Today you can typically file your taxes online, or invest in a computer program that will prepare your taxes for you. While this might save you some money versus the cost of hiring an accountant or tax consultant, there are many advantages to having this type of professional handle your taxes for you. These advantages can actually save you more money than their fees, and they can offer you certain protections that computer programs cannot. Note a few signals that you should hire a tax consultant or accountant to prepare your taxes.
1. If you're self-employed, own a business or own rental properties
When you don't have taxes automatically taken out of your income, you need to consider all ways of lowering your tax bill, and this is where an accountant can be useful. For example, when you're self-employed you may not think of depreciation of items you use for your work, or may not consider miscellaneous expenses such as mileage or car repairs if you use your car mostly for business. A tax consultant can note all the money you have coming in for your own business or properties and ensure you're taking all the deductions to which you're entitled, and in turn, lower your tax bill as much as possible.
2. If you want to set aside money for your children or charities
Putting money in a separate savings account for your children or charities to be paid after you've passed away doesn't mean they will be without a tax bill when they receive those funds. In some areas there are no gift taxes for funds like those, but in other areas they may need to pay taxes on cash gifts. An accountant can advise you on how to set aside those types of funds with the smallest tax bill possible; this might include a trust or other provision.
3. If you have income from foreign sources
The tax laws regarding income from foreign sources are often different than the tax laws regarding income from businesses owned in the same country as where you reside. These laws may affect you if you have stock in companies that are owned in other countries or receive dividends from savings accounts in foreign banks. If any of these apply to you, it's best to consult with an accountant so that he or she can ensure that you are paying appropriate tax amounts and are reducing this tax liability as much as possible.
For more information, check out companies such as Goodall & Co.