How do I determine if I need a CPA to file my taxes?
• You are single
• You have only one primary source of income
• Do not have rental properties
• You do not have any dependents
• You are not self-employed
• You do not have significant assets
• You did not move to another state or country
If all of these factors apply to you, the filing should be straightforward and straightforward. There are several options to file your return yourself and still have some guidance. The IRS offers a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program that provides free tax preparation help to those that earn less than $56,000. Local libraries and villages also offer programs around tax season that provide tax preparation assistance. Most of the tax software programs available online, such as Turbo Tax and Credit Karma Tax, are free or relatively low cost and are very user-friendly, designed to guide the user through the entire process of filing the return from start to finish. If you choose to file your return yourself, you can save yourself the hefty expense of hiring a professional, which averages $200 to $300 for an average return.
• Had a baby
• Added a dependent
• Purchased property
• Obtained revenue from outside of the United States
Optimizing Your Resume
Updating your resume may feel like a lottery draw in terms of which skills to list, the choice of wording utilized, and who to list as references. As a whole, this single document must represent you in the most favorable light, highlighting your every strength to a person unbeknownst to you. The hiring manager reading your resume may be the type that is very black and white, eliminating any applicants that do not have the skills and experience required for the position. Others prefer to meet applicants and take their character into account, using that to compensate for a minor lack of job requirements. Regardless of the hiring manager’s preference or your resume credentials, there are specific skills any employer will be impressed to see on a resume. These are skills that most candidates will have from life experiences, if not specifically from a professional environment, that can give a boost to any resume.
If you’ve ever had any sort of position in which you represented a company’s image to the public, list it on your resume. There are several skills involved in dealing with consumers, whether it be as a coffee shop manager, instructor or sales representative. The ability to manage employees or maintain satisfied clients are valuable skills to have. Customer service and interpersonal skills are excellent skills to have when applying for any position.
If you had the opportunity to improve a situation in a past position, especially in a financial manner, mentioning that in your resume is a must. Detailing the percentage or numerical result of your efforts is a massive boost for your resume. It also would be most impressive if you have the experience of streamlining a process, demonstrating time management skills.
You don’t have to have a degree in Information Technology to have the types of skills needed for most jobs in today’s technologically focused world. Just having the experience of being savvy with everyday apps such as Twitter of Facebook, will get your foot in the door. Knowing how to navigate basic social media platforms will give you the basics to operate most other apps as well. Listing yourself as having even necessary digital communication skills also gives the impression that you are currently in the job market. Apps, of course, are not the only technological skill worth mentioning. Any computer skills and software program competency are significantly in demand in today’s market for the majority of employers.
Be as specific as possible when listing this skill as there are so many forms that can be associated with it. Have you helped with the church or company newsletter? Did you regularly write speeches and social media post blurbs for your executive friend or previous boss? Are you great at proofreading? Are you an active listener? All of these skills are worth mentioning on a resume.
Everyone, at some point or other, has had the experience of taking on a home remodeling project, business-related effort or perhaps even supervising a recruit. In all of these cases, you have gained experience managing a project, which is another critical skill employers look for. Having the ability to be self-motivated, as well as succeeding in being organized and structuring the project to be carried out in a timely and productive manner, is imperative in business. Time wasted translates to dollars lost. All of these experiences lead to having the skills to problem solving, leadership and management, which are other fantastic skills to have on your resume.
Review the types of skills others in the position you hope to be most valuable. If you have any of them, be sure to list them on your resume. Consider what you can do to acquire any you may not feel confident about.