Reasons to use a local tax service

Why use a local tax service?

On average it takes 16 hours to gather all your documents and file a return. But if you have a more complex economic life, it will cost you time and money.

Therefore, if you have more complicated filings, like multiple jobs, do freelance work or itemize your return, it can take more time. If you use a professional, it doesn’t take nearly as long.

Many online tax programs let you file simple returns for free.  Using different schedules often cost money. As does filing a state return. If you are going to spend money on it, you might as well use a local tax certified public accountant.

CPAs are licensed to do your taxes to the best of their abilities. Do you trust yourself to do everything right?

If you use a program, it will not represent you in an audit. If you are lucky, the company will represent you for a fee after you contact the support center. If you use a local tax preparer, you can call a local professional to help you through the process.

Just remember, if someone helps you do your taxes, you’re not alone. The IRS asks you to choose your tax return preparer wisely.

Before you choose a professional, be sure to check the IRS’s full list of tips for choosing a tax preparer.


Local accountants are why you should use a local, professional tax preparation service

Over the past year, we have been decoding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. From the standard deduction and increased child credits to changes to tax rates and brackets, the sweeping tax legislation touched almost every part of the U.S. tax code.

These changes make it even more important to use a trusted tax preparation service. The reforms also eliminate or limit many tax breaks, and much of the tax relief is only temporary. Taxes that were already confusing are more so because of the newness of the reforms.

Online tax programs, like TurboTax or H&R Block, seem like they will make filing your taxes easier, but really the easiest and best way to get the most money back is to use a tax preparation service in the United States.


Beware a ‘ghost’ preparer

The IRS recently issued a warning about “ghost” preparers, or those who do not sign the return.

By law, anyone who is paid to prepare or assist in preparing federal tax returns must have a valid 2019 Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN. Paid preparers must sign the return and include their PTIN.

But “ghost” preparers do not. Instead, they print the return and tell the taxpayer to sign and mail it to the IRS. Or, for e-filed returns, they prepare but refuse to digitally sign it as the paid preparer.

According to the IRS, similar to other tax preparation schemes, dishonest and unscrupulous ghost tax return preparers look to make a fast buck by promising a big refund or charging fees based on a percentage of the refund. These scammers hurt honest taxpayers who are simply trying to do the right thing and file a legitimate tax return.

If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Check the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications to help pick a tax preparer. Or simply contact DVF.