When Do I Need To Use a Tax Accountant or CPA?

We’re now entering the middle of tax season. This time of year often leaves many people wondering if they actually need a professional to help them with their taxes. The answer, however, is totally dependant on your specific circumstances.

Everyone’s situation is different, but you should consult a tax accountant or CPA if you experienced:

  • A major life event, such as:
    • Marriage
    • Death of a contributing family member
    • Divorce
    • Birth or adoption of a child
    • Buying a home
  • Anything out of the ordinary, such as:
    • Stock compensation
    • The purchase of rental property
    • Large investments
    • The start or close of a business
    • Unfiled returns from a previous year
    • The receipt of a notice from the IRS
    • Cryptocurrencies

Ultimately, if your situation is complex or you feel like you’d benefit from a set of skilled eyes (and hands!), it’s best leaving your taxes up to a professional, like the team here at TL;DR: Accounting.

What’s the Difference Between a CPA and Accountant?

All CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs.

CPAs are licensed by the state they operate in, which requires passing a licensing exam that covers multiple topics, from taxation to finance and even law. CPAs must also maintain their license by adhering to strict continuing education requirements.

Accountants are more than able to review your finances and records, but CPAs perform in-depth analysis to give you advice and recommendations. If the IRS decides to audit your records, a CPA can represent you to the IRS and help guide you through the process as painlessly as possible.

How Much is Hiring a CPA Going to Cost?

TL;DR: Accounting does not bill on an hourly rate, unlike many other CPAs. Instead, our fee is determined on a case-by-case basis after a brief review of your prior-year tax return and follow-up discussion with you. In this way, we can best determine if we’re the right choice for you and structure a fee that makes sense for your budget and needs.

If you’d like to book an appointment with us to see if we’re a good fit for your accounting needs, get in touch and we’ll be happy to chat!

TL;DR: You should talk to us if you are concerned, we will let you know if you can do it on your own.