Should You File Your Own Income Taxes Next Year?

HRBlock-211x300Income taxes are something that most people have a love/hate relationship with. If you are lucky, you will get a tax return that enables you to go out and purchase the items that you need and pay off debts that you may need to catch up on. If you are unlucky, you could end up paying the government for making too much and not paying in enough. In other cases, you may end up audited and have a longer wait for your return or break even and really not gain or lose anything. It’s a hassle that some do not want to deal with, so they file through an accountant or some tax preparation company. Others, brave the hassle and file for themselves in the hopes of saving money on tax prep and gain more on their return. Which is best for you? Should you file your own income taxes next year? 

The Good and Bad of Filing with Help

An accountant’s job is to play with numbers. They deal with taxes and other stuff all year long. By using a tax service, often the tax preparer has the ability to file taxes from January through April, and then they may also have another source of income that they do between tax seasons. With either of these options, they know the various loopholes that could bring you more cash on your return. They are also less likely to get audited.

The downside to using this service is that it is sometimes costly. Some can cost you a few hundred dollars just to get one return filed. They also tend to file your taxes as they are able to get around to it. You take your spot in line behind all the people who visited before you. The longer it takes for them to file for you, the longer you have to wait for your return, and who wants to do without their money any longer than necessary?

Pros and Cons of Self Filing

There are a few programs out there that can help you file your own tax return. They are a great option for anyone who has a simple return. By filing yourself, you will not have to pay fees to anyone else and when you are ready to file, you simply sit down and get it done.TurboTax-215x300

However, if you have a complicated return to file, you could end up missing something that would give you more money on your return. If you happen to miss an area that needs your attention, you could also open yourself up to an audit or losing money. Both of these situations would be very bad if you are hoping for a larger profit.

When You Should Choose Hiring Someone

According to many people, huge life changes may mean your taxes should be filed with a little extra help. This could be a new baby, a new spouse, or moving to a different state. You may also want to consider having help the first time you file after switching from full time employee to self-employment. These will require different forms and different areas to be filled out if you want to get back all that you deserve.

As to whether you should file your own income taxes next year or not, no one can truly answer that but you. You should consider your options. If you do try to file your own taxes at home and get stumped by it, it is never too late to cancel out and ask for the help of a professional.