Tax preparers are individuals who were trained for the job or have picked up the skills over time. They are not difficult to find. You can find tax preparers in places such as H&R Block. The advantage of using a tax preparer is that the costs are relatively inexpensive.
Enrolled agents are a step up from tax preparers. An enrolled agent has license and can represent you at an audit. However, keep in mind that the professional knowledge and quality of work varies from agent to agent. Some can be excellent. Others are less impressive.
CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant. It's not easy to obtain a CPA license. It requires significant study and the licensing test is very difficult. If you have a unique or complex financial situation, for example, being a small business owner, you might want to use a CPA. Usually CPAs can also make suggestions to significantly lower your tax bill. CPA services cost more. However, the savings can outweigh their fees.
The technology of computers has minimized the risk of making mistakes. Tax software is now available for people who want their taxes to be done accurately and conveniently. There are different types of tax software you can use for different purposes. While you can buy tax software from local stores, the best place to find tax software is actually the Internet. Buying tax software from the Interest is very easy. For some software, you can usually download it onto your company and start using it right away. There is also other tax software that does not require any installation at all. You can finish the whole process on-line on their websites.
When it comes to tax prep software, there are many choices on the market. Which one is the best for you? Well, it depends on a variety of factors. However, many people choose to use the big three of tax prep software: Turbo Tax (PC/Mac or online), Tax Act ((PC/Mac or online), and Tax Cut (PC or online). They have all been around for many years and have a lot of experience handling new tax rules and finding deductions for their users. Besides, all three of them offer both free version (for simple returns) and paid version (for more complicated cases).
Help from IRS
Don't forget that you can get help from the IRS. You can go to its website http://www.irs.gov for tax rules, tax forms and help on filling taxes. On this site, you can find answers to many questions in the Frequently Asked Questions and Tax Trails pages. If you can't find the answer to your question, you can try search and enter a few key words to see if your question is covered elsewhere on the site. Also, you call their toll-free tax assistance line at 800-829-1040 for individual tax questions or 800-829-4933 for business tax questions.