Professional Tax Preparation Help - Understanding Your Choices

Professional Tax Help
No one likes paying taxes and about the same number of people feel the same way about preparing the financial documents needed to file taxes. It is no wonder why many people decide to hire professional tax preparation help.

It's tedious, time-consuming, and can be rather complicated depending on the financial situation.

There are many different types of professionals that you can hire to help you prepare your annual taxes. It can get a bit confusing. To help I have created a list of professional titles which if held by an individual, the said person is able to help with your taxes.

Tax Professionals


Preparers are simply individuals who prepare tax returns in return for a fee reflecting the type of tax return they prepare. There is no regulatory oversight nor special rules governing these professionals. Typically such a person works under a different and typically more prestigious title professional such as a financial advisor or other financial/legal specialist of some sort.

The great thing about preparers is that they are far cheaper to use than many other professionals available. However, they should only be utilized by those with simple tax situations.

If you use the store front retail tax services such as H&R Block or Liberty Tax then you are using a "Preparer". These professionals prove just fine for simple W-2 based returns. Once large investment portfolios, employees, buy/sell income, and other complicaited financial matters enter the mix it becomes wise to seek

CPA - Certified Public Accountant

These financial professionals have fairly extensive education training and examination credentials

Tax Attorneys 

These professional are the most expensive option. Typically they are the best in terms of expertise. The large hourly fees are happily paid by high-earning individuals and businesses who save millions through the work provided by their tax attorneys. These folks are also needed for those who are in trouble with the IRS.

Help Yourself

If you have simple tax situation it may be bet to use an online do it your self-service. That typically will cost less than a 100 dollars. Try H&R Block. I have used them in the past and have always been very impressed with how user-friendly their software platform was.

Another great idea is to do some reading and research on taxes. A great finance blog that has a lot of great tax related resources is "Joe Tax Payer".It is a blog created and maintained by one person. I highly recommend it.

Other Finance Resources

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