Paying your taxes is one of the requisites of being a patriotic citizen. And without fail, the tax season shows up every beginning of a new year. If you’re among the 43 percent of Americans who file taxes on their own, this is usually the time you start looking for your pay stubs, adding up your deductible expenses and all.
Ever think you’ll be better off letting a professional handle your taxes?
Sure, times are hard and it doesn’t make economic sense to fork out well over 100 bucks to get professional tax advice, but we’re here to tell you sometimes it’s necessary and worth it.
Here are the signs you need to hire a tax professional.
1. A Tax Audit Is Scaring the Hell Out of You
The consequences of not filing proper or accurate tax returns range from a late payment penalty to time behind bars.
Doing your own taxes requires accuracy and precision because even an innocent mistake can easily turn into a legal violation. For instance, if you accidentally overstate your deductions, you could face a tax evasion charge.
As such, if you’re unsure about the filing process or don’t know which expenses qualify as deductions, you definitely need tax advice. Getting audited can be a challenging moment.
2. Your Return Is Flagged for a Tax Audit
Well, well. Your worst fears are now real. You’re facing an IRS audit.
If you’ve never been through an audit, you’re probably looking around for the best tax defense attorney. Not so fast!
The IRS routinely flags returns. Sometimes it’s a serious offense and other times the agency just wants a simple clarification. Nonetheless, it’s in your best interest to hire a tax accountant who can represent you when the IRS comes knocking.
3. You Moved Abroad
Whether you moved overseas for work, adventure or even to start a family, you need to know about your obligations to Uncle Sam.
Do you cease paying taxes to the U.S? If not, what’s your tax liability? How about your tax obligations to your host territory?
Unless you’re a tax professional, it’s hardly possible to know what you need to do to remain a responsible taxpayer. You need tax advice.
4. Planning to Sell Your Home? You Need More Than a Realtor
Selling a home is always a big decision. Regardless of the reason, you’re putting it on the market, you want to scoop as much profit as possible from the sale.
But did you if you have lived on the property for at least two of the past five years you don’t have to pay any taxes on up to $250,000 of post-sale profits? Or that if you are married and lived with your spouse during this period the non-taxable amount climbs to $500,000?
Did we hear a “are you kidding me?”
Not what we expected, really, but you will do yourself a lot of good if you can get a tax specialist to fill you in on the tax benefits of selling a home.
5. Your Schedule Is Full
Do you feel like your days are getting shorter?
We all get extremely at times, but it’s bad news when this time coincides with tax season. It means you’ll have little time to file your returns – an activity that is time intensive.
Keep doing what you’re doing and let a tax advisor take care of your taxes.
Often, Tax Advice Is Invaluable
Don’t you wish the government or some tech nerd could invent a tax automation solution so you don’t have to go through the hassle? Unfortunately, that isn’t likely to happen – at least not yet.
If you’re seeing any of the signs fleshed out above, do the smart thing and get tax advice.
About the Author:
Chris Duncan, CPA
As a South Carolina native, Chris has spent the better part of his life in the Charleston area. Chris graduated from The Citadel with a degree in Business Administration (Accounting Concentration) in 1999. In 2006, Chris launched his own CPA firm. For the past twelve years, Chris has worked as a local CPA and provided services to both individuals and commercial clients in a variety of industries to include accounting, bookkeeping, tax, and payroll service