We Know: How Tax Preparation Services Work
What are Tax Preparation Services?
Tax preparation services are offered by either independent business owners, most likely CPAs or accountants, who are in the business of number crunching, or corporations providing franchised operator office locations in your city. For a fee, they will handle all aspects of preparing tax forms.
What is the Advantage of an Accountant Preparing My Taxes?
CPAs and certified tax accountants are highly trained and likely to be the most expensive to hire. Some of these professionals are also enrolled IRS agents, which means that they can represent you before the IRS if something goes wrong with your return. Professionals such as these are well-qualified to prepare complex business tax returns, and spend a great deal of their professional time learning about and reviewed the changing U.S. tax laws. They know what deductions you're entitled to, and how to file your return to guarantee that you receive the many deductions you qualify for.
What are the Advantages of the Franchise Company Preparing My Taxes?
There are several franchise tax prep franchise companies that advertise heavily at the beginning of the year's tax season, when most folks employed by businesses start thinking of the their tax returns. Services provided by these companies are generally satisfactory and quick. Returns can be prepared for electronic or snail-mail filing.
How are Franchise Tax Prep Office Employees Trained?
Depending upon the type of service you elect to buy, the training of individuals employed by tax prep companies varies from franchise to franchise, and generally is not a long program. Most of these tax prep employees are trained to a point of being able to perform the preparation of an individual return, using some sort of proprietary tax software that the franchise owns. This software has been written for the current tax year. Company employee training also focuses upon the current year, which is why some of your questions may go unanswered by your tax prep person. Tax laws are very complex and change each year. Franchise employee training may not be well-versed on all aspect of the laws. Most use a formula which determines if you qualify for a deduction. Generally the service is fast and relatively low cost, depending upon the complexity of your return. Always get a guarantee of your tax prep person's work in writing.
How Much does Tax Preparation Cost?
The fee for tax preparation will vary based on a number of factors. These include the skill and reputation of the accountant and the complexity of the return. Individual returns can be as low as $50-60 or up to hundreds for the most complicated returns.