Preparing Your Own Taxes vs. Hiring a Tax Professional

As you prepare to file your taxes, you may be deciding to prepare your taxes on your own choosing between using a tax preparation program or app. There are a number of positive and negative aspects to consider before you decide whether to do it yourself or hire a tax professional.

The Advantages of Filing Taxes on Your Own Using Tax Prep Software or Apps.

Tax prep software and apps have the ability to quickly file your returns for you. You can submit your return to the IRS with a few strokes of a button. Some of the apps and software cost less than $50 to buy and can file your federal and state return for free. The programs are user friendly and walk you through filing step-by-step and help you avoid costly mistakes.

Tax experts agree that you can safely use them if you are (1) Single, (2) No taxable assets other than your income (3) Do not itemize (4) Are not self-employed or own a business.

The Cons of Filing Taxes on You Own Using Tax Prep Software or Apps

By filing taxes on your own, you will need to commit a significantly larger amount of time than if you hire an accountant or a professional tax preparer. The US code can be complex and difficult to understand. Even when using tax preparation software or app, individuals can get confused as to whether to take a deduction or miss out on additional savings. If you do not take the deduction and it turns out be incorrect, it could cost you penalties and interest charges. Additionally, it may flag an audit.

When to Hire a Tax Professional

If your tax situation is a bit more complicated, you may find it best to hire a tax professional. Your goal is to take as many deductions and credits that you qualify for to reduce your tax bill. This is where a tax professional come in handy.

Tax professional are available to help you and answer tax questions year-round. You get real-life and reliable counsel while filing your taxes, and they use more thorough tax filing software than what you can buy in stores or online.

It is recommended that you rely on a professional tax preparer to help you file your returns. A tax professional can provide advice for how to best file your taxes as well as assist you in submitting your original or amended returns. You may also avoid complications like being audited, fined, or owing more money in taxes.

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