Every January, countless Americans ask themselves a question:
Should I try and do my own taxes this year?
There certainly seem to be some advantages. You don’t have to pay someone else to do them. You could “theoretically” get them finished and filed faster. You don’t have to leave your home or make phone calls.
Sounds great so far, right?
Well, unfortunately nothing with taxes is ever that simple. In fact….
They’re Complicated. Very Complicated.
You may have heard before that the US tax code is laughably long. Over 73,000 pages. And that’s just the federal code. There’s your own states taxes as well. These are filled with rules, regulations, requirements, exceptions, and more.
You could end up missing out on deductions. You could miss an important form or document and fail to pay the required amount. You could make an error in inputting your information.
Simply put, there’s a lot that can go wrong. And should something go wrong, you won’t like the results.
Mistakes Can Have Serious Consequences.
The IRS doesn’t like it when people’s taxes are wrong. Especially if you didn’t pay them as much as you were supposed to. This could lead to fees, fines, and worst of all, an audit. Tax audits are lengthy, intrusive affairs that thoroughly comb through your past three years worth of taxes and finances.
Should they find enough issues, they could go back as far as six years. It’s not fun, and it will often end up with you owing extra money.
If Something Does Go Wrong, You’re on Your Own.
Without someone else handling your taxes, you’ll be facing your audit alone. You’ll have to answer the questions, provide the proof, and deal with the IRS. Tax agents and accountants, on the other hand, often provide audit protection as part of their service.
Should an audit arise, they’ll be there to see you through it.
It’s worth mentioning that even if you file your taxes correctly, someone in your work or the IRS itself could potentially make an error, leading to an audit that’s not your fault.
With a Tax Pro, You Can Come Out Money Ahead
As we said before, there are a lot of rules and exceptions when it comes to taxes. By doing taxes yourself, you could miss out on a deduction opportunity you don’t know about. And typically, the IRS isn’t going to go out of their way to tell you that you paid too much.
A tax professional, however, can help you find all the tax breaks available to you, saving you more money than it cost to hire them in the first place.
It’s not a guarantee, but it’s definitely a possibility. Now, if you’re single, you don’t own a house or property, and you make a smaller wage from a singular source of employment (where taxes are properly taken out), can you handle your own taxes? Probably.
But there is still risk, and you’ll have to do all the work yourself. Ultimately, it’s your call.
For everyone else, especially business owners, independent contractors, home owners, people with large families, etc., we highly recommend using a tax professional. The peace of mind is worth the price alone.
If you need tax preparation in Springfield, Ohio or the surrounding area, contact LWS Tax today.