The answer to this question is more complicated than it sounds. Accounting Today, a leading information resources used by accountants, published an article on April 28, 2022, that stated “About 70% of Americans — or those earning less than $73,000 in 2021 — are eligible to file their taxes without cost as part of the IRS’s Free File Alliance with tax-software companies. But only 3% of taxpayers take advantage of it, in part because of a lack of understanding and the dominance of commercial tax-filing software…”
The article goes on to say that this may be because “…commercial products are widely advertised, unlike the free file program” and even suggests that some providers who participate in the program steer customers to paid products. The IRS does offer this program and has an intuitive site to direct taxpayers to an online provider that will even include a state filing, in certain cases. The harsh reality is that many Americans are confused by the Tax code and rely on Tax Preparers, Enrolled Agents, and Certified Public Accountants to advise them in addition to relying on their expertise in properly and accurately filing tax forms.
Also, the Internal Revenue Service and State taxing authorities make frequent changes to their tax code. As a result, an experienced professional who can properly advise for those changes can make sure the taxpayer is adjusting their withholdings and making more informed decisions that could save them far more money than the cost of getting their taxes prepared. While we always recommend the simplest of tax clients to take advantage of low cost, or free, options, we often encourage and receive feedback that Taxpayers want to maximize deductions, minimize liability, and explore beneficial tax strategies.
At Petrucelli, Piotrowski & Co., Inc., we offer our clients personalized services and help individuals achieve goals and stay informed on the changes in tax laws. Also, we offer additional services and partner with other professionals who can guide clients in achieving their retirement, college savings, and wealth creation goals. We put our clients first and offer high quality services for reasonable prices. Your tax professional, should be offering you more, and we have made a commitment to work without clients to make sure that their money does not slip away.