If I wasn’t an experienced accountant myself, there’s probably a good chance I would not be recommending one either!
(Yes, you read correctly.)
Hiring a Professional CPA Accountant:
Interestingly enough, even the most financially inexperienced individuals are hesitant about spending their money on intangible services such as these. In general, if someone thinks (wrongly so or not) that they can possibly do it themselves, then they would rather try and not have to spend the money for tax services.
It becomes a question of ‘Do I want to save on the service fees?’ (known factor) versus risk losing out on an undetermined amount of deductions and credits (unknown factor). As we say: You can’t miss something that you are not aware of! In addition to not mentioning the potential and perhaps unnecessary troubles, cost and frustrations of a future audit (unknown factor). From experience of reviewing self prepared prior year client returns, I have been surprised myself at the number of opportunities that had been overlooked and at the number of errors that had been processed.
Others may have had an unpleasant experience in the past or the subject of the lack of due diligence from the tax service they received from a tax representative, either through a large impersonal corporate franchise or from staff who function strictly on commission. It then becomes tempting to conclude that considering past experiences they might as well try to do it themselves, as they probably couldn’t do any worse (unfortunately some do).
During their undertaking they are likely to start asking themselves:
- ‘Why am I doing this when I could have this prepared by a tax professional?’
- ‘Am I preparing my income tax return or compiling my business expenses correctly?’
- ‘Why am I using so much of my time trying to do something that is outside of my scope of experience?’
- ‘Why am I not having someone qualified with the knowledge to do this in half the time and have the peace of mind that it has been done correctly and consequently minimizing the chances of an audit?’
- ‘Is the money I am saving by doing this myself going to cost me even more in lost opportunities in the end?’ (See Professional Fees.)
- ‘Have I foregone any tax savings because I was not aware or misapplied tax credits or deductions I could have claimed?’
- ‘Could I deduct the accounting portion of the fees as tax deductible expenses for my business (tax savings of 30-40% & HST ITC -13%)? So why am I trying to prepare my income tax return to save such a small amount and risk potentially significant tax losses?’
Those are all valuable questions to ask yourself. Regretfully, when you have already unnecessarily committed too much of your time to the task and the irrational urge to save hits, added to the fact that there is no guarantee that you will find that experienced, dedicated and trustworthy accountant you need (See Finding a Good Accountant) then it may unknowingly seem to make sense. At that point in time, it may feel like it is too late or not worth the investment to have it done by a tax service.
The best scenario however, is without a doubt finding that tax specialist that will be as committed and reliable about doing the work properly, as you would be yourself, with the added benefit of experience. Otherwise, you may be heading for trouble. You would be surprised at the amount of time and money you can save (See Top Ten Reasons) when an income tax return is prepared properly and optimally.
As a professional CPA accountant and having been on both sides of the equation, I definitely know what is the most favorable and wisest choice a client can make.
Conclusion: For a reasonable service fee, one can save themselves a lot of time, frustration and tax dollars by deciding to use the services of a dedicated, committed and attentive professional CPA accountant (See Contact Us)!
Word of Advice: Sometimes it’s not about the money you spend but the money you can save.
Thanks for taking the time to read my comments which I hope will be valuable to you in the future decision making.
Good luck with your search and tax preparation!