Tax Software vs Your tax Accountant

Tax software or tax accountant

When it comes around tax time the methods for getting your taxes done quick and easy begin to flow. There are all kinds of temporary tax preparation locations suddenly available, there is tons of advertising on television, and there is a big push on using software. Then of course, there are the tax accountants who want to make sure that their services are well known.

So where does this leave you as the tax payer needing to file a tax return as to your best choices.

We have talked about tax preparation in the past, and a little on software as well. We want to expand on some thinking in regards to when changes take place in the tax regulations and what happens with the software.

A couple of things happen with some tax software users. They may not fully understand it and it can lead them to missing out on potential credits. Or, new tax rulings can get really complex and the software doesn’t have the capability of handling the complexities.

Those software programs that have been approved by the CRA have taken the new income splitting opportunity into account. For those that are using other forms of software it could be a problem. Or for those that use some of annual tax preparation books, these may not have been updated to include this new income splitting regulation.

An example, of complexity is with the recent changes made to the new family tax credit. Some critics are saying that to gain access to income splitting and getting the right calculations can take up to 85 new steps, when it comes to the completion of the tax forms for 2014.

If a tax return is going to be a simple matter then there should be no issues with the software being used.

Another important factor to keep in mind is that you can’t ask questions to your software like “what if” you were to change something you are doing in regards to your finances. How would it affect your tax situation, for example. This is a direct benefit of using the services of a quality accountant.

The best solution here is to know what is new for taxes this year, and to determine if any of them could have an effect on your tax situation. If the answer is no and you feel that your tax filing is fairly straight forward then you can opt for some of the other tax filing methods. If on the other hand you feel that they could have an impact on your tax situation then you may be better ahead to utilize the services of a tax filing professional that has more experience.

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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
629 Sheppard Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 2S3

Telephone: (416) 398-1700
Fax: (416) 398-6226

Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Licensed Public Accountant


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