Should you prepare your own taxes? The answer to that question isn’t just a simple yes or no. There are times where it may make sense to do your own taxes, but there are a lot of variables you should consider before making that decision. If you’re not sure whether you should be filing your own taxes or hiring a professional, here are a few questions from your local full-service tax preparer in Jamestown, ND that you should ask yourself before you decide:
- Do you have a straightforward tax situation? If your tax situation is pretty straightforward—meaning you have one source of income and no dependents, investments, significant assets or a variety of deductions—then you may be able to do your taxes yourself. However, if your tax situation is more than just calculating how much you’ve paid in taxes and if you’ve overpaid or underpaid, then you’re probably better off hiring a professional.
- Did you earn over $200,000 in the past year? If the answer to this question is “yes,” then you’ll want to hire a professional. Why? Studies show that you are far more likely to be audited by the IRS if you make over $200,000 per year. By working with a professional, you can ensure that your taxes are prepared correctly and, quite frankly, have someone else to blame if anything does go wrong.
- Do you have the time and patience? Filing taxes, even if your situation is straightforward, requires a lot of time and thought. It can be overwhelming, time consuming and frustrating. If you don’t have the time or the patience to do your taxes yourself, hiring a professional may be worth it if you want to avoid the stress.
- Did you have a major life change in the past year? Did you have a baby, buy a house or win the lottery? If anything has changed drastically in your situation in the past year, you may be entering unfamiliar waters that will be difficult to navigate. Bringing in a professional after a major change in your tax situation is simply the smarter way to go, at least the first time around.
- Do you feel comfortable doing your taxes yourself? Quite honestly, filing your taxes yourself is like taking your financial life in your own hands. If you want to have that much control and feel knowledgeable enough to handle the responsibility, then go for it. But if you even a little uncomfortable with handling your tax preparation yourself, bringing in a professional would be worth it for the peace of mind.
If you do decide that preparing your taxes yourself is not the right option for you, contact Craig S. Hanson, CPA. As the premier, full-service tax preparer in Jamestown, ND, we can sit down with you and help ensure that your taxes are prepared correctly and you get the biggest return and the peace of mind you’re looking for. To schedule your free consultation, call today. We look forward to assisting you!