|Bid||252.74 x 900|
|Ask||253.29 x 900|
|Day's Range||252.47 - 259.64|
|52 Week Range||166.52 - 260.71|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.02|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||53.13|
|Earnings Date||May 20, 2019 - May 24, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.88 (0.72%)|
|1y Target Est||242.41|
Intuit's breakout in February shows how using the Relative Strength Rating helps determine the strength of growth stocks at the breakout.
The Federal Reserve came out of its most recent meeting about as dovish as it could get. This is marked change from where it was in the fourth quarter of last year. As it unwound its portfolio of mortgage-backed securities and kept a keen eye on inflation, many market sectors were wondering how they were going to keep growth going after the steroid shot of a tax cut.But December changed all that.The Fed backed off its intent to raise rates as planned in 2019. And it would hold on to its portfolio. And the markets have been feeling good ever since. However, it recent announcement that it has no plans to raise rates or sell anything in its portfolio has actually frightened the markets.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsNow, investors are worried that the economy may be weaker than we expected and that 2% growth may not be as easy to get as anticipated. And today's manufacturing PMI sliding to 21-month lows reinforces that. * 7 Beaten-Up Stocks to Buy as They Reverse Course But the 7 A-rated stocks for Q2 that follow will be top performers because they're best in class stocks in well-performing sectors. CyberArk Software (CYBR)Source: Shutterstock CyberArk Software (NASDAQ:CYBR) is a cybersecurity company that's based out of Israel but has clients all over the globe. Its claim to fame is its privileged-access security software. Privileged accounts are the most secure properties that exist in most organizations. And when those organizations are storing very critical data like financial institutions, healthcare companies, utilities and other enterprise organizations that have significant amounts of these types of accounts, it's crucial that they're secure internally and externally.And this is CYBR does. It also offers other products, but this is the hub of its cybersecurity wheel.As we see bigger and more sophisticated hacks of major databases and the information inside those databases, more and more companies are doing their best to avoid being the next embarrassing headline.The A-rated stock is up 138% in the past 12 months, which is testament to the growing global demand for CYBR's platform. Lululemon (LULU)Source: Shutterstock Lululemon athletica (NASDAQ: LULU) is an upscale sportswear company that pretty much coined the term 'athleisure'. What LULU has done very well is know its customers and maintain control of its brand. Its products are not cheap. But that's the point. They're well made, and by not distributing them outside of its own retail shops and e-commerce site, it has been able to keep prices where it needs them to be.Bigger brands in the market have massive distribution networks, which means pricing premiums are harder to maintain and that makes it tough to control margins.LULU has built a great and growing customer base and has patiently expanded its market in to menswear. * 7 Retail Stocks That Will Continue to Rebound in 2019 LULU stock is up more than 80% in the past 12 months, yet it still trades a trailing P/E of 51. That's amazing given the growth potential out there and how well run this company is. First BanCorp (FBP)Source: Shutterstock First BanCorp (NYSE: FBP) is a Puerto Rican bank that has been in business since 1948. It also has operations in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. While the recent devastating hurricane is still fresh in our minds and the Caribbean -- in particular Puerto Rico -- is still recovering, the fact is that redeveloping the island is underway. And that redevelopment means money has to start flowing in.That's why being one of the top local banks is a great position to be in right now. Also remember that other islands were affected by the hurricane and Puerto Rico is a big financial hub for other Caribbean islands.This increase in rebuilding and redevelopment has certainly been reflected in FBP's stock price. The stock is up more than 80% in the past 12 months. That's pretty spectacular for a financial stock.And there's plenty more to come, given the fact that this A-rated stock is still trading at a trailing P/E of 12. Intuit (INTU)Source: Mike Mozart via Wikimedia (Modified) Intuit Inc (NASDAQ: INTU) is a software development company that is best known to consumers -- especially this time of year -- for TurboTax. It also owns QuickBooks which is a suite of financial and business tools geared toward small businesses. It allows small business owners a place to do payroll, sort out taxes, integrate all the accounting inputs and even market and hire.INTU's other division sells similar products that are focused on professional accountants and larger businesses.But the real growth potential is in the products focused on small businesses and consumers. In this gig economy both tools are increasingly popular and their brands have a commanding presence in the market. * 3 Earnings Reports to Watch Next Week As the economy grows, so will INTU's fortunes. It's up 51% in the past 12 months but only trades at a trailing P/E of 46. Costco (COST)Source: Shutterstock Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST) is the Land of Giant Portions and a great favorite for small businesses and consumers alike. Last year, Costco was doing well. It tends to reflect the broader economy, so when the economy is chugging along, so is COST. But in December, it hit the same wall most consumer stocks did.Worries about growth moving forward and all the feel-good valuations up to that point disintegrated.However, COST came roaring back like it was a beaten down semiconductor stock.At this point, its 12-month return is 32% and its trailing P/E is 31. COST should have a strong year, with decent growth ahead and wages improving. That means more people shopping and spending. Mastercard (MA)Source: Hakan Dahlstrom via Flickr (Modified) Mastercard (NYSE: MA) is one of the leading and oldest payment processing companies out there. Now, a decade ago, I would have likely called it a credit card company. My how the world has changed. Granted, MA got started as Interbank in 1966 and landed on its current incarnation in 1979. Remember, back then, if you were traveling, you couldn't just whip out a card and buy things. Banks and their merchants needed to be interconnected so that your card could charge a dinner at a California restaurant even though your bank was in Kansas.The credit card was a revolution at the time. Just as electronic payments are today. And now that national transaction has given way to international transactions that are all done without cards at all. * 7 Beaten-Up Stocks to Buy as They Reverse Course This history and brand recognition is what has propelled MA in this new financial services transformation. It's up 35% in the past 12 months, but this new financial digital world has only just begun. Texas Pacific Land Trust (TPL)Source: Nicolas Henderson via Flickr Texas Pacific Land Trust (NYSE: TPL) has been around since 1888, when the Texas and Pacific Railway went belly up. Obviously, at the time, railroads owned huge amounts of land so they could develop their lines. And the Texas and Pacific was no different. Also, given its name, most of this land was in west Texas on the way to the Pacific.At the time of its demise, the railway owned 3.5 million acres that was transferred to TPL. Today, TPL still holds about 900,000 acres of this land, which still makes it one of the largest landholders in Texas today.Fundamentally, TPL leases the land to companies that are either energy firms (not just oil and natural gas but wind and solar farms as well) or water companies and it takes those rents as its revenues.This is a solid business in slow times. But in good times -- like now -- it promises some big gains. TPL is up 47% in the past year and 71% in just the past 3 months, so momentum is growing significantly in 2019.Louis Navellier is a renowned growth investor. He is the editor of four investing newsletters: Growth Investor, Breakthrough Stocks, Accelerated Profits and Platinum Growth. His most popular service, Growth Investor, has a track record of beating the market 3:1 over the last 14 years. He uses a combination of quantitative and fundamental analysis to identify market-beating stocks. Mr. Navellier has made his proven formula accessible to investors via his free, online stock rating tool, PortfolioGrader.com. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Retail Stocks That Will Continue to Rebound in 2019 * 5 Stocks To Buy for the Happiest Employees * 7 ETFs for a Millennial Portfolio Compare Brokers The post 7 A-Rated Stocks to Buy in the Second Quarter appeared first on InvestorPlace.
In a recent post for InvestorPlace.com, I looked at some of the factors for using the services of a tax professional versus software, say Intuit's (NASDAQ:INTU) TurboTax. But this raises a question: How do you find the right tax professional this season.Source: 401(k) 2012 via FlickrUnfortunately, it's not easy. First of all, there are more than 750,000 tax preparers in the US! Oh, and there's something else to keep in mind: There is no national certification.In other words, most people can get into the industry so long as he or she gets a PTIN (Professional Tax Identification Number), which is easy to obtain. Only a few states - such as California, Oregon and Maryland - have certification requirements.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 5 Cloud Stocks to Help Your Portfolio Fly So what to do? Well, there are definitely steps you can take, such as the following: Tax Pros: Big Chains v. Indie FirmsBig chains like H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) may have higher prices but they still have important advantages, such as more services and digital systems. These firms also have extensive training programs, with veteran experts in specialized tax areas.Now this does not mean that you should avoid indie firms. No doubt, they have many top-notch tax professionals. Yet you'll still need to do a background check to make sure you get the right tax professional. Part of this should include a Google search.Then look to see if the tax pro has at least one credential, such as a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or EA (Enrolled Agent) designation. The IRS also has its own offering, called the Annual Filing Season program. Although, a key benefit of a CPA or EA is that the person can provide full representation if you get audited.To locate an Enrolled Agent, you can check out the following directory. As for CPAs, you can go here. Tax Pros: SecurityYour tax return is a gold mine for hackers and identity thieves. In fact, over the years, there has been many cases of fraud.In light of this, you should ask a tax pro about his or her security policies. What measures are taken to protect your private information? Does the firm use security software?If the answers are not convincing, then you might want to look for someone else for the right tax professional. Tax Pros: SpecializationEven if a tax pro has a certification, this may not be enough. Note that it is mostly a general coverage of tax topics.Thus, if you want a specialist in a certain area, say for estates or small businesses, then you need to ask more questions. It's also a good idea to request references. Tax Pros: FeesFees vary widely across the tax preparation industry. Because of this, it's a good idea to shop around and negotiate.In some circumstances, a tax pro may offer to take a fee that is based on the percentage of your refund. But this could lead to serious problems. After all, the tax pro may be tempted to exaggerate deductions or minimize income. As a result, the IRS considers performance fees to be a violation of ethics for tax preparers. The same goes for whenever there are any promises or guarantees about refunds.Another red flag is when e-filing is not offered. This may indicate that the tax preparer does little business.Tom Taulli is an Enrolled Agent and also operates PathwayTax.com, which is a tax advisory and preparation firm. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Invincible Stocks Leading The Bull Market Higher * 5 Dow Jones Stocks Coming to Life * 7 of the Best High-Yield Funds for 2019 and Beyond Compare Brokers The post How to Select the Right Tax Professional This Season appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Lyft, the popular ride-sharing service, is likely to go public within the next couple weeks. And yes, the deal is likely to be massive. From 2017 to 2018, revenues spiked by more than 100% to $2.2 billion.Source: Shutterstock While this growth points to the dynamic change about how consumers look at car ownership, there is also something else at play: the growth in the so-called "gig economy" and the rise of "side gigs." Companies like Lyft allow people to have flexible work schedules. According to the company's S-1 filing:"Technology has enabled online platforms that provide workers with independent and flexible opportunities to generate income on a per-job basis, allowing them to earn money on their own schedules. 95% of net job growth from 2005 to 2015 was in the alternative work category, which includes independent contractors and freelancers. We believe that this trend will continue."InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsWhile this is great, it also has led to some nagging issues. Perhaps one of the most notable is side gig taxes. Gig workers are essentially treated as small businesses and this means they have more responsibilities and requirements. Yet there is often little guidance from the platforms that pay them, which can mean there is a higher chance of getting in trouble with the IRS. Keep in mind that the agency has been devoting more resources to cracking down on side gig taxes.So what are the steps you can take to stay out of trouble when it comes to side gig taxes but also get the tax benefits you're entitled to? Well, let's take a look: Estimated Taxes for Your Side GigMany people who work in the gig economy also have regular jobs -- hence the term side gig. But this can create a disconnect. After all, we have become accustomed to having income taxes, Social Security and Medicare withheld from our paychecks. Then when tax season rolls around, we expect a refund.But things are much different with side gig taxes. The gig company will pay the gross amount of your compensation. In other words, you are required to handle your own withholding!This process is called estimated taxes, which involves making four payments throughout the year (January 15, April 15, June 15 and September 15) when you owe at least $1,000. You'll make these payments with Form 1040-ES.What if you do not? The IRS will impose interest and penalties. However, if you earned a large amount from your side gig, it may be difficult to pay the side gig taxes owed (this could mean having to setup an installment plan with the IRS).If anything, making estimated payments is a good way to help manage your personal cash flow. Keep Track of Your Side Gig IncomeAnother gotcha is that the gig company may not even issue to you a tax document for the income you earned. The reason is that your compensation was likely paid through a debit or credit card. Because of this, there is only a filing required if there have been more than 200 transactions or the earnings are over $20,000.Regardless, you still need to pay taxes on this. It is immaterial if there has been a filing or not.But it could take awhile until the IRS catches on to this. And when it does, it could mean that you owe a substantial amount in taxes. Use Tax Software to Help Maximize Your BenefitsSo long as an expense has a legitimate business purpose, you can deduct it on your tax return. But of course, there are various rules to consider and you need to keep track of receipts and any relevant documentation.The good news is that there are a variety of apps to help out, such as Intuit's (NASDAQ:INTU) QuickBooks Self-Employed, which makes it easy to track mileage and expenses. You can even do your estimated payments and file your tax return. * Top 7 Service Sector Stocks That Will Pay You to Own Them Finally, the tax reform bill has provided a nice break for gig workers -- that is, a 20% deduction for qualified business income. In fact, you can get this break even if you do not have a corporation.Tom Taulli is an Enrolled Agent and also operates PathwayTax.com, which is a tax advisory and preparation firm. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Financial Stocks to Invest In Today * 7 Single-Digit P/E Stocks With Massive Upside * 5 Chip Stocks on the Rise Compare Brokers The post 3 Tax Tips for Paying Your Side Gig Taxes appeared first on InvestorPlace.
"The Cloud" has evolved from a budding innovation in tech to one of the largest factors driving growth in the technology sector in only a few years. So check out these three Zacks buy-ranked cloud stocks to consider right now.
Intuit Inc NASDAQ/NGS:INTUView full report here! Summary * Perception of the company's creditworthiness is neutral * ETFs holding this stock are seeing positive inflows * Bearish sentiment is low * Economic output in this company's sector is expanding Bearish sentimentShort interest | PositiveShort interest is extremely low for INTU with fewer than 1% of shares on loan. This could indicate that investors who seek to profit from falling equity prices are not currently targeting INTU. Money flowETF/Index ownership | PositiveETF activity is positive. Over the last month, ETFs holding INTU are favorable, with net inflows of $12.53 billion. Additionally, the rate of inflows is increasing. Economic sentimentPMI by IHS Markit | PositiveAccording to the latest IHS Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data, output in the Technology sector is rising. The rate of growth is weak relative to the trend shown over the past year, but is accelerating. Credit worthinessCredit default swap | NeutralThe current level displays a neutral indicator. INTU credit default swap spreads are within the middle of their range for the last three years.Please send all inquiries related to the report to email@example.com.Charts and report PDFs will only be available for 30 days after publishing.This document has been produced for information purposes only and is not to be relied upon or as construed as investment advice. To the fullest extent permitted by law, IHS Markit disclaims any responsibility or liability, whether in contract, tort (including, without limitation, negligence), equity or otherwise, for any loss or damage arising from any reliance on or the use of this material in any way. Please view the full legal disclaimer and methodology information on pages 2-3 of the full report.
We’re barrelling toward the April 15 tax filing deadline, and if you’re rushing to meet it but don’t think you can get your taxes done in time, you can relax a bit -- and still hit the snooze button.
For most people, getting a letter from the IRS creates instant anxiety. The IRS has tremendous powers; it can garnish your wages, put liens on your property and even put you in jail! So how do you avoid a tax audit?Source: 401(k) 2012 via Flickr The department has an intimidating reputation for sure. But for the most part, IRS audits are fairly rare. Based on historical trends, it's likely to be under 1% for the current tax season. What's more, most audits are done through the mail. Only a small number even involve visiting a local IRS office.However, an audit can still be expensive, time consuming and stressful. But the good news is that there are strategies you can take to help minimize the risks.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsSo here's a look: Tips for Avoiding a Tax Audit 1: Report All Your IncomeThe main trigger for a tax audit is the non-reporting of income. Note that the IRS uses sophisticated computers to match tax returns with filings from payers. For example, when a company pays a contractor, there will be a 1099-MISC filing -- that discloses the compensation -- that will go to you and the IRS. In other words, if the amount does not show up on your tax return, then expect a notice. * 7 Stocks to Buy With High ESG Momentum But what if you got a check or cash and the payer did not file the 1099-MISC? Well, you still need to report the income.True, the IRS may miss this. But if you get targeted for a full audit, there will be a review of your bank accounts. If you cannot explain why an amount was deposited, you will likely be subject to penalties, interest and payment of the tax owed. Tips for Avoiding a Tax Audit 2: Take the Time to Avoid Innocent MistakesEven if you use a service like Intuit's (NASDAQ:INTU) TurboTax, it can still be easy to make mistakes. A common example is to transpose numbers. But another problem is that some deductions and credits involve multiple steps and can get complicated.In light of this, you should not rush when doing your return. Make sure you double check your work.Something else to consider is that you may forget a tax document, say a 1099 or even a W-2 form. As more of these documents are sent via email, there's a chance that one of them could get lost in the noise or even get stuck in your spam filter.To help avoid these problems, a good approach is to put all your tax documents in one place. This will go a long way in reducing the number of mistakes.Finally, a red flag for an audit is the high frequency of round numbers, which may indicate that you are making things up! This is why you should input the numbers as is. Tips for Avoiding a Tax Audit 3: Back Up Your Deductions and CreditsThere are certain deductions and credits that are red-hot targets for audits. For instance, some may have high rates of fraudulent abuse, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). But in other cases, there are deductions that have higher likelihood of being exaggerated -- say with the valuation of donated property.Now this does not mean you should avoid these tax advantages. But it is important to know the rules and follow them. You also need to make sure you have the documentation to back things ups. Tips for Avoiding a Tax Audit 4: Take Extra Care If You Run a Small BusinessIf you have a small business, there are many deductions you can take. But small business owners can often take tax breaks for what the IRS considers personal expenditures (such as travel and meals). So it should be no surprise that small businesses are a common target for audits.In fact, if a small business operation loses money for three straight years, the IRS may consider the business to be a hobby, which can cause major tax problems. * 7 Winning High-Yield Dividend Stocks With Payouts Over 5% Because of this, it's probably a good idea to get the assistance of a tax professional. After all, some businesses legitimately may lose money for a prolonged period but there will need to be well-grounded arguments for the IRS.Tom Taulli is an Enrolled Agent and also operates PathwayTax.com, which is a tax advisory and preparation firm. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 15 Stocks Sitting on Huge Piles of Cash * The 10 Best Stocks to Buy for the Bull Market's Anniversary * 7 Dividend Stocks With Big Yields Compare Brokers The post Worried About the IRS? Here Are 4 Tips for Avoiding a Tax Audit appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Oracle (ORCL) shares have surged roughly 18% this year to outpace the S&P 500, its industry, and fellow giants such as Amazon (AMZN). Now, with the historic tech powerhouse set to report its Q3 fiscal 2019 financial results after the closing bell Thursday, let's see what to expect.
If you were counting on your tax refund to start your emergency savings account but ended up not getting anything back, there are still options.
There are plenty of tax preparation apps and software programs to help ease the pain of filing income taxes. Here's our take on three of the most popular: H&R Block, TurboTax, and Jackson Hewitt.
Upland Software (UPLD) is at a 52-week high, but can investors hope for more gains in the future? We take a look at the company's fundamentals for clues.
After a brief spike higher, Square (NYSE:SQ) has fallen below the levels it saw before the Feb. 27 earnings announcement. Investors have sold Square stock, as concerns about valuation and slowing profit growth weigh on the equity. * 7 Dark Horse Stocks That Deserve Your Attention in 2019 Source: Chris Harrison via Flickr (Modified) However, the "slowing" profit growth remains massive. Furthermore, Square's moves into cash registers, payroll processing and banking have formed a compelling ecosystem. This influence calls into question the future of many long-standing financial businesses. Considering SQ's transformational power in the finance business, I would recommend using the recent decline to look for a buy point in Square stock. As I've pointed out in previous articles, Square stock is the financial tech stock of the 2010s. Much like Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) in the 1990s and PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) in the early 2000s, Square carved out a financial niche that the large players could not push aside. Now, Square has built an ecosystem that has helped it to grow beyond its place as a niche player. Beware the Square EcosystemPut simply, Square has grown with the small businesses it continues to support. Admittedly, when venturing beyond phone-based platforms, both the Square Cash Register and the Cash App seem like natural extensions. As of the end of 2018, the Cash App had already grown to 15 million accounts, up from just seven million in 2017.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsHowever, now Square has moved into many other areas such as scheduling, payroll systems and even small business loans. This system has become so powerful that customers who left had Square seeking cheaper payment processing solutions, returned to the fold.These moves should also make one wonder about the future of the more traditional financial stocks. For one, Square's small-business lending threatens the type of loans made by community banks, many of whom already struggle to provide high-tech banking services.However, the power of the Square ecosystem threatens more than just community banks. Square Cash Register pressures the company formerly known as National Cash Register, NCR (NYSE:NCR). Square Payroll threatens the business of ADP (NASDAQ:ADP). Moreover, between the Cash App and Square's loan business, what need will consumers have for a Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) or a Visa (NYSE:V)? Buy Square Stock… If It Pulls BackAll of these companies have time to adapt. For that reason, I will not predict their demise. However, given the power of this ecosystem, it is little wonder why Square stock has commanded such high multiples. Despite my bias toward value, even I like SQ stock long term. Still, over the past year, I have been a Square stock bear on valuation concerns. These worries remain and I would not yet buy SQ.However, even a value-based case has begun to form on SQ stock. The forward price-to-earnings (PE) ratio has fallen to about 68. Also, profit growth has slowed down, but only gradually. Wall Street forecasts a 57.4% increase for this year. For next year, that will only fall to 50%. Analysts also think that SQ will maintain a 49.8% average annual growth rate over the next five years. If the forward PE drops below 60 (a point it surpassed as recently as December), I would recommend buying this stock. Final Thoughts on Square StockThe bad news in Square's numbers may create an opportunity to buy a transformational business at a comparatively low valuation. I have long held a negative view of SQ stock due to its elevated multiple. Despite a steep decline and a partial recovery, SQ still trades at a high PE ratio.However, profit growth will likely come in at about 50% per year for the foreseeable future. More importantly, the growth of its ecosystem looks positioned to transform the finance business. This could also force many of its peers to either adapt or possibly close their doors. * 12 2018 Winners That Will Be Big Ol' Losers in 2019 The Square financial ecosystem will transform the financial industry more than any one company has in decades. This factor alone makes Square stock a buy on any significant pullback.As of this writing, Will Healy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. You can follow Will on Twitter at @HealyWriting. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 15 Growth Stocks to Buy Under 15x Earnings * 7 Dark Horse Stocks That Deserve Your Attention in 2019 * 5 Disruptive Technologies That Are Moving Too Fast Compare Brokers The post Square Stock Faces Short-Term Pain and Long-Term Gain appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU) received a lot of attention from a substantial price increase on the NASDAQGS over the last few months. With many analysts covering the large-cap stock, we mayRead More...
was favored by Jim Cramer during the "Lightning Round" of his Mad Money program Thursday night. In this daily bar chart, below, we can see INTU's rally from its late December low has been strong. The daily On-Balance-Volume (OBV) line was strong until September and then it slowly drifted lower to a December bottom.
When it comes to preparing your taxes, there are often many tough decisions to make. Should I take a deduction? Does a credit apply? How can I find ways to boost my refund? Oh, and before having to do any of this, you need to answer this: Should I use a tax professional or should I file my own taxes? Well, as should be no surprise, there is no clear-cut answer.Source: Shutterstock But it's worth noting that tax software -- say from the main providers like Intuit's (NASDAQ:INTU) TurboTax, TaxSlayer and TaxAct -- is quite sophisticated. So when you're wondering if you should file your own taxes, know that tax software can handle most tax scenarios. These software offerings also have free versions. And even when there is a fee, it is usually reasonable -- say under $100. Some of the software providers also have access to tax experts, who can answer questions and guide you through the tax preparation process. For example, TurboTax Live has real-time video that appears within the tax software. There is even the option for line-to-line review of your return. * 5 Reasons Stocks Are Falling Right Now Now when it comes to using tax software, the main considerations are your comfort level with doing taxes and your need for getting advice on planning. Let's face it, preparing taxes is time-consuming. The IRS estimates that the average is about 16 hours per return.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsMany people just don't want to deal with the aggravation. This year's tax season is also likely to add to this. This is the first year where you will need to deal with the many changes from the tax reform bill. Even if you are comfortable with doing your taxes, it still may be a good idea to get advice from a tax professional.The tax reform bill has made some of the following changes: * There are new reporting requirements for charitable contributions. * The personal exemption has been eliminated. * You can deduct only up to $10,000 for property and state income taxes. * The child tax credit has been increased. * If you recently got a divorce, you will not be able to deduct alimony. * There have been substantial increases in the standard deduction.All these present interesting options for planning -- which could have a big impact on your taxes. What's more, a tax professional can also review your prior tax returns. This may uncover missed deductions and credits that you may be able to get a refund for. Hiring a Tax ProfessionalWhen it comes to having someone prepare your taxes, there are various options. One is to go to a major tax chain like H&R Block (NYSE:HRB), Liberty Tax and Jackson Hewitt. These companies have the benefit of substantial resources, which can mean better training and access to more services like loans.But seeking help from a local tax firm can be good as well. You may get more personal service and attention. And the fees could be lower.However, it's a good idea to do some research, such as by searching the web for any reviews. You should also see if a tax professional has a credential (note that the IRS does not require that a tax preparer be certified). The main ones include: CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and EA (Enrolled Agent). Both require intensive exams and continuing education requirements.A good way to find a tax pro is to use the Find An EA service, which you can find here.Finally, you may be eligible for free tax preparation services. One is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that is for those who make $55,000 or lower. For this program, you can get the help from IRS-certified volunteers. You can find more about this here. * 5 Airline Stocks In Serious Trouble AARP also has its own program, called Tax-Aide, which is for those 50 and older and who cannot afford tax preparation services. This service is available across more than 5,000 locations across the US.Tom Taulli is an Enrolled Agent and also operates PathwayTax.com, which is a tax advisory and preparation firm. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Dividend Stocks Already Rewarding Shareholders In 2019 * The 10 Best-Performing ETFs This Year * 7 Stocks That Should Be Worried About a Data Dividend Compare Brokers The post Should I File My Own Taxes or Hire a Tax Professional? appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Headlines are multiplying about the market's first three-day pullback of 2019. This week's rout marks the first real victory for sellers in 2019, and, more importantly, the year's first buy-the-dip opportunity. Today we'll look at three of the best stocks to buy while the Street runs scared.Retracements, like those seen this week, are what sustainable uptrends are made of. Without them, uptrends become parabolic and dangerous. Lacking support, they are vulnerable to sharp descents when the tide turns. Smart traders should embrace the bout of profit-taking and the new support zones that will soon be created.While the sell-fest may persist for a few days yet, the health of the market this year with its accompanying expansion in breadth and sentiment demands optimism. View this dip as a buying opportunity.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 Stocks That Should Be Worried About a Data Dividend I've scoured the market for the strongest market leaders and discovered three which are now providing attractive entry points. Boeing (BA) Click to Enlarge Source: ThinkorSwim Large-cap lovers recaptured their affection for Boeing (NYSE:BA) when the aerospace juggernaut finally broke out of its year-long range last month. A rosy earnings announcement sparked the surge and the follow-through seen since has been breathtaking.This week's market weakness finally ushered in a well-deserved bout of profit-taking and BA stock is working on its fourth straight down day this morning. Boeing shares are testing the rising 20-day moving average which may provide support. Even if it doesn't, other potential floors loom close, so bet against buyers at your peril here.If you're looking for a high probability bet, then sell the April $400/$395 bull put spreads for $1.15. Palo Alto Networks (PANW) Click to Enlarge Source: ThinkorSwim Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) boasts an uptrend that may even be prettier than Boeing's. And that's saying something. Even though the PANW stock was up a mouth-watering 30% ahead of last month's earnings release, it still gapped 10% higher the next morning.The large gap ended with a-sell-the-news reaction that has since ushered the stock back to its gap area. Multiple support levels reside in this area including a now-filled gap, old resistance and the rising 20-day moving average. Yesterday's doji candle signaled a potential upside reversal in the offing, and today's rally is confirming the turnaround. * 7 Dow Jones Stocks to Buy With implied volatility at a lowly 17th percentile, long option plays are the way to go. Buy the April $240/$250 bull call spread for $4. Intuit (INTU) Click to Enlarge Source: ThinkorSwim This year's price action in Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) has mirrored that of PANW. And that makes it qualify as one of the best stocks to buy right now. It experienced a sharp two-month rise that exploded to new all-time highs following a robust earnings release. Since then INTU has formed a high base pattern.The sideways pause has allowed overbought pressures to ease and the 20-day moving average to play catch-up. With the four-day pullback, INTU stock is now at the lower end of its tight range. Traders have two potential entry points -- buying above today's high or waiting for a breakout over $252.Either way, bull call spreads are my weapon of choice here. Buy the April $250/$260 bull call for $3.50.As of this writing, Tyler Craig didn't hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Check out his recently released Bear Market Survival Guide to learn how to defend your portfolio against market volatility. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Stocks That Should Be Worried About a Data Dividend * 5 Cheap ETFs Worth Considering * 7 Cheap Stocks Under $5 That Could Soar Compare Brokers The post 3 Market-Leading Stocks to Buy With Red on the Street appeared first on InvestorPlace.