Significant tax changes will require the majority of taxpayers spending more time in the tax preparer's office this year. Straight forward choices in the past are no longer simple. The choice between the standard deduction and itemizing has been muddied by additions to the standard deduction. Sales tax on the first $49,500 of a new vehicle purchase in 2009 is added to the standard deduction and itemizers. Multiple vehicles count.
More credits will make the tax return thicker. The tax preparer will ask questions that lead to more questions that may lead to a tax credit or deduction. This is the same as in the past, except that there are more questions than ever to determine which credits and deductions apply to you.
If you drop your information off at the preparer, expect a phone call with questions. The only way to prepare an accurate return will require a litany of Q&A.
As annoying and time consuming as this can be, it is to your benefit. Not only is your tax return prepared correctly, but all legal deductions and credits should be applied. Tax are going up and the best way to keep it civil is to take advantage of the the credits Congress has thrown our way. Tax simplification is over, as if it were ever simple.
Don't shoot your tax return preparer just because he wants a little more of your time. All he wants is the best deal for you.