Filing taxes using tax software or a website has become the norm for many people, but that may not always be the case for everyone. If you've been using tax software for years, you can still run up against situations that really need more than an algorithm-driven calculation as an answer. In many cases, using a certified public accountant (CPA), such as one from Carmines Robbins & Company PLC, is the way to solve those issues.
Computer and Software Incompatibility
Even if you have the latest version of a browser and a new computer, you can still experience trouble accessing a tax company's website or using software because of add-ons, plugins, website blockers, and more. Even ad blockers can mess with your ability to submit information online. Rather than risk something going wrong with your taxes, if you notice that you're having trouble accessing some of the features of the software or website, you might want to head to an accountant's office instead. It's all too easy to go through your taxes and then find that the Submit button isn't really submitting your return, for example.
If you have international income, especially if you've been living overseas and dealing with all of the special forms that Americans abroad have to deal with, you need an accountant who understands all of the forms. Not filling them out correctly could leave you with high fines. People who are currently living abroad can usually find an accountant in the countries they've been living in, but for returnees like you, a United States–based CPA is the person to talk to.
The Alternative Minimum Tax can sneak up on you, increasing the taxes you owe unexpectedly. If you have a lower income, the AMT shouldn't be a problem for you, but high earners need a good accountant to figure out whether the AMT should really apply or if there are legal ways to reduce what you might owe. While the AMT has been modified in the past few years to make it less likely to catch regular taxpayers who just happen to have a high income, if you've got a large number of dependents or have done anything with those stock options you got through work, the AMT could apply to your situation.
Contact a CPA about your taxes as soon as you can. Good CPAs have a lot of clients, and you don't want to leave your taxes until they're at a point where the CPA has to rush to get yours done.