss out on this credit.
Reason #2: Available Only to Specific Industries
Many business owners fail to take advantage of it because it typically gets associated with pharmaceutical, manufacturing and technology companies. That might have been true at one time because of past regulations on the R&D tax credit. In the past, a company had to develop a process or product unique to the world to get this credit, but because regulations have been relaxed, a company might qualify for this credit if they developed any one of the following:
The business component must be grounded in the sciences for eligibility, but you can now take advantage of this credit regardless of your industry. Any company that designs newer, lighter, cheaper, stronger and a more reliable product will have eligibility for this credit because they're performing R&D activities. If you believe your business qualifies for this tax credit, you should pursue both the federal R&D tax credit and the state credit. When you receive this tax savings, it improves your cash flow and hones your competitive edge to a new level.
Reason #3: They Forget Prior Years
Sometimes even when a business takes advantage of the R&D credit, they fail to claim the past years. For example, you can go back three years to make a claim on these credits through what is called the Alternative Simplified Credit calculation. The IRS recently amended the rules of the ASC to let filers claim from their past tax returns. In the past, the IRS didn't let companies claim their credits from the years past, which explains why some people have forgotten to do this. They may not even realize they can because of the changing tax laws.
For whatever reason someone doesn't claim the R&D tax credit, they could be missing out on excellent savings. The R&D tax credit remains the largest credit available to businesses, and it provides companies with an estimated $10 billion in savings, according to Warren Everett. It's a business credit that has been designed to reward ingenuity, and those who have brought us to the frontiers of knowledge and technological advancement could qualify for one of these credits. The new amendments also meant that businesses from a full spectrum of fields can take advantage of it, which is why you want to check now more than ever.
Many people start their own business out of their home. For some, operating out the home is only temporary and they move on to an office building in time. However, many businesses continue to use the home as its main base. The contractor, freelancer, pet groomer, or hair stylist may decide that dedicating a portion of their home for the business is more cost-effective for them than leasing office space. For those who do decide to continue using their home for business purposes, income tax time can be a bit confusing. You may wonder just what your tax liability should look like and what is legally deductible. That's why securing accounting and tax services is an important step for your home-based business. Here are 3 ways an accounting and tax representative will benefit you.
Saves you money:
Unless you're a tax expert, you probably don't know all the ins and outs of taxes. Tax deductions for businesses out of the home are different from those who operate out of a building. When leasing a building, the tax deduction is more straightforward because you have the lease payment, utilities, insurance, and so on. However, with a home-based office, it's quite different. You can deduct the space you work out of even if it is your home, but there are rules and laws concerning it. You have to be careful not to deduct more than you're allowed but be sure you get the full deduction. Some people err on the side of not taking it all because they don't think they can, while others err on the side of taking too much of a deduction and raising a red flag to the IRS. Either way is not helpful for your business. An accounting and tax service representative will know the laws and rules of the home-based deductions and can save you money.
While many business owners love what they do, they may not love the financial paperwork of owning a business. Aside from the regular invoicing, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and handling of sales receipts, there is the financial planning and budgeting that requires a whole other set of skills. This is where an accountant can be a benefit. An accounting and tax service does more than just file your income taxes. They are experienced with financial data, budget analysis, and market trends. This means they can help businesses with budgeting and forecasting. Having a financial analyst can help your business increase its efficiency.
Saves you time:
Whether your business needs full accounting services or end-of-the-year income tax preparation, outsourcing saves you time. The time saved can be spent focusing on other areas of your business. Accounting and tax consultants provide a whole host of services. You may select the level of service you want and customize it to your specific business. Some of the tasks they do include:
Accounting system set-up
Operating a business out of your home is a rewarding job. You have the benefits of setting your own schedule and doing things the way you like. However, there are tax and accounting challenges. Securing an accounting and tax services representative helps minimize those challenges. Save valuable time, pocket more of your hard-earned money, and plan your future finances with assurance when you secure the services of accountants and tax services.
At MSM Accounting and Tax Services, LLC, we have several years of experience helping clients with tax and accounting management. Our friendly staff is standing by to assist you. Connect with us today for more information about our services for home-based businesses.
Buy or rent? Sometimes the choice is obvious, depending on the cost of living and of real estate in your area. Other times, it's less straightforward.
One of the things to take into account is taxes. If you own your home then you may be able to take advantage of something called the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. Whether this is an advantage for you depends on certain factors.
First of all, you can only take the deduction if you have "secured debt" on a "qualified home." Secured debt means that your ownership is security for the debt - which is the case with all standard mortgages, but may not be the case with certain kinds of home equity loan. Wraparound mortgages don't qualify. The qualified home must be your main home or second home. If you rent out your second home year round, it doesn't qualify. If you have more than one second home (and note that boats used as a home count), you can only deduct interest on one.
So, are there reasons to not take the deduction? It might seem that any deduction off of your income is a good thing, but the home mortgage interest deduction has some complexities.
1. You need to itemize deductions. You should calculate both itemized and non-itemized deductions and see which gives you a better deal. For most homeowners it does, but depending on your mortgage payments and property tax, it may be cheaper to take the standard deduction. Generally, it is cheaper to take the standard deduction if your mortgage or home equity loan is for a lower amount.
2. If you run a home business, it is complicated. You need to work out what the part of your home you use for the business is worth and deduct that, then claim that value on your Schedule C or similar. This can all end up costing more in tax advice than you save in deductions (also, claiming a home office deduction can greatly increase the chance of your business being audited). Note, too, that you can only claim a home office deduction if you use part of your home "exclusively" for the business - this normally means having an office with a door that closes, which is used only, or at least mostly for work.
3. The interest is only deductible for the first $1 million of a mortgage or $100,000 of a home equity loan. If your mortgage is a lot over that it can become questionable whether it is worth it.
4. If you file taxes separately from your spouse, then you each get 50% of the deduction. Unless only one of you is on the mortgage, in which case...the one on the mortgage still only gets 50%, and the other gets nothing. (Lesson: If you are married, add your spouse to the mortgage). This does not apply to unmarried couples who have to file separately.
5. If you rent out part of your home, you can still take the full deduction unless you have more than one tenant or you are renting out a studio or in-law suite (with separate kitchen and bathroom). If your tenant runs a business, though, then you lose the value of that part of your home. Again, this can make things extremely complicated.
However, for the vast majority of homeowners, taking the home mortgage interest deduction makes sense. You can also choose not to take it - which sometimes makes sense if you are running a business - but for the most part it is a no-brainer to take it. When deciding whether to buy or rent, you should cost out what the deduction will save you when comparing rents and mortgage payments. It can make the difference.
If you aren't sure whether you should or not, then you should talk to MSM Accounting and Tax Services, especially if you run a business or have three or more homes. A qualified accountant can help you work out whether - and how - to take the deduction.
As a business owner, you face a host of challenges every day. You need to ensure your marketing strategy is helping you achieve your key business objectives, find creative ways to attract new customers and retain those you already have, monitor what your competitors are doing, and keep your employees happy and engaged. Above you, you need to make sure your business is growing and that your financial situation is sound.
Oh, and there's more thing: you need to pay attention to your taxes. According to Small Business Trends, paying federal taxes is one of the top 10 challenges small business owners face, and with good reason. You need to ensure that you're in compliance with continually changing tax laws, and you need to make sure you're taking advantage of every legitimate deduction to which you're entitled.
The Stakes Couldn't Be Higher
Making sure you don't pay more in federal taxes than you need to is one of the many smart financial decisions that can keep your business healthy and thriving, and the stakes couldn't be higher. According to are recent report from Gallup, 2014 represented a watershed for small businesses. That was the first year in decades when more small businesses failed (470,000) than were launched (400,000).
Staying on Top of Changing Federal Tax Laws is Essential
Tax laws can be difficult to understand, but it's essential that you know what those laws are, and how they change. If there's a new business deduction and you don't take advantage of it, for example, that's the same as throwing money away.
Odds are you already know about some of the more common deductions, like salaries, mortgage interest, repairs, insurance, supplies and depreciation on property, but you might not know about some other substantial deductions, including the following 4:
1. The Home Office Deduction
Many business owners who operate out of their homes are reticent to take the home office deduction, fearing that it might trigger an audit. According to Turbo Tax, however, if you qualify for this deduction and follow the rules honestly, there's actually little reason to worry.
To qualify, you need to use a room in your house as your primary place of business (the place where you work with your customers or clients). You need to use this space in your home exclusively for conducting business (meaning it can't double as your living room or family room).
The simple way to calculate the home office deduction is to multiple $5 times each square foot (to a maximum of 300 square feet or $1,500). Alternately, you can calculate the percentage of total square footage of your house that your work-space constitutes, and multiply that percentage times the cost for utilities, repairs and insurance (these are indirect expenses). You should add to this direct expenses associated with only your work-space.
2. Startup Costs
Startup businesses face special challenges maintaining sufficient cash flow and gaining traction. If you have a startup business, the IRS will let you deduct up to $5,000 of the costs you incurred prior to the launch of your new business. For costs over $5,000, you can amortize as much as $50,000 over a period of 15 years. This includes expenses for things like travel, advertising, transportation, worker training, consultant fees, legal costs and accounting fees.
If you have a small business (which is defined as one with makes no more than $10 million a year in gross revenues), you are permitted to define inventory as "materials and supplies" (rather than goods sold) and deduct their cost. If in the past you've included inventory as part of the cost of goods sold, you'll need to use IRS Form 3115 and file for a change in accounting method to take advantage of this deduction.
The "Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act" allows business owners to deduct as much as $500,000 for equipment purchases of less than $2 million. You're permitted to take the entire deduction in the first year, provided the equipment on which you're taking the deduction began to be used in that same year.
Under the bonus depreciation deduction, you can deduct as much as 50% of your new capital equipment costs for the year that equipment is purchased. (This deduction will drop to 40% for 2018 and to 30% in 2019.)
These are some of the more substantial deductions you can take to retain more of the money you make in your business. There are, however, many others which are not as large, but which you nevertheless need to be aware of. These include deductions for things like the cost of tax preparation, bad debts, bank fees, carryovers (for deductions you didn't use in prior years), health insurance premiums, interest payments, and self-employment taxes.
Obviously, federal tax laws are complex and continually changing, which is one of the reasons you need to get sound advice to ensure you don't pay more in taxes than you're required to. To learn more about the ways our income tax preparation, outsourced accounting, business analysis, budgeting/forecasting and financial reporting services can help you make your business more profitable, schedule an appointment with us today.
Tax software like Turbo Tax has gotten extremely popular over the years. It is easy and cheap to use and people get enough of a tax return to satisfy themselves, but it is better or cheaper than taking your tax services to a professional accountant? This is the question we will be exploring in this article. Is the software better than the human? Computer programming and artificial intelligence has gotten extremely complex and sophisticated, but when it comes to taxes who should you trust? Let's take a look together!
Turbo Tax is not the only tax filing software available, but it is probably the best and therefore is the most popular. It is important to note that there are other software options available, but their actual performance and user interface are questionable at best. For the sake of this article we are going to focus on Turbo Tax since it is the most popular DIY choice.
For most people it will cost them about 100 dollars to use Turbo Tax software to file their taxes. The interface is extremely helpful and very clear about how to file certain figures and information. Turbo Tax is compatible with Quicken so if you have all of your finance information already in Quicken you can easily import that into Turbo Tax and save yourself a lot of time. The software allows you to actually chat with a tax a professional live online if you need further assistance, but this feature costs you extra money to access.
All-in-all Turbo Tax is easy to use and is not too expensive for the level of effectiveness it exhibits. The advantages to using this DIY tax software is that you do not have to leave your house, you can file your taxes quickly and effortlessly, and the software is effective and has proven real-world results. However, is it really better than using a tax professional?
The Tax Professional
Having an accountant file your taxes for you is going to cost you more than Turbo Tax will, but do not let that scare you. For one, you do not have to do a single thing except hand over all of your tax information. Filing taxes, even on easy-to-use software like Turbo Tax, can be a pain and an overall frustrating experience. First and foremost, an accountant allows you to sit back and enjoy your tax season without any stress.
Secondly, an accountant, unlike software, knows the intricacies of the tax laws and where you can find yourself more savings. DIY software will never recommend to you new ways for you to deduct more money annually from your taxes, simply because it is a program and it is not thinking creatively. Not only will an accountant file your taxes in a fashion so that you see the biggest possible return, but they will also give you tips and advice on deductions for future tax years so that you can save even more money in the future. So even that upfront cost, which was higher than the DIY software, is moot since overall you are going to be saving more money than through a DIY tax software.
The other great thing about having an accountant versus a program is that an accountant can let you know if anything about your return may raise red flags with the IRS and result in an audit. If you do get audited your accountant can help steer you through that process.
Overall, while tax software is convenient it is not as effective as professional tax services. This tax season go see a professional and see how much money you can save!