If you are anything like most people, doing your taxes is one of your least favorite tasks. It’s complicated, boring and difficult, and what makes things worse is that if you do things yourself you run into the risk of leaving a lot of money on the table. These reasons are behind the popularity of Orlando accounting firms, CPAs and other providers of tax services. We’re going to take a look at the difference between the various types of tax professionals, and examine their pros and cons:
- Limited Representation Agents – Commonly referred to as ‘tax preparers,’ these people are uncredentialed, may only prepare returns at the initial audit level and have limited rights when it comes to offering tax services to the public. Nevertheless, these agents are popular because their skills are sufficient to prepare simpler returns, and they also cost significantly less than working with an attorney or CPA.
- CPAs – An acronym standing for ‘certified public accountant.’ People who hold this credential must pass the muster of their state board examination, as well as the Uniform CPA Exam. In addition to this, they are subject to continuing education requirements to ensure their skills stay sharp, and they must abide by other educational, professional and ethical codes as well. CPAs are the best choice for most complex tax situations including, auditing, appeals to the IRS and collection issues. An accounting firm will always have one or more CPAs on staff, and accountants have unlimited representation rights before the IRS on any matter related to their client.
- Other Preparers – There are two other types of tax preparers you may encounter, either at an accounting firm or elsewhere. First are Enrolled Agents, who are essentially CPAs with additional certification and training regarding federal taxes. Second are attorneys, which some lawyers choose to specialize in tax or estate preparation and planning, and may represent clients in financial matters accordingly.
Speak with someone at Tattersall & Tattersall, P.A. if you are not sure what level of service you need, and they will point you in the right direction. In general, the more complicated or difficult your situation, the higher level of tax services and representation you will need. Don’t skimp on paying a professional accounting firm to help you resolve your tax issues; while it may initially seem expensive, it will prove far cheaper to deal with in the long run than the IRS.