FAQ’s – Tax
Your most frequently asked Tax Preparation questions answered.
Frequently Asked Tax Questions
Do I really need a CPA to prepare my tax returns or can I prepare my own taxes?
The IRS estimates that it can take 28 ½ hours to research tax law, organize your records, and complete a standard 1040 return with three common schedules. Tax law is constantly changing, so it is important that you are educated about these changes so you correctly fill out your forms. Being technologically savvy is also important as tax preparation software can help eliminate errors, both mathematical and technical. If you’re not comfortable with using this type of software, you may want to contact a CPA.
If you’re a salaried employee who takes the standard deduction, your return is likely to be simple. However, if you’ve encountered a major life change, such as marriage or divorce, or own a vacation home or rental property, your tax situation may be more complicated. Self-employed individuals and small business owners are more likely to be audited by the IRS, and working with a CPA will help lessen that risk.
What’s the difference between using an accountant/bookkeeper and a CPA?
An accountant is not a CPA. Accountants are unlicensed so you can expect lesser fees, but they are not certified. This also translates into a lesser level of professional service as well. Routine accounting work is appropriate for an accountant but the IRS restricts an accountants’ ability to represent taxpayers. Non-CPA prepared business reports are also not considered to be financial statements and have limited third party acceptance.
A CPA is someone who has demonstrated professional competence by passing a rigorous examination and has met high standards of education. In addition, they must meet strict continuing education requirements, undergo peer review, and adhere to a stringent set of ethical standards. A CPA is able to provide representation before the IRS and can also issue business financial statements in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles which are accepted by third parties.
How do I choose the right CPA?
Any professional you choose should not only have the technical knowledge required but should also treat you with respect. Does your CPA and advisor take the time to listen to you? Do you feel comfortable asking your CPA a question? Does your CPA give you an answer that you understand or do they talk over your head or talk down to you? Your CPA becomes your trusted advisor and you need to choose someone you feel comfortable discussing all your financial concerns.
Rest Assured, Kobylar CPA Has You Covered
David Kobylar is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®, and the owner of the tax and accounting firm of David Kobylar, CPA in Clifton Park, NY with more than 30 years of experience in tax, accounting, and financial services. In addition, David is an expert in the financial and tax issues of divorce.
Prior to starting his own firm in 2020, he previously owned his own tax and accounting firm, held the position of controller of a large construction equipment dealership, and most recently was a partner in a small local CPA firm.
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