Advertisements for easy-to-use tools and low-cost tax preparation services leave the impression that tax prep and planning can be mastered by novice preparers and those with no tax planning experience. Tax preparation is complex on its own, but planning requires a slew of other skills and adequate experience and education.
There is a major difference between tax preparation and tax planning. The former can be done by a computer program or tax preparer, but the latter requires the help of a professional CPA working in tandem with you to develop a sound and profitable tax program. For most small business owners, the assistance of a professional CPA is needed.
The bottom line: even if you think yours is a situation that is easy enough to handle on your own, rest assured that a CPA is better equipped to plan your tax strategy. The best advice is to seek the service of a CPA every few years to ensure you’re not missing anything significant and that your tax plan is economically beneficial to your business.