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Do I Need a CPA

Q:  I am in my second year as a small business owner and I am still not sure if I am required to use a CPA to do my tax return. What is my best option?

A:  Your question is a great one and one that should be answered before you do anything else related to completing your annual income tax return.  As a CPA myself, I certainly don’t want to talk you out of using a professional but it is my concerted opinion that almost all of us are capable of preparing our own tax return.  The availability of sophisticated tax software packages such as TurboTax, TaxCut, and others along with increasing access to experts such as those available through the NASE for questions and detailed assistance, the process becomes more and more palatable.  Most CPAs, EAs, and other tax professionals will charge somewhere between $300 and $600 to prepare a basic small business tax return and if you have an extra Saturday, this is money that you can probably keep.  This is not necessarily an easy decision so don’t take it lightly, but if you are doing basically the same things you did last year with about the same income and about the same experience with expenses, this may be a good year to attempt to do the return yourself.   Keep in mind that if this is your first small business tax return or if you have some complicated issues such as accelerated depreciation options on the new equipment you purchased this might be the year to use that CPA or EA to help.  But before you jump to conclusions think about doing the return yourself.  You have resources and you have places to ask questions.  There is no wrong answer here, but make sure that you know that you have options.

 As always, don’t forget that you are not alone. Bookmark our website at as well as the IRS website at and you will always be able to find the help you need.

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