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Getting Income Tax Help
Doug Smith

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Everyone needs tax help on or near April 15, the U.S. federal income tax return filing deadline. Such tax assistance consists of a professional tax consultant assisting ordinary citizens navigate the maze of tax codes and laws, so that they may prepare, file (or e-file), and pay their federal taxes on time. Businesses also seek the help of tax experts to help them to maximize deductions, minimize taxable income, while still filing a lawful return. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) penalties and fees can be severe in the case of accidental or purposeful omissions on tax returns. Therefore it is wise to seek professional tax assistance before filing a tax return.

Some citizens whose income falls below certain limits may be able to muddle through their Form 1040 or 1040A without expert tax assistance. If the tax return is expected to be simple, especially if there are no itemized deductions, the person may be able to file the simpler Form 1040 EZ. In the case of complex returns, however, with many itemized deductions, depreciation, stock and earned interest income, gambling losses, property purchases, and other complicated taxable issues, a professional helper can easily deal with these taxing issues.

Tax consultants may take the form of tax attorneys, certified public accountants or CPA, chartered accountants, income tax preparers, or have similar financial titles. Often you will arrange an appointment via phone and meet them at their offices. Helpful tax information is also available over the internet, either via the tax helper's website, or through the free information on the IRS website. Depending on the seriousness of the issues, your tax assistance could be conducted entirely online, along with the e-filing of your return, and the payment of any taxes you may owe. Hopefully your income tax professional is good enough to get you a refund instead.

Tax professionals earn their living by helping individuals and businesses with tax assistance, so they often promise high quality service free of errors. Some of the major tax preparation companies guarantee that they will pay any IRS fines or penalties if the error is their fault. They may also promise to go to tax court with you if you are audited. Look for tax assistance firms that make these promises. Get references from past and current customers of the tax relief firm, and contact your state's financial department and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if their have been any complaints about the tax preparation companies you are considering.

If the preparation of your federal income tax return causes you fear and dread before the April 15 filing deadline of each year, consider hiring outside tax assistance. A veteran tax help professional will get you the highest refund possible, or minimize any payments you may have to make, with the least worry possible for you.

Copyright 2008 by Doug Smith.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Unauthorized Duplication Prohibited.  Not Intended to be Professional Advice.

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