When it comes to tax preparation, use a professional. Rarely have I ever seen a self-prepared return save the taxpayer more in fee costs, that is the fees that Fragnoli & Company, CPAs in Brentwood, TN would have charged, than the reduction in tax liability we generated by preparing a complete, accurate and detailed return. I recently completed a return for a new client who had prepared her own return in the prior year. She is a successful and intelligent executive who makes a solid income. She is in sales and travels quite a bit. She is self-employed while providing all of her services for one client. She does not have an office outside of her home. She rents a nice place in the greater Nashville area and pays substantial rent. When I asked her about a home office she indicated space that accounts for 28.5% of the total space. She did NOT take a home office deduction in her 2012 return. If she had proceeded to prepare her 2013 return, she would not have taken the home office deduction to which she is fully entitled. By taking this deduction she saved in excess of $2,000 in taxes.
Now this was not a genius move on our part. This is a fairly obvious deduction and I am guessing that most professional preparers would have done the same. There were other items in this return that saved the taxpayer even more money. The point here is that all too often our Firm receives self-prepared returns, or returns prepared by non-professional tax preparation enterprises, that do not minimize the taxpayer’s liability. I read a quote not too long ago that I love to restate whenever appropriate (and I am paraphrasing here) and it is “when you buy cheap you may get nothing for your money or worse. If you pay for the best, the worst that can happen is the cost difference”. I find myself always telling family members and clients that you get what you pay for and it applies to tax preparation as well. When it comes to tax preparation,- use a professional!!