Beyond the two well-known certainties of death and taxes, lies the almost-certainty: that doing your taxes yourself will create a world of stress, hours filled with mind-numbing forms and the possibility of a costly error that you will need to pay for in the near future. Using tax pros to help with your taxes can combine the cost-saving DIY preparation with the peace of mind of having a tax professional check your work.
The option to have a tax pro review your work is a serious benefit to any DIYer, from self-employed person to entrepreneurs to part-timers that work on a freelance basis. The pitfalls that can come from filing complicated tax returns for those people are numerous. So, if you fall into one of those categories, you want to be sure that you have your bases covered. You want to be comfortable and consistent with your deductions, your income claims and your records. Using tax pros to review your packet in just a few days is vital to maintaining that peace of mind.
Going to a tax office to have your return processed using tax pros can set you back a few hundred dollars. And that is just for people with a typical W2. When you get into married persons, self-employed and other common arrangements, the complexities can drive up the cost. Accountants live for that in tax season. The more documents and forms you bring into your preparer’s office in late March just means more fees for you to cover. That eats into your potential return.
Filing online from the comfort of your own home can be done for free or relatively cheap. With the digital world what it is today, you can do your taxes in your pajamas from your home office. But being sure that you have dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” is a potentially stressful state to be in. Depending on the complexity of your return, you might be looking at spending just $60 out of pocket.
That is a significant break from the several hundred dollars that you might spend on a tax professional to prepare and file the return for you. Plus, you can have complete control over the process from the beginning, so you can be the one making decisions about whether or not to use the standard deduction, how to itemize and how best to maximize your return. To get that kind of personal attention from using tax pros during the busy season? That is a pretty penny.
If you are the type to take complete control of your financial life, and if you are reading this site, you most likely are, you will want to do your taxes yourself. But tax pros check your work could be the best cost-saving move you make.