Tax return – Pay the lowest cost seasonal tax preparer or hire a CPA?
It’s that wonderful time of year again – tax season.
While this is something that all Canadians have to do, everyone has their own way of doing it. Some prefer to pick up the forms and do them manually. Others will buy a tax software package from the store and let the program guide them through the process. Still others will drop off their paperwork at an ordinary tax preparation service, usually located in a kiosk at the mall or taking up residence in a temporary space in a plaza of some sort.
While these services may be fine for students or others with the simplest of returns, most people don’t have simple returns. They have two-income households, perhaps tuition, a home, RRSPs, RESPs, donations, child care credits and perhaps rental property to factor in. A Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) can help factor all these things in, to ensure that Canadians are filing their taxes correctly to get the maximum return.
While the run-of-the-mill tax preparers have only limited education and are not licensed accountants, a CPA is a trained professional, with more than four years of education. Only after are they able to be tested, licensed and insured to provide tax planning services. CPAs are regulated by a professional association – the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) – while in contrast, tax preparers are ordinary people who are trained to enter data into a tax software program.
If you choose a tax preparer (usually because they mistakenly viewed as a lower-cost alternative to a CPA professional) you’re running the risk of not getting your maximum tax return, or having an error made. But when you choose one of 200,000 CPAs, like ZABANA CPA Professional Corporation you’re choosing someone who is better qualified, trained and licensed. It’s worth the cost – and the peace of mind.