Many Americans opt to use online programs like TurboTax and H&R Block to complete their annual tax filings. While there’s nothing wrong with this route, there are some missed benefits when you don’t use accounting firms. And with the increased popularity of these “quick-and-easy” tax services, there’s been a significant rise in online CPAs like ours, Tarpey, Sickler, and Associates, that offer the same assistance but with many more perks.
#1 — The Customer Service of Accounting Firms
Let’s start with a prominent advantage of using accounting firms or an online CPA rather than a program like TurboTax. The customer service offered by accounting firms is far superior to these cheaper online businesses. What happens when you’re halfway through the process, and you get confused or have a question? More often than not, you either “speak” with a robot that directs you to online FAQs, or you have to pay more to talk to a human representative. With an online CPA like us, you can always count on personalized and helpful customer service — no robots allowed!
#2 — A Better (And Often Cheaper) Deal
The low price tag on online tax services is very appealing at first, but then (as mentioned above), you have to pay even more if you need additional help or have particular questions. That’s why using an online CPA firm can be cheaper in the long run. For example, at Tarpey, Sickler, and Associates, we offer the same price as TurboTax’s Deluxe program with a state filing — $175. But with us, you get so much more.
#3 — Professionals That Can Handle Complicated
Some of these online programs (or doing taxes yourself) may work for the average single filer who works one job with no dependents. But once your tax situation gets a bit more complicated, you can save more money by using accounting firms. Automated programs aren’t yet smart enough to adjust to your specific situation and hunt for those extra deductions and credits that are often hidden. Plus, mistakes on your taxes can result in audits that cost you even more money. It’s essential to use a CPA to do your taxes right the first time.
#4 — Taxes and More
Most people rely on accounting firms for tax season, but many services go beyond April 15th. By using a CPA, you get personalized assistance for many facets of your life and business. For example, you can receive accounting advice for your new business, consulting for your non-profit, year-round tax planning and preparation, and assistance with financial statements, payroll tax and checks, and even Quickbooks training.
#5 — Help with Audits and Extras
What if streamlined online services make a mistake and you get audited? Will they have your back? With accounting firms, you know that if there is an issue with your taxes and the IRS audits you, we’ll be there to support you every step of the way. Sometimes, audits occur due to errors, but they are often there to check for more complicated taxes (think multiple homes, rentals, businesses, dependents, etc.). A personalized online CPA is a far better route to assist you with any problem-solving needs.