As the April 15 tax deadline looms, you might still be deciding whether you should do your own taxes or let a professional take the load off your plate. Everyone’s situation is different, but if you’re leaning more toward the do-it-yourself approach, here are some pros and cons to consider:
The Pros of Doing Your Own Taxes
- Cost Savings: The primary advantage of doing your own taxes is the amount of money you can save. The average cost of hiring a tax preparer is $176 if you’re taking the standard deduction and $273 for itemizing your deductions. The prices for TaxSlayer’s online tax software range from free to $57, which provides instant savings.
- Learn More About Your Finances: When you do your own taxes, you become more educated about your financial situation. For instance, you may not be aware that you can receive a tax break if you made donations to a charity during the fiscal year or that you can take advantage of the home office deduction if you operate a business from your house or apartment. Being cognizant of what can increase and decrease your taxes may help you plan better for the future.
- Privacy: If you don’t want to hand off your personal information to a stranger like a tax professional, taking the DIY route might be a better option for you. At TaxSlayer, we’re 100% committed to keeping your personal data safe by utilizing multi-layer authentication, user information protection, and a dedicated security team.
- Time Savings: If you don’t have the time to waste countless hours filling your taxes or scheduling an appointment with a tax preparer, you should consider filing your taxes online. Unless you have a particularly complex tax situation it should be quick and easy to file online.
The Cons of Doing Your Own Taxes
- There’s Room for Error: If you do your taxes by yourself, you’re accountable for any mistakes you make on your tax return. One or more errors could result in penalties, interest on your balance and even an audit. When self-preparing your taxes, it’s best to take your time and review everything to ensure you got it right. TaxSlayer can also help with its line of audit assistance products and 100% accuracy guarantee to ensure you’re filing correctly and are protected in case of a mistake.
- The Tax Code is Complex: Let’s face it. Unless you’re a tax professional, the IRS tax code can seem complicated. It’s also constantly evolving so you might be unaware of recent changes that can have an effect on your taxes. That’s why TaxSlayer is dedicated to keeping you informed year-round. And we always make sure our software reflects all the recent tax law changes.
What Should You Do?
There are a few factors to consider when thinking about doing your taxes by yourself. First, figure out if you have the time and patience to sit down and knock out your return. Also, examine your situation. If you’re single with no dependents and only have to fill out a simple return, doing your own taxes is most likely the best option since it’s straightforward. But TaxSlayer Premium gives you unlimited phone, email and live chat support, allowing you to talk to a real person if you ever have a question or concern no matter what your filing situation is.