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Do You Need a Professional for Your Taxes?

Important Things to Know About Filing Your Tax Return in Fairfax, Virginia

It is that wonderful time of year – Tax Season! Why is it that only the certified public accountants are smiling?

As of January 19, the Internal Revenue Service has officially begun accepting individual income tax returns. We know tax season can be a stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be… not when you have the certified public accountants of Burdette Smith & Bish, LLC on your side.

Do you need a professional?

Why pay a professional to prepare your tax return? For individuals, if you have a W-2, and a few itemized deductions, you probably don’t need a professional’s help. That is, unless you are just plain allergic to numbers, are a great procrastinator, or would enjoy spending your well-earned time-off outside playing rather than preparing your Form 1040 each April. Most individuals are perfectly capable of filing their own returns. Do-It-Yourself (DIY) kits are pretty user-friendly, and for simple returns, fairly accurate. Franchise tax offices are a more frugal option than a personal tax professional for the more simple return.

How do you know that your tax situation has gone beyond your pay-grade? It isn’t only the complicated calculations that might drive you to a professional, but also the value a professional provides beyond the preparation process? You only file with wages and Schedule A deductions? Probably DIY would work for you.

You might be getting into territory where it would be useful to pull in a professional if:

  • You have more than two or three investment accounts
  • You are self-employed
  • You have rental property
  • You moved from one state to another, or have income from different states
  • You have individuals dependent on you who might not be your qualified children
  • You have foreign income
  • You are a partner, shareholder, or owner of a business

There are several benefits to hiring a tax accountant to help prepare your return.

  1. It is their life’s work, day-in and day-out, so they know the tax (and accounting) law;
  2. They will weigh different scenarios, taking your whole tax situation into account, and use the formula that benefits the total picture, be that business and personal, federal and state, or parents and children;
  3. With their help you can create tax strategies and act before it is too late, not just when preparation is merely a matter of tax reporting; and
  4. They are available to answer the phone/email all year to help you with questions or respond to “love letters” from Uncle Sam or from your state.

Other things to consider as tax season approaches.

The earlier you are able to file your 2015 tax returns, the better.

The IRS is accepting returns now. If we, at Burdette Smith & Bish, LLC, are assisting you with your return, please call to make an appointment, or arrange for us to get your information as soon as possible. Identity theft is on the rise. Our government has put in place several filters to assist in identifying false returns, but the sooner your return is filed, the less likely you are to be a victim. Please keep in mind that the closer to the April deadline, the busier certified public accountants will be, and the more likely an extension may be needed. 

However, you have a few extra days to file this year.

April 15 is widely known as Tax Day for individuals, but not this year. This year, the filing deadline has been extended by three days (to April 18), thanks to Emancipation Day, celebrated in Washington D.C.

March 15 is the deadline for corporate returns (or extensions) that are on a calendar-year.

Have questions, or want to schedule an appointment with a Fairfax certified public accountant to file your tax return this year?

We welcome all new clients – business, trust, non-profit, and individual. Give Burdette Smith & Bish, LLC a call today. We’re here to help.

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