How to Determine Whether You Should Do Your Own Taxes or Hire a Pro

Posted on 01/27/2011

You probably don’t want to do your taxes, but you probably don’t want to fork over cash for someone else to do them either. More than half of taxpayers pay a pro to do their taxes according to the Internal Revenue Service. If you’re wondering whether to tackle taxes yourself or hire a pro to help, here are some clues.

What’s Your Job Situation? Do you only have one job? Then filing taxes shouldn’t be too challenging. If you have multiple employers or are self-employed you may want to get some expert guidance.

Do You Have Lots of Assets? The more assets you have, the bigger the cut the government probably wants. If you have multiple assets you may want to hire help so you don’t end up with a bigger tax bill than you deserve.

Have You Had a Busy Year? Did you buy or sell a home? Did you start a new business? Have you moved to a new state? If you had an eventful 2010 you may want to get a pro to help you navigate.

Is Your Schedule Full Now? Tax preparation can require a big chunk of your schedule. Because of a holiday falling on April 15, taxpayers have an extra three days to file their returns this year. There’s a chance you’ll find the time between now and the April 18 tax deadline, but if you think that’s unlikely go ahead and hire expert help.

Do You Have the Money? According to the National Society of Accountants, tax preparation with itemized deductions costs an average of $229. The more complicated your situation, the more you can expect to pay. But then again, the more you may need the assistance of an educated professional.

By Alison Storm

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