Ideally, preparing tax returns is not a methodical, meticulous process. Most people think it is; most preparers do it that way; but it’s actually very intricate, more like playing chess than playing checkers. If you’re going to do it right, you will be continually moving all the component parts around until you find the low tax solution. Something like a giant shell game.
Few tax professionals look for it, so most never find it.
If you get preparation right, the next step is tax strategy.