If you're not sure whether you have a simple tax return you can do yourself or you wonder about missing significant tax advantages or are concerned that you might be making mistakes, use the checklist below from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to help you decide whether you should hire a certified public accountant to help you prepare your tax return.
Bought or sold a home. You'll want to take all allowable deductions and make certain you qualify for the personal residence exclusion. Got married, divorced or your spouse died. Only a competent tax professional can guide you through the complex tax rules that pertain to assets passing through estates.
Had a baby or adopted a child. A CPA can explain in plain English the sometimes dumbfounding array of investment options for saving for a child's college education, as well as details about the child credit, child care credit and earned income credit.
Have a retirement plan, such as an IRA, 401(k), Keogh plan, a pension or an annuity. Recently bought or started a business, own a business or work from home. A CPA can advise you on whether you should operate as a corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship.