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Tax Software vs. CPA

October 13, 2018

Tax software vs. CPA: Which one is the right choice? Unfortunately, there's not always a simple answer. The choice depends on your tax situation, which forms you'll have to submit, and your own preferences.

Tax Software

Tax software is a great option for those with simpler tax situations. If you get a W2 at the end of the year and don't plan to itemize deductions, for instance, a good tax software should serve you well. You can buy your tax software in physical form, you can download software from a reputable site, or you can use online software. Tax software allows you to get your taxes done quickly, and the process is simple. It's just a matter of filling in the blanks. Just make sure that you choose a system that comes with a strong customer support network. The drawback to tax software is that it doesn't recognize nuances. If you have a more complex tax situation, you could run into issues with software or miss out on some of your deduction. If you have questions about any vague or confusing tax items, software can only get you so far. Still, for simpler tax situations, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks in terms of ease and simplicity.


A Certified Public Accountant, on the other hand, is your best bet if you're filing taxes as a small business, want to itemize your deductions, or just have a complicated tax situation. Unlike computers, humans understand the concept of nuance. An experienced CPA can help you sort out your categories and answer your more detailed questions. CPAs are also better than software at understanding your questions when you don't quite remember a term or form number. Of course, while a CPA's humanity is his or her biggest strength over software, you should also keep in mind that with humans come the possibility of human error. Most CPAs are fantastic at what they do, but even the best CPAs make mistakes every once in a while. Generally, though, when you work with a CPA, you'll know that your taxes are done thoroughly and well.

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The Best of Both

Then again, why should you have to choose between one or the other? With Halon Tax, you can have both. Our tax preparation services include tax planning strategies with help from real people. Our software service will help you prepare your taxes quickly and easily. Finally, our accountants will review your taxes to make sure that the software didn't miss anything and that you're getting the most out of your deduction. Halon Tax makes the "Software vs. CPA" question a non-issue because you can get the best of both. The benefits of software and the benefits of a CPA service reinforce each other so that you get the best in tax preparation. Take a look at some of your options now, and then let us take care of the hard tax work for you.

Christopher Ragain, CPA

Christopher Ragain, CPA is the founder of Halon Tax and one of the industries top authorities on micro-business taxation and tax planning.

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