Are Online Tax Calculators Accurate Enough for Your Personal Taxes?

  • Here’s what you need to know about the accuracy of online tax calculators as you are preparing to file your 2018 personal taxes.

    Already thinking about filing your 2018 personal taxes and trying to decide if you should use online tax calculators? Maybe you have experienced some changes in your career and salary this year. The tax laws for the upcoming season have certainly changed. Looking to the future and planning ahead never hurt. Curious what your tax bill or refund will look like next spring? We get it. Millions of Americans hope to do something fun with their refund checks. It’s exciting to think about the possibilities!

    There are a lot of websites out there featuring personal tax online calculators. We are not talking about online tax filing programs here. These tools collect your most basic information and estimate your tax refund. Many tax preparation companies display these free tools on their websites. Here’s what we think you should know about using online tax calculators for your personal taxes.

    Online Calculators Only Provide Personal Tax Estimates

    It’s important to remember these tools can only estimate your personal tax bill or refund. If you try out five calculators, you will get five different results. You’ll notice that each tool asks different questions. Other circumstances will impact your actual personal tax results. So don’t count on any tax calculator for a final refund amount. Treat your results as only an estimate. Your actual tax refund next spring will differ from your estimates.

    Some Calculators Help You Plan Two Years Ahead

    The 2018 tax law changes come into effect in spring 2019. Some online personal tax calculators will give you two separate estimates when you enter your current year information. Only consider your 2018 estimate reasonable if your income doesn’t change from year to year. Keep this in mind as you daydream about how you are going to spend those refund checks!

    What’s a More Reliable Personal Tax Estimation Method?

    For a better estimate of your expected personal income tax refund, hire a qualified tax accountant. He or she will examine all of your pertinent documents to ensure you account for all appropriate deductions. Tax pros are familiar with all the current and upcoming tax policies that affect you. Certified accountants have access to professional resources that help them prepare reliable tax returns for their clients. These are the only people you can count on for an accurate personal tax estimate.

    How to Find a Tax Accountant You Can Count On

    There are a few ways to find the best tax accountants in your area. Try asking your friends and colleagues for referrals. Check online review sites like Yelp or Google. When you have the field narrowed down to a few professionals, check out their websites. How long have they been working in accounting? What credentials and training do they have? Use your best judgment at this point to find the right accountant for your personal tax needs.

    Incompass Is Sacramento’s Preferred Personal Tax Firm

    Want to get a jump on your upcoming personal tax filing? Incompass is the full-service accounting firm you need. We serve satisfied clients all over the Sacramento area. Let our team give you the answers you need. You don’t have to put your financial future in the hands of online tax calculators! Click or call Incompass at (916) 974-9393 right now to schedule your personal tax appointment.

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