To Pay Or Not to Pay – When is it Worth it to Pay Someone to Help You With Your Taxes?

To Pay Or Not to Pay – When is it Worth it to Pay Someone to Help You With Your Taxes?

Most Americans hate having to deal with and pay their taxes. The process may be very different depending on your individual circumstances, but regardless of who you are and what you do no one enjoys doing their taxes. So the question becomes, do you do your taxes yourself, or do you pay someone to help you? This is a question that millions of Americans struggle with each year. There are a couple important factors that need to be considered when answering this question.

In order to do your own taxes you should understand your current tax situation and tax law in general. This knowledge will allow you to know what kinds of breaks you are eligible for and how you should file. It is also essential that you are diligent and organized enough to maintain your personal records and willing to research the answers to potential questions or uncertainties you may run into in the process of filing your taxes. There are several ways in which you can file your taxes yourself. You can always send in your paper 1040 and other schedules in the mail. You can also complete the process on your computer either by downloading software, like TaxCut and TurboTax, or accessing the materials directly online. While you can print out these materials and mail them in, most people who complete the process online choose to avoid the paper and file electronically. You may be able to complete this online filing for free through the Free File Alliance, a partnership between the IRS and certain tax software companies. In order to determine whether this is possible for you it is helpful to check the Free File Alliance website.

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For those who want help with filing there taxes, for whatever the reasons, there are several options. Professional help with your tax filing may make sense for a variety of reasons. Many people simply do not want the hassle, while others do not have or want to spend the time necessary to file on their own. In certain cases, a significant change in your circumstances may make filing very complicated and in these instances it may be especially wise to seek expert help.

In terms of professional assistance for your taxes there are several options.

-For those whose tax situations are not that complicated and don’t want to spend a huge amount then large tax preparation companies like H&R Block may be a good option. These companies have preparers who are well trained in most of the basic situations and they use software to help in the process

-Enrolled Agents, certified public accountants, and tax attorneys can all represent you in front of the IRS if there is a potential issue or your filings are called into question. An Enrolled Agent must pass an IRS administered exam. A CPA must pass a state qualifying exam, but not all CPAs necessarily specialize in taxation, but those who do can help create a comprehensive individualized tax plan for you. Tax attorneys has received training and completed continuing education courses. While tax attorneys are the most expensive, they are also usually the best option if you have a complicated tax filing situation.