Published on: March 23, 2021

Your Guide to Virtual Tax Preparation with a CPA

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    Many Americans are working, learning, and socializing from home, and the tax season may look similar. Many tax professionals are offering virtual tax preparation and tax consulting services to support taxpayers, a trend that is likely to continue as more people are seeing firsthand the benefits of virtual interactions and transactions.

    Virtual tax preparation has many benefits other than social distancing, as well. This guide will walk you what to expect throughout the process, the top benefits to taxpayers, and five frequently asked questions about getting tax filing help from home.

    Taxpayer receiving virtual tax preparation services

    Understanding Virtual Tax Preparation

    Virtual tax preparation allows you to still work with a tax professional to file your tax return, but everything is done remotely. A few things to keep in mind:

    There are many reasons to take advantage of virtual tax preparation services, especially if you have a busy schedule this spring or are concerned about interacting in person with people outside of your bubble. Here are a few other benefits of filing your taxes from home:

    Faster Results

    When you can prepare everything from home and work with a virtual tax professional or file yourself online, things can be completed faster. You don’t have to wait on slower mail services or drive to the office to share information.

    Safe Tax Preparation

    Many pandemic-related restrictions are still in place across the country. Meeting with a tax professional virtually means you can rest assured that you’ll stay safe during the tax preparation process. There is no longer the need to take a risk when filing your taxes since everything can be done remotely.

    Get Expert Help

    You may not be visiting a CPA’s office this year, but you can still get the expert help you depend on for taxes when you work with a virtual tax preparer. They can answer any questions you may have and ensure that everything is submitted properly. You receive all the same assistance, just virtually.
    Now you know what virtual tax preparation is and why it can benefit you this year, but many people have questions beyond those basics. Take a look at the following five frequently asked questions about taking this approach.
    how far back can you amend taxes icon

    5 FAQs About Virtual Tax Preparation

    If you have questions, you are not alone. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about virtual tax preparation.

    1. How Can I Do My Taxes Without Leaving Home?

    Gone are the days when you have to leave the comfort of your home to do your taxes. Many Americans file themselves using a platform, and digital signatures allow you to authorize the filing without physically touching it. You can still get help from a tax professional and file from home using virtual tax preparation services. It is fast and easy to find a virtual preparer to help you.

    2. Is Virtual Tax Preparation Safe?

    Just because services are virtual doesn’t mean your information will be at risk. Many accounting firms use secure platforms and systems that make sure your data is secure. Technologies that ensure security include encryption systems and cloud-based storage solutions (which eliminate the need to send digital documents via email or other less secure methods), among others.

    3. How Will I Communicate with My Tax Preparer?

    You can still discuss all your tax questions in a virtual format, whether over the phone or via teleconferencing platforms like Zoom or Google Meet. Video calls help you get the same level of face-to-face service, so you feel more like you’re talking to a real person. Many professionals will let you decide how to communicate when you have a consultation.

    4. Should I Keep Digital Records for My Taxes?

    Some employers and financial institutions still send hard-copy tax forms each year. Request paperless communication from these organizations, if you can, to save paper waste and speed up the time it takes for you to receive your tax forms. It is a good idea to keep digital records of your tax forms and tax returns, so nothing is ever lost for future reference. Saving them online also makes sure you can secure these documents.

    5. How Will the Process Work?

    The specific steps will depend on the tax professional you work with. However, you will generally alert the preparer that you would like help preparing your taxes virtually and send them all applicable documents in a portal or platform. They will usually accept payment for their services virtually as well, so you never have to leave your home during the process. They take care of submitting everything for you.

    The bottom line is that virtual tax preparation can be a safe, effective, and simple way to get the tax assistance you need when you can’t, or would rather not, meet in person. Remember that it is always wise to discuss your options for digital record-keeping and virtual tax preparation with a tax professional who can customize their virtual services to meet your needs.

    filing taxes with mor

    Contact a Tax Expert about Virtual Tax Preparation Services

    If you need help with your taxes this year, contact the experts at Silver Tax Group. We provide a range of tax services — from tax consulting and tax return preparation to IRS audit defense and tax court litigation — and understand that you may want to do your taxes virtually in 2021. Our team is committed to providing all applicable services in a remote format as needed.

    Reach out to Silver Tax Group to speak to a tax expert about virtual tax preparation.

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