By John J. Hartnett Jr., CPA, PFS, President and CEO, Capital and Worth
If you prepared your own taxes last year or used tax preparation software, you may want to consider having your return reviewed by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). The review will not only provide you with peace of mind but may also reveal new information that could have made a difference to your wallet.
And with that difference – could you have received a bigger refund? Or owed less? Or counted your personal computer as a deduction? Or applied the miles you drove to childcare or the office supply store?
Here’s why a second opinion from a CPA matters:
They Know the Rules and New Tax Laws – If you use an online program, the information provided may not completely apply to your financial standing. For instance, if you apply a certain deduction and it turns out to be incorrect, you could end up being audited or penalized. Accounting and tax firms however, must be familiar with every new rule, policy and addendum. They also consider options you might not be aware of for deductions and other cost-saving measures.
There’s a Lower Risk for Errors – When filing your tax return without assistance, you and you alone will be 100 percent accountable for your return. Everyone has their own comfort level with that fact. Are you confident that your return is 100% accurate? What if it’s just 80%? What will that mean for you? Or for your business? It’s a good investment of your time to take your return to a certified accounting firm at least once to have checked for accuracy.
They’ll Save You Time Next Year – Spending an hour or so with an accountant this year, may actually save you time next year. Why? By having a CPA review your return this year, they can let you know what you can do differently for next year’s return. And then there’s the value of your personal time. If it takes you hours upon hours, or days or even weeks to prepare your own taxes, that’s time away from other things you’d rather be doing.
Three-year ‘Look Back’ – An added bonus? Your CPA can look back at your tax filings for the previous three consecutive years! If there are any issues that might have been incorrectly or inadequately filed in the past three years, the tax return can be amended and refiled to help you collect on any adjustments in your favor.
Want a second look on your return? Give Capital and Worth a first-time glance…