Should You Prepare Your Own Tax Return?Published:
Are you thinking of preparing your own tax return? There are both pros and cons of doing so. Some people swear this is the only option they will ever consider. Others feel that preparing their own tax return is a huge risk.
If you need help deciding, ask yourself the following questions:
Do I have the time?
It goes without saying that tax preparation takes a much longer time when you are handling all the details yourself. If you pass this work off to a professional, you should be finished within a couple of hours at the most ‘ as long as you don’t have an extremely complicated return.
Getting organized and preparing your own tax return can take up a lot of time. If you are a busy person, or you don’t want to spend an extended amount of time on tax preparation, you should probably spend the money to hire a professional.
Am I trying to save money?
When you prepare your own tax return you don’t have to pay any money to a professional. Depending on the complexity of your return, you could end up spending more than $500 for a tax professional to help you out.
Many people are against paying for tax assistance because they know they are also going to owe the IRS money along with their tax return. If you are trying to save money, you should probably consider preparing your own tax return.
How simple is my tax situation?
If you are single with income from one employer, and you are taking the standard deduction, you have a pretty simple tax return. On the other hand, if you are married, self-employed, or itemizing deductions, you will find that the tax preparation process is much more complex. Those who are dealing with a simple tax return will find it much easier to file without any professional help.
The best way to determine the simplicity (or complexity) of your return is to review your tax returns from previous years. This will give you a better idea of what you will be up against if you decide to prepare your own tax return.
So, what do you think? Should you prepare your own tax return or leave this up to a professional? By considering the above questions you will be in better position to make that decision.
In the end, what matters most is that you are comfortable with what you are doing. Tax preparation is very important. Don’t do anything that could compromise the accuracy of your tax return.