Should You Hire A Pro For Your Taxes?

As tax time rolls around you may be finding yourself wondering how to best spend your money:

  • On the gas to drive to a government building to pick up some tax forms
  • On tax preparation software to do taxes on your own
  • On a tax professional who can do your taxes for you

There’s no blanket right answer to this question. However, in certain situations it may make sense to hire a professional. For example, you may want to turn it over to a preparer if you:

  • Are concerned about a mistake costing you money
  • Are reporting the sales of non-retirement investments or have a large amount of investments in general
  • Have self-employed income and want to make sure you get all the deductions you are entitled to
  • Had multiple sources of income
  • Had investment property income
  • Had a short sale on your home during the tax year
  • Don’t feel you will have the time to accurately and thoroughly complete your taxes on your own
  • Want to have someone who knows your situation and can provide you with good tax advice throughout the year
  • Are being audited
  • Are concerned about recent changes in tax laws
  • Have received a large inheritance
  • Went through a divorce during the tax year
  • Have children from a previous marriage
  • Bought or sold a home
  • Have numerous itemized deductions
  • Have started your own business
  • Had debt cancelled in the tax year
  • Went through bankruptcy
  • Supported people who aren’t your children
  • Own employee stock options
  • Had large medical expenses

With taxes it’s better to be safe than sorry. Not only could a mistake mean owing more than you thought, but it could result in needing to pay a penalty too. If your tax situation seems pretty straightforward, then doing your taxes on your own is fine. But if there is something you aren’t particularly clear on, it’s a good idea to get advice from someone more familiar with tax law.


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