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Should You Be a Do-It-Yourself Tax Preparer?

When my husband was between jobs he decided that it would be a good idea to seal the driveway himself instead of hiring professionals to do it.  The driveway looks great, but it was not worth the time, hassle and uncertainty that went into the job.  The professionals may have been able to come up with a better option for filling cracks without soft gooey patches.  Also, he could have been enjoying family time instead of making several trips to the store to get the right supplies, worrying about the correct application process, and then spending many hours applying the sealant.  Next time he will not be a “do-it-yourselfer.”

Is “do-it-yourself” tax preparation worth it in the long run?   Is it worth the time and uncertainty?

Even if you hire a professional tax preparer you still need to take the time to gather your information.  However, if you do your own taxes you will have the added time and uncertainty of deciphering any changes in the tax code that may apply to you.  If you have had life changes, such as a marriage, a job change or children, you will increase your tax preparation time even further.  A professional will be prepared when the law changes and will know how it impacts you.

If you decide to not be a “do-it-yourselfer” and hire a tax preparer make sure that you understand the qualifications of the professional.  A paid preparer has no minimum education requirements.  The only current requirement for a paid preparer is that they register with the IRS as a paid preparer.  The IRS did require a competency test, but in January of 2013 the courts decided that it could not be enforced.   CPAs, Enrolled Agents and tax attorneys have testing and continuing education requirements.  They have also earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service.

At All Star Financial we recognize the important role that taxes play in your financial life.  That’s why we have an in-house CPA to provide streamlined tax preparation services as part of our integrated wealth planning process.  We offer quarterly forecasts to help you project the tax impact you are likely to face.  Last year we prepared tax returns for more than 125 of our clients.  With a professional attuned to your tax issues as they relate to your investment strategy, we can help be more efficient and keep you on track toward your goals.


Beth & The All Star Team

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