Written by Tom Murtha on January 30, 2023 in Uncategorized

The Cans and Cannots of Your CPA

The Murtha & Murtha Team

Your CPA is your number one resource for filing your taxes, but there are some things they cannot do (we know, hard to believe!). The IRS protects your privacy and limits what CPAs can do after they’ve filed your taxes.

CPAs are different than accountants. While CPAs are always accountants, it’s not always the other way around. CPAs go through continuing education, are licensed by a governing body, and monitored to ensure they follow all codes of conduct.

Because of the stricter requirements and extensive schooling CPAs attend, they can file your taxes and act on your behalf with the IRS. 

There’s a lot CPAs can do, but knowing their limits is important.

Here’s what you must know.

What CPAs Can Do

CPAs are your top resource when preparing your taxes. They can handle simple and complex tax returns. They are required to follow all IRS guidelines while also maximizing your tax returns.

When you work with the right CPAs, you’ll get the following:

  • Extensive tax law knowledge – Tax laws change frequently, but a licensed CPA must be up-to-date on all tax laws to prepare taxes. 
  • Critical thinking – Tax preparers must be able to analyze your financial situation and find deductions and credits you qualify for to reduce your tax burden.
  • Problem-solving – Tax preparers can help you solve difficult financial issues, foresee problems for upcoming tax years, and help you resolve tax issues from previous years.
  • A professional representative in front of the IRS – If you are audited, a CPA can represent you, defending your tax returns if the IRS finds a problem.
  • Provide missing information – If you authorize a third party, such as your CPA, to discuss your tax return with the IRS, the IRS can contact your CPA with questions or concerns about your return.

What CPAs Cannot Do

While there is a lot CPAs can do for you when filing your taxes, there are also many things they cannot do.

We know you’re anxious to get your tax refund after filing, but CPAs cannot call the IRS on your behalf. We also cannot ask for the status of your refund or access your account in any way. Any information we provide to the IRS must be because you authorized us to talk on your behalf, but the IRS will not release personal information to us.

Final Thoughts

Working with the right CPA is important. You’re trusting your most important asset with your CPA, so you need someone you know will act as a fiduciary and have your best interests in mind.

While you can hand over much of the work involved in filing your taxes to your CPA, there are some things you must do, such as following up on your refund or calling the IRS with personal questions. 

If you need a qualified CPA to help you with your taxes this year, contact us today. We work diligently, follow the law, and ensure you understand your tax returns every step of the way.

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