Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Should you hire a tax preparer or DIY?

Here's a question from a Twitter follower who's striking out on his own:

I usually avoid tax questions, and for good reason: I'm not a CPA or tax preparer, so anything dealing with the specifics of a return, etc. is more than I'm qualified to answer. This, though, is a general question and important to answer since so many people are going through career transitions and need to make similar decisions.

Your employment status shouldn't necessarily dictate whether you do your taxes on your own or hire someone. You need to consider the complexity of your return and how confident you are that you can do it without errors that might hold up a potential refund or trigger an audit.

Even though I held only one full time job in most years, for example, I still used a CPA to file my taxes. It cost more than just using Turbo Tax, but I've never been comfortable enough with the dizzying tax forms to want to do even a basic return myself.

If you're uncomfortable with filing taxes on your own, hire a qualified CPA or tax preparer. It will save you headaches, and possibly money down the road. Thanks for the question.

1 comment:

Product Junkie Diva said...

I have envisioned myself preparing my own taxes and rolling around in my return but that day has never come. In general, I visit my cpa each year but there was one exception. Last year I did allow my sister (not a cpa) to handle the paperwork and I received a sizable return especially since there was no CPA hanging around for his cut.
I am considering the do- it -yourself route this year as well.