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What is the value of a CPA?

The other day I had a client ask me: "What does preparing our taxes with you offer over doing them ourselves with Turbo Tax." I actually welcomed the question because it gave me an opportunity to convey the value I add versus the do-it-yourself solutions. I advised her that while Turbo Tax is a great software, it does not give you good insight into how you are taxed. If you have ever owed money and wondered why, or if you have ever wondered why your refund was lower or higher one year versus the next, do-it-yourself solutions provide no answers. I explained how what I can do is calculate how tax was generated by each source of income and let a client know where they are over withholding, and where they are under withholding. I also explained that quarterly visits with me could provide insight as to what to expect for the current year. Honestly, if you are constantly surprised by the outcome of your tax return, you should visit with your tax preparer more often. Anyone can prepare a tax return, but value is created by translating data into usable information. That is the value of a CPA.

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The information contained below should not be construed as tax advice. Please visit with your tax professional with regards to your specific situation. The following is based on the current House Bill