If you've always filed your own returns, you may never have considered hiring a tax preparer. But a tax professional helps you avoid costly mistakes and plan for your future. Every year, more people decide to get help with tax preparation. If you're still on the fence, here are the top three reasons to pay a professional.
Never Miss a New Rule
If you have an adjusted gross income of less than $57,000 and a very simple tax return, then you may think that the public-private partnership between the IRS and Free File Alliance is all you need. After all, why pay a professional when you can do everything yourself for free via e-file? Well, provided you have a basic level of IT literacy, e-file could be a perfect fit for you. But the tax laws are constantly being changed or updated. Completing, organizing, and filing your returns online through the IRS website may see you miss a new rule or regulation. Hiring a tax preparer gives you peace of mind that you're not inadvertently paying more in taxes than you need to.
Free Up Your Time
When you hire a tax preparer, you're free to focus on the things you do best. The IRS estimates that it takes the average person over 20 hours to file their own tax returns, and that number increases to over 30 hours if businesses or rental property returns are included. Hiring a tax preparer means that you don't have to put this time towards doing your own returns. Think about it: 20 hours breaks down to one hour every weeknight for a month. Your time is likely worth a lot more to you than the preparer's fee.
Minimize Your Obligations
Folks who file their own tax returns, thinking they'll save a couple of hundred bucks, can easily waste their time and lose out by missing deductions they didn't know about. Because the US tax code is so complex, many people end up spending money on complex computer programs to help them file their taxes, only to miss obvious deductions. The benefit of hiring a tax preparer is that they'll help you minimize your obligations and pay less in taxes. Even the preparer's fee may be deductible on your next year's return.
Hiring a tax preparer is the best way to take advantage of current tax code and changes. There are many ways to find a tax preparer that is right for you, but here are a few tips directly from the IRS. Unfortunately, tax return preparer fraud is on the list of common tax scams, so do be careful.
Browse our team of financial advisors, CPAs, and other financial professionals and reach out to them for recommendations of a trusted tax professional near you. Their advice and direction will be worth its weight in gold as they'll help you lower your tax bill. That's money back in your pocket or added to your investment account.
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