As we continue to move toward the future, the world around us evolves at a rapid pace. Even today, every business has computers when just last generation that idea might have seemed ludicrous. One thing that remains constant throughout most of history, however, is the concept of paying taxes. Recently, many have turned to the help of internet-based tools to either do their taxes or at least help organizing the document involved.
This post answers the question “is using accounting software enough to ensure you get the tax and filing outcome you want”. You might be surprised to learn that it’s not as straight-forward, as cookie-cutter, as the software providers make it out to be.
A Typical Scenario
Working on this as a business owner or within the accounting office of a firm can be a daunting task without outside assistance. Even with top-class software, it requires an in-depth and intimate understanding of all aspects of the business. This doesn’t mean simply knowing the amount required from your business, but also the hundreds of small charges or charities that you encounter throughout the year. The program you rely on to do your taxes can only work with the information you offer it, and many beneficial details can get lost along the way.
Also, your tax situation is capable of changing due to events you might not have realized were significant in this way. Not recalling and accounting for the events that matter could lead to either under or over estimating your taxes, which the IRS certainly doesn’t appreciate. Facing an audit due to a simple miscalculation can be exceptionally frustrating and bad for business.
Furthermore, tax laws are constantly in flux and are difficult to follow. What was considered appropriate or correct when you filed one year, might be completely different the next. One of the benefits of hiring a tax professional is that he or she takes the responsibility of keeping up with tax law changes off of your shoulders. If an error is noticed in a filed report, whether or not it was intentional, it could lead to further complications. In the end, having someone on hand that is up-to-date on current tax law will prevent undesirable interventions from the government.
Last but not least, relying on a tax professional is more likely to net you a larger refund. Filing taxes without outside assistance can be compared to playing a game where you only know a portion of the rules. Tax professionals, on the other hand, are aware of exactly how the game should be played. They know where to look for deductions, and can find benefits that you might have otherwise overlooked.
In the end, if you believe your taxes may be too complex, or if you simply want to get a more accurate refund, putting your faith in a trained professional will outclass utilizing a piece of software every time.
So is using accounting software enough to ensure you get the best possible outcome from your tax filing experience? Unless you have the simplest of circumstances, in many instances you could be missing out on valuable deductions or leaving yourself vulnerable to an audit.
What do you think? Do you agree? Let me know in the comments and I’ll get back to you promptly.