Professional Tax Filers-To Use One or Not
Tax time is almost here again and this year you are wondering if you could just do things yourself. To make this decision a little easier you need to consider how the cost of buying a tax preparation software program compares with paying professional tax filers to do your taxes.
My research shows me that depending on the forms you need to use there are different levels you can pay for tax preparation software based on your situation. If you only need to file form 1040EZ or other simple forms you can actually do it for free with free e-file as well. The programs will go up in price as your need rises. Paying your professional tax filers may only be a one time price as well but do some shopping around and then average what it would cost.
You may also prepare you state tax forms but there will be an additional expense with this plus the filing fee. Still this may be the less expensive option especially if money is tight this year.
Do not get anxious about filing your own taxes. If you take it one step at a time and go slowly you can do as good a job as a paid preparer. A good tax preparation software program should take you through all the sections of the filing form and help you find all the deductions you are entitled to so you can get the maximum refund you are eligible for.
A paid preparer should know all the ins and outs of the tax code and where to find more deductions for your refund but if you do not own a business or have a lot of deductions it might just be worth it to invest in the software program. The downside is you will have to buy the software every year due to changes made in the tax code.
Then there is the subject of accountability. If you do your own taxes with a tax preparation software program you are the one accountable for any mistakes that are made. If you use a paid preparer then the accountability is theirs to shoulder. You may be able to have some recourse if someone else makes a mistake on your taxes but if you do not know what to look for you may never know that a mistake was made.
This could mean money in your pocket. If you do have a paid preparer do your taxes ask to be right there when they do them. Do not just drop off your whole financial life to this person and expect them to do their job right. If you are right there when they do them then you will know what to expect and what the outcome is.
Do your research well before hand so you have an idea of which way you are leaning and then buy the software program as early on as you can. Most programs come with free e-file but as I said preparing and filing your state return is extra. If you lean the other way shop around for professional tax filers so you get the best deal.