I Was Never Told (To Be Responsible For My Own Taxes)

Posted on December 4, 2013 by in Blog

Here is one of the many great articles written by Cooper CPA Group’s very own, David Acosta.

 

I WAS NEVER TOLD (TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MY OWN TAXES)

By David G. Acosta CPA

Cooper CPA Group PC

 

I guess this is the most repeated excuse I hear whenever I represent a taxpayer in an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit.  Taxpayers that fail to take responsibility for their own taxes always look to blame someone else when they get caught with either unreported income or unsubstantiated expenses.  And, of course, it’s the tax preparer who mostly gets the blame.

In some cases it’s simple – it IS the tax preparer’s fault.  But that is usually because the taxpayer is your brother-law who took an accounting course once in college, or a friend of a friend who thinks they can do anything, like build you a kitchen cabinet, fix your washing machine, or tell you which stocks to buy.  And it’s usually free.  But you know what they say…”you get what you pay for.”

But even if it’s not free, it’s probably the cheapest preparer that can be found, because most often taxpayers only look at cost of services and not value. You can’t expect to get tax preparation, tax planning , and scrutiny of potential tax savings from the same person on the cheap.  But a good CPA can usually save you at least whatever you paid him or her to prepare your taxes. 

That’s because good CPAs think long term.  They’re not just thinking April 15.  Their job starts January 1 and never stops, i.e. they help you think about your tax situation as an ongoing event.  We’ve all heard  that saying , “nothing is certain except death and taxes” but most taxpayers plan for neither.  And that’s not good. 

But what I’m also getting at is that you have to take responsibility for your own taxes.  People (usually) don’t want to know what’s going on with their tax situation until it’s too late.  They roll the dice of audit chances and figure since the IRS audits less than one percent of all tax returns, then it’s a pretty good bet they won’t get checked out. (P.S. That percentage changes depending on the type of return.)

A good CPA will encourage you to look at your taxes now and forever.  This thinking will help you save money, whether or not you get audited.  It will help you in other facets of your life as well.  It helps you be more organized and more productive.   And think about what you can do with those savings.  Maybe you can take that vacation you always wanted to.  Or, they can help you with tuition for that overachieving son or daughter.  Maybe you want to sock it away and relax in your Golden years.  You might even want to sleep better every night knowing that for the most part, you’ve taken responsibility for your own financial happiness.

10 Tax Breaks Set to Expire in 2013

Posted on December 1, 2013 by in Blog, Government, Retirement, Strategy, Taxes

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10 Tax Breaks Set to Expire in 2013

2013 Tax Changes for Businesses

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2013 Tax Changes for Businesses

2013 Tax Changes for Individuals

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2013 Tax Changes for Individuals

Tap Your Retirement Money Early; Minimize Penalties

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Tap Your Retirement Money Early; Minimize Penalties