Building a Business Relationship with Your Tax Advisor
You will receive much more benefit each year, if you have your taxes prepared by a licensed tax professional (an EA or CPA), instead of one of the giant chain tax preparation offices.
The giant chains, such as H&R Block, Jackson-Hewitt, Liberty Tax and others, hire unlicensed, low-skilled, seasonal preparers to provide tax preparation services each year. Then, as soon as Tax Season is over, they lay off over 90% of their tax preparers.
For about the same tax preparation fee each year, you could have built a business relationship with a tax professional, who has a much higher level of tax knowledge, is available all year round to answer your tax questions, and will be there when you experience life changing events. The licensed tax professional can also provide tax planning and IRS representation when needed.
Often, the licensed tax professional can actually cost you less money out of pocket, than the chain preparer. The EA or CPA is much more likely to find the additional tax deduction or credit, which the chains often miss. It is nearly impossible for the seasonal, unlicensed chain preparer to understand all of the special rules in the Tax Code, and how they may apply to your circumstances at any given time.
Building that Tax Professional/Client Relationship
You will be better served by taking the money you were already spending at the local giant tax preparation chain office, and using that money to hire a true tax professional. This will allow you to build a business relationship, which could provide great value to you over the years, in many more ways, than tax preparation alone.
Your professional tax advisor could be there for you at each transition in your life; whether you were beginning a career or a business; getting married, having children, or getting divorced; or when the unexpected happened. Your advisor could help you through the complexities of these events; keep you out-of-hot-water when the rules change, or advise you on what to do when a loved-one dies.