Individual and Joint Federal, State, and Local Tax Filings
For many people, filing personal income taxes is a dreaded chore. The rules keep changing, and there are often multiple returns to prepare. For all but the most simple income tax returns, it can be a burdensome process, even with tax preparation software. Many people can benefit from the use of a professional tax preparer for their local, federal, and Ohio tax filing. At Gudorf Tax Group, we take pride in making the process of filing taxes as simple as possible for our clients.
When to Use a Professional Tax Preparer
Whether to use a professional tax preparer depends on your personal circumstances as well as your comfort level. Gudorf Tax Group assists clients with the preparation of local, state, and federal tax filings ranging from the most straightforward individual and joint filings to the extremely complex. You may want to consult a professional for help with your taxes if any of the following apply to you:
- You own a business
- You are self-employed
- You have income in excess of $400 from freelance work
- You have undergone a major life change in the past year, such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, purchase or sale of a home, moving to a different state, or loss or change of employment
- You have significant investment income
- You own rental property
- You have foreign investments or bank accounts
- You have made mistakes on your individual or joint tax return in a previous year, or are currently being audited
Even if none of these circumstances apply to you, you may still decide that you want the help of a tax professional if you don’t have time to do your own taxes or are simply uncomfortable preparing your own individual or joint tax filings.
Advantages of Using a Professional for Ohio Tax Filing
For many people, the primary reason to use a tax professional is that they don’t need to do their taxes themselves. While that may be all the incentive some people need to work with a professional, there are other advantages as well.
For one thing, although you pay for the services of a professional, those services could save you money in the end. Your tax preparer may be able to identify deductions for which you are eligible, or a tax credit that you would have missed on your own. The value of these items can easily offset and exceed your fee to the preparer. A preparer can also reduce your tax-related stress by helping you identify the information you need to bring to your appointment.
Using a professional tax preparer for your federal income tax return and your local and Ohio tax filings also saves you time. According to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimate, the average tax return with deductions takes nearly 20 hours — half a standard work week — to complete. Ask yourself what the value of those 20 hours is to you.
A tax professional also reduces the risk of errors on your tax return, which can help minimize the risk of an audit or needless overpayment on your taxes. Also, if you work with a professional, he or she can review your previous years’ tax returns, identify overpayments, and file an amended return so that you can receive any refunds to which you are entitled. Furthermore, a tax professional can help you look to the future and plan to minimize your tax burden going forward.
Last, but certainly not least, a tax professional can offer you peace of mind that your federal, state, and local tax filings will be completed correctly in a timely fashion, and to your best financial advantage. In order to have that peace of mind, however, you need to choose your tax preparer carefully: not all tax professionals have the same experience, background, training, and ethics.
How to Choose a Professional Tax Preparer
You are trusting your tax preparer with your identifying information, financial situation, and other highly sensitive and personal facts. As such, it makes sense to find a tax professional by starting with other people you trust, and getting recommendations from family and friends.
While recommendations are a good start, you should certainly look more deeply into the qualifications and ethics of a tax preparer. Surprisingly, all that is needed to work as a paid tax preparer is a Preparer Taxpayer Identification Number (PTIN) issued by the IRS after submission of an application. A PTIN is a bare minimum qualification for a tax preparer. There is an IRS registry of tax preparers with various qualifications, such as a law license. You can use this tool to search for a preparer in your area who has the qualifications that are important to you.
Gudorf Tax Group is an Authorized IRS E-file Provider and Electronic Return Originator (ERO), and can electronically submit income tax returns directly to the IRS. We have extensive experience with Ohio tax filings ranging from the straightforward to the complex. To learn more about our tax preparation services for individual and joint federal, state, and local tax filings, please schedule an appointment today with the accounting and tax preparation professionals at Gudorf Tax Group.