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Tax season is just around the corner, so now’s the time to start thinking about how you’re going to make good with Uncle Sam.
Simple one-income returns might not require a tax pro’s touch. But if you bought a home, added an additional job, or had a major life change this year, you might want to consider letting an expert file for you.
How do you know if you need to hire a tax pro? Here are the eight most common reasons to hire a tax advisor:
You own a business.
Business owners tend to be entrepreneurs, not tax code specialists. Unfortunately, that’s how tax issues end up sinking thousands of small businesses every year. Working with a qualified tax professional like an enrolled agent or certified public accountant is an investment in your business that could save you a ton of time and money. An expert will not only point out valuable deductions that could potentially lower your tax bill, they’ll also help you plan for next year.
You bought or sold property.
Buying and selling real estate can impact your taxes. If you bought a home last year, for example, a pro will help you take advantage of valuable mortgage interest and property tax deductions. If you’re a first-time homeowner, you could potentially deduct some of your closing costs. A specialized tax pro will show you the ropes when it comes to claiming those expenses on your tax return.
Local experts you can trust.
You have a lot of investments.
Investing accounts come with their own set of tax implications. Most retirement accounts boast tax advantages, but they vary by type. Even college savings accounts have their own tax rules. Whether you contributed to or withdrew money from an investment account, you’ll want to consult a tax pro who will help you navigate the many tax nuances associated with investments.
You experienced major life changes.
The last thing you’re thinking of when you have a significant life change is taxes. However, big life changes could also mean big tax implications. If you got married, went through a divorce, or had a baby within the year, check with a pro to determine the best way to keep tax trouble at bay.
You have more than one job.
If you’re not careful, multiple jobs can add up to one big headache when it comes to taxes. Keep detailed records of your income, and work with a tax pro to make sure you’re setting aside enough from each paycheck to cover your income taxes if they’re not automatically deducted. That way you won’t have any surprises at tax time.
You give charitable donations.
Do you donate to your church or other nonprofit organization? Contributions made to charitable organizations may qualify as tax deductions. Keep donation receipts and statements handy, just in case you’re audited. A pro can help you determine what is considered deductible according to the IRS.
You itemize your expenses.
Child and dependent care costs, charitable giving, home mortgage interest payments, and real estate taxes are just a few of the expenses you can itemize on your tax return. Sure, itemizing might be a little more time consuming than taking the standard deduction, but it could be worth it in the end. Lots of taxpayers end up paying too much in taxes because they don’t take time to itemize. A pro will walk you through the process and make sure you don’t pay too much.
You get stuck while doing it yourself.
If you’re in the middle of doing your own taxes and aren’t sure what to do next, that’s a good sign it’s time for some help. Schedule an appointment with a professional who knows the tax code better than you. A pro can get you out of a mess before you get into one!
Save More Money With a Tax Pro
Here’s the bottom line: If you have complicated taxes, we recommend using professional tax preparation services.
Worried about the cost? We’ve got good news: The fees you pay a tax advisor may be deductible on next year’s tax return. Better still, a recent survey of 2,000 Facebook users found that people who use a tax pro receive an average of $791 more back from the IRS compared to those who use tax software. What a win!
Need help finding a tax advisor you can trust? Connect with a pro Dave recommends in your area today!