Money Talks News - There are a number of ways taxpayers can file a tax return. There is software that is available, preparation services, or high-priced professionals from a CPA to a tax lawyer.
So how you figure out what is the best option? Step one is to see if you qualify for free in-person preparation. Anyone who has made $54,000 or less last year, can have a VITA volunteer will do it free.
For the people who made more than that, they only have two choices. They can either do their own taxes or pay someone to do so.
Whether a professional is paid or not, the return will be done with software anyway. The only difference is the person doing the typing; the taxpayer or a high-priced professional.
So now the question is: When do you use a pro? The answer: Only when that pro is worth it.
One thing to consider is that the software doesn't understand the potential risks that certain deductions can bring or doesn't ask more probing questions of things that a professional would.
But before a pro asks taxpayers probing questions, the professional should be asked some too. Questions like how experienced they are with situations that are specific to a taxpayer, what they can offer and how much they charge.
It's always good to talk to several before picking one.
And finally, if a professional is hired, it's important to make sure they're going to be around all year and not just seasonally. In the event that a taxpayer receives an audit notice, it will be convenient to reach that taxpayer at any time.
If your taxes are complicated and you can use the help, by all means, pay a pro.
But if they're simple, why not just get some software and do it yourself? There is more information and links to inexpensive software at the Money Talks News website. Just do a search for "Tax Hacks 2018."