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How do I know if I need a tax pro? What should I look for?

3 Minute Read

This is a great question—one we’re asked a lot!

With online tax software gaining popularity, more and more people feel like they can handle their own income taxes. For taxpayers with a super-simple tax situation, that could be the case. If you’re single, have one source of earned income and don’t own any property, tax software will do a good job of walking you through the forms and getting your tax return filed.

But it doesn’t take much for your taxes to become too complicated for the average Joe. And you don’t want to risk missing out on deductions and credits if:

  • You’re married
  • You have kids
  • You plan to itemize your deductions
  • You own a small business
  • You make donations to churches or charities
  • You have multiple sources of income
  • You don’t have time to devote to filling out your forms

Simply owning a home will complicate your tax forms and make it easy to overpay if you don’t know what you’re doing. The most commonly overlooked tax deductions and credits have to do with homeownership, and those missed deductions cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year.

For complex tax issues, a tax pro’s advice is worth the extra expense. And a professional’s ability to save you money on your tax bill by spotting credits you’ve missed can more than pay for their services. Plus, by relying on an expert, you don’t have to worry that you’ve checked the wrong box or botched an important calculation.

What to Look For in a Professional

This is an important job, so you want to make sure you’re working with an experienced tax professional. A national tax preparation service chain may seem like an obvious choice, but most of their tax preparers don’t have the level of training and expertise you’re looking for.

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and Enrolled Agents (EAs), however, are licensed experts in tax preparation and planning. They’ve had extensive training in tax law, and they’re required to maintain their licenses through continuing education. They can also represent you if you’re audited by the IRS.

If you’d like help finding a tax professional in your area, let us put you in touch with an expert who has earned Dave’s recommendation for top-notch service. Each of Dave’s tax Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs) is either a CPA or an EA, so you know they have the qualifications you’re looking for.

Don’t put it off! Tax day will be here before you know it, so schedule an appointment with your tax ELP today!

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