Berg & Associates Tax and Financial Services
Berg & Associates Tax and Financial Services can help meet the needs of the individual taxpayer as well as the established small business or corporation.
A staff of four, share combined experience of more than 100 years in tax and financial services.
Do I need a CPA to prepare my Taxes?
The short answer is, probably not.
The CPA lobby has, quite understandably, done a great job of convincing people that they should use a CPA, and why not? You can't blame them for trying to get more business. But the fact of the matter is that a CPA is necessary only under certain, rather specific conditions.
The airwaves are inundated starting in January every year and continuing through April 15th, with advertisements by the factory preparers, and software vendors, who advertise that you can prepare your taxes by buying their particular software package and preparing your taxes yourself, no muss, no fuss. Would that it were that easy.
I know it sounds disingenuous, since we're in the tax preparation business, and we want to encourage you to bring your taxes to us. You are no doubt saying to yourself "of course they're 'gonna say that". But the truth is, that we have been in this business for many years, seeing and understanding the incredible mind-bending, complexity of our tax system, and the fact that changes are made to it almost daily. The conclusion we have come to is that unless your taxes are very simple, i.e., one W-2 and no deductions, no one should ever attempt to prepare their own taxes, or have them prepared by anyone with less than many years of tax preparation experience. It's sad that our tax system has metastasized to require the level of expertise that it does, but, as Walter Cronkite used to say: "That's the way it is".
If your taxes are very simple, an off-the-shelf tax software package may be all you need, and you are probably capable of filing such simple taxes by yourself without a problem. Even if your taxes are fairly simple, by the time you purchase a software package and spend hours inputting data, for only a few dollars more you can have your taxes professionally done. Doesn't that make a lot of sense?
If your taxes include more, and as you add complexity - a small business, rental property, home ownership, investments, etc, - you truly need to have your taxes prepared by a responsible, experienced tax preparer, or an enrolled agent (EA).
Only in the case where you are dealing with a company with several partners whose charter requires a CPA, one that requires audited financial statements, one that is a publicly traded company, or a company with some other unique issue (foreign earnings, for example), is a CPA necessary or required. Keep in mind also, that although a CPA is authorized to represent clients before the IRS, many CPA's don't specialize in taxes, and if you have a problem with the IRS, you'll need one that does. In fact, if you need representation before the IRS, an EA, a CPA, or a Tax Attorney, are all authorized to represent you, and it depends on the depth and breadth of the problem to determine which one to use.
So. Come see us, we can prepare your taxes. If you need help from an attorney or CPA, we have associates that we can partner with on your behalf. And we can assure you that when you sign a return prepared by us, it will be legal, accurate, current, and complete. And we stand behind our work.