When to use a Tax Return Preparation Specialist vs Do it Yourself?
What’s the difference between a chain tax preparation service vs Marci Shafto CPA?
Why would you use one over the other?
Every year, millions of people choose to do their taxes on software programs such as turbotax and taxact. And for most that do, these software programs are sufficient, but that’s because a majority of america work for a single employer, don’t have a lot of stock sales or complex investments.
We recommend using a specialist when:
- You don’t have time
- You have multiple investments
- You have multiple sources of income
- You run your own business
- You want an increase in confidence
When you start to get a little more in diverse in your wealth building strategies, you may quickly realize that it’s hard to be an expert in everything. For many professionals, it often isn’t worth your time to become in something may only use for a few hours per year. Besides, it takes far more time than that just to keep up on all of the nuanced changes to the tax codes that pertain to each and every one of your investments.
Therefore, for anyone that has more than a W-2 and a few stock sales, having a CPA review & submit your taxes is well worth the cost. For those who have diverse portfolios, multiple sources of income, and a wide range of investments, the odds only increase that something could be missed, potentially costing you thousands. And you already have enough to worry about! Your nerves are likely to be a lot calmer by adding a seasoned tax expert your personal team.
Drawbacks of TurboTax
Some people use a CPA annually, while others go years preparing their own taxes, only stopping in when they run into an issue that their tax software can’t handle. More often than not, the latter group wishes they had met with us sooner!
For example, this year we met with an engineer who had been preparing his taxes with TurboTax for the last 10 years. Recently, he recently had a gain from an investment that he wasn’t sure his tax software could handle. He met with us and he realized that his issue was going on for years! Although his Turbotax had been accepting his numbers and giving him a result, it was wrong!
The result? We re-did the last 3 years of his tax returns and found he had overpaid by $30,000!