Question: Do I Need an Accountant to File My Taxes?
This is a difficult question to answer because it really depends on your situation. Many people find that they save money by going to an accountant each year, because their rebate increases significantly. You need to consider how complicated your situation is. If you are self-employed, then you may consider using an accountant. Additionally, if you have had a big change in the amount you make, if you purchased a home for the first time or you have questions on how to handle your investment income you may consider going to an accountant. You may also want to use an accountant if you need to amend your tax return.
However, most people can do their taxes at home with the tax software that is available to purchase. In fact if you make less than $54,000 a year you may qualify for free file, which allows you to access the software at no additional cost. This software is easy to use, and asks the questions you may miss if you filled out the forms by hand. The software will ask you questions to help you qualify for any tax credits and deductions. If you are a recent college graduate or a current college student check out these extra tax credits you may qualify for.
Many tax preparation places do the same thing and use the same type of software that you can purchase at the store. If you are more comfortable having someone else be responsible filling out your return for you, this may be an option to consider. You need to consider the fees that the tax preparation places charge and weigh that against using an accountant or purchasing software and deciding which one works the best for you.
There are advantages to going to an accountant if you have a complicated situation. The difficulty in doing your own taxes has been reduced by using the software. If you file online, you can receive your refund in about two weeks, if you also use direct deposit. You should check with your accountant to be sure that he offers this service, as well. There is no reason to use a refund anticipation loan, because the wait time for you refund is so short now.
Basically, if you own your own business or you had major life changes this year, you may need to go to an accountant. Otherwise you should be able to handle filing your taxes with the help of software. The software makes it fairly easy to file your taxes once you have gathered all of your tax forms. Be sure that you have receive your W-2 and all of your 1099 forms before you file, so that you do not have to make any corrections after you have already submitted your taxes. Allow around an hour to complete your taxes, unless you have a complicated situation. You can also use state software to complete your taxes, which will save you time. Filing electronically will speed up the refund process.