Have you been trying to go it alone when filing your tax return by using tax software? Maybe you drop in to one of the thousands of retail tax preparation chain stores that pop up on every corner in January. Here’s why it’s time to put your return in the hands of a tax professional.
The cost is comparable (or even less!)
Tax service retail stores often charge by the form, adding up to hundreds of dollars for even a relatively simple tax situation. Do-it-yourself software cost looks low at first glance, but tax situations beyond the most basic level generally require purchasing increasing ‘tiers’ of software, a separate charge for each states’ forms you need, plus an extra fee to e-file each return. For a very comparable price, your taxes can be handled by a skilled professional accountant with decades of experience.
Your time is valuable.
The IRS estimates it takes 13 hours of your time to complete Form 1040, including record-keeping, reading and understanding changes to the tax code, and filling out the forms. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of spend days researching what deductions you are eligible for or how your major life event will impact your return, choose the convenience of an appointment with a tax professional.
The tax laws are complex, and becomes more so every year.
The tax code varies by a huge number of factors, including state, income level, income source, marital status, and other individual circumstances. It takes a dedicated professional with continuing education to keep up and ensure you are claiming every allowance, deduction, and exemption for which you are eligible.
Mistakes can be costly.
Errors or delays in filing your return can lead to interest and penalties from the IRS, or unexpected adjustments showing up in your mailbox months after filing. Missing eligible deductions can potentially cost you hundreds when calculating your tax refund or balance due.
It can save you money.
A tax professional can recommend deductions you may not know about or make suggestions on how to best reduce your tax burden. Finding one missed deduction can sometimes even pay for the tax return preparation fees.
They will have your back.
Your tax software isn’t going to represent you to the IRS in case of an audit and pay any interest or penalties. The retail store preparers will gladly tack on an extra fee for this protection, but make it incredibly difficult to actually claim it. When you sign your name to your return, you are legally responsible for its accuracy no matter who prepared it. The IRS can come knocking with questions up to 6 years after your filing date. When you use a tax professional you don’t have to face them alone.
Get help planning for the future.
Your tax software or retail store employee cannot advise you how your plans for the future will affect your tax burden. A tax professional can offer insight on how a new headline-making change to the tax code will affect you. They can calculate how changes to your investments, withholding, disbursements, expected inheritances, or property sales will alter next year’s tax bill. Building a relationship with a professional who can answer your questions throughout the year can be invaluable when tax season comes around again.
Have peace of mind knowing it’s in the hands of a professional.
Tax preparers at retail locations are generally sent through an in-house training course at their own expense and may have minimal experience preparing taxes. When using software you are relying on your own ability to understand and answer all the questions correctly, and being able to figure out what portions of the tax code apply to you. When you use a professional tax preparer, you won’t have to worry that you’ve checked the wrong box or missed a needed form. Your professional is also going to be there for you year-round if any problems arise.
At Bacon & Gendreau, we have decades of experience helping our clients with all their tax and financial needs. Our financial services are trusted and reliable without the intimidating cost for a simple tax return. Let us take the hassle out of tax season for you. Call 860-216-2195 to schedule your appointment.