When I started doing tax returns the tax code was only 12 pages long and we used an abacus, papyrus and quill pens to prepare return. Okay that may be an exaggeration. But I have been preparing return s for 25 years and that does give me an advantage.
Everyone has to start somewhere. Every tax preparer has their first season. I was lucky. I was working for a national chain and all of my returns were checked before they were released to clients. And since I learned on paper, I gained a basic understanding of how things worked.
Now days, tax returns are prepared on computers using tax software. That doesn’t mean that they are bad preparers or that the returns they produce are wrong. But an experienced preparer brings more than the ability to fill in the blanks on a tax form. They have the ability to explain the tax return they prepare. They may still make a mistake on a return but they are more likely to catch it before it goes out the door.
An experienced tax pro knows that the US income tax is much more than just numbers. It’s more than transferring information from W-2s and 1099s and pushing a button. Today’s taxes are about judgment calls. Is your child still your dependent? Is that taxable income? Is the property sale ordinary income or capital gain? An experienced preparer knows what questions to ask and why they need to be asked. And they won’t let you change your answer because you don’t like the result.
An experience tax pro can have the feel for when something is wrong and more easily find the problem.
We’ve heard it before. You are not going to shock or confuse us with your “extraordinary” circumstances. We can take that information, remember how we handled a similar problem and do your return. We may have to do a little research but we know where to find the info we need.
While we generally use tax software for the drudgery of preparing the return, we know it’s not perfect. We don’t assume it is right. We check what it gives us. We also learn from it when we discover we are wrong.
After years doing tax returns we know how to read a brokerage statement. Actually we know how to read about any form you want to bring. And we know what to do with that form.
Most importantly, we can explain your taxes to you. We can tell you why drawing Social Security caused you to owe this year, why your 22 year old is no longer your dependent, why you owed a Premium Tax Credit and thousands of other questions you might have. An experienced tax preparer uses those years of work to help you understand your taxes.
I often get asked why someone should pay me when they can do it themselves or let their accounting major daughter do the return. My answer is experience lets me do it faster, accurately and answer any tax questions you have. That's what you are paying for.