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Vonore, TN 37885


Answering a Taxing Question

Thursday, October 8th, 2015 | Uncategorized | No Comments

By Allen A. Scott, CPA

It’s hard to believe that the 2015 tax season is just a few short months away and that we’ll need to begin gathering relevant tax information to provide to our tax preparers. While a few of us hearty souls prepare our own returns, most of us rely on tax preparers.

I think the question in the minds of many taxpayers at this time of the year is just what level of expertise my tax preparer requires in order to accurately and efficiently prepare and submit my forms to the IRS and various state revenue services. The answer is, that depends. Taxes vary in complexity and preparers vary in experience and knowledge, and cost is rarely an indication of proficiency.

At Professional Tax & Accounting Service in Lenoir City, most returns are prepared or reviewed by a CPA, and a CPA is available for consultation on the remainder. But despite the higher level of expertise of our preparers, 95% of all returns are prepared for $150 or less, far below the prices charged by the part-time franchise tax stores.

The distinction between having your taxes prepared by a CPA or typical preparer is one of education. A CPA has a four-year undergraduate degree at a minimum and has successfully passed a very rigorous CPA examination. Also, a CPA is required to complete continuing professional education each year. By comparison, a typical preparer has little or no accounting background and, like a technician, places your financial data into a software program that, in turn, prepares your return.

The challenge in today’s tax preparation marketplace is that the financial world continues to grow in complexity, making the preparation of your tax returns increasingly more difficult every year.

Just recently I reviewed several years of tax returns submitted to the IRS by a new client. Unfortunately, they were prepared incorrectly, resulting in years of overpaid taxes. The original preparer insisted they were prepared correctly. I resubmitted the now corrected returns to the IRS for the three years open for amendment, which resulted in a significant refund for my new client.

I can’t overstate the importance of having your taxes prepared or reviewed by a CPA. You’ll enjoy the peace of mind and savings that often result.

A CPA possesses a level of accounting, law, and tax knowledge that is uncommon amongst tax preparers. They possess the ability to see the big picture and not just the snapshot. They can also answer your most important questions, as well as help you implement potential tax savings strategies for the future. Also, as CPAs, we are one of the few tax professionals allowed to represent you with the IRS should that be necessary.

If you would like the peace of mind that can come from knowing that your tax preparer has all of the requisite skills necessary to prepare your 2015 taxes, or to review your previous years’ taxes, I invite you to call me. All new clients receive a complimentary review of their prior year’s return.

Also, if you require the accounting services that we offer to small business owners, please take advantage of our no-cost or obligation consultation, where you can learn just how we can help your business.

Allen A. Scott, CPA
Professional Tax & Accounting Service
111 East Broadway
Lenoir City, TN 37771
(865) 986-4035

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East Tennessee's Mountain Views

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