As with bookkeeping, available computer technology has made it easier to prepare and file your own tax return with minimal cost. Except in cases where practice finances are extremely straightforward, however, using an accountant to prepare your tax forms may be advantageous for several reasons.
Although it will certainly cost more to use an accountant to prepare your tax statements instead of doing them yourself, those expenses often are recouped as a result of tax savings and deductions that would have gone unrecognized if not for the accountant's expertise in complex tax law and knowledge of rules and exceptions that often change yearly.
In addition, working with an accountant can help minimize costly filing errors. And in the unfortunate event that you get audited, an accountant will be able to advise you regarding the best way to present your case.
Beyond preparing your documents at tax time, your accountant can suggest tax-saving strategies throughout the year. Frequent tax law changes often make the timing of certain expenses and deductions important.
For example, if you are considering donating your old automobile, your accountant might advise you to donate it before the end of the year, so you may be able to take advantage of a larger deduction that will be limited beginning the following year. Other changes related to deductions for office equipment, structural improvements to office space, and the deductibility of sales tax versus state income tax may result in tax benefits that put more money in your pocket if you take advantage of them at the right time.
Talk to your accountant about how current opportunities and impending changes in tax law may influence your business decisions.