If you love saving money and do-it-yourself projects, you probably think doing your own taxes is no sweat. After all, how hard is it to do your own taxes?
The truth is that it can be very difficult. The tax forms are complex, the information you need is extremely detailed, and the consequences for making an error are serious.
In fact, taxes are not something you should DIY at all. Here are 9 reasons to leave taxes to the pros.
Numbers Aren’t Your Specialty
Unless you’re an accountant yourself, it’s likely that you spend the majority of your time focusing on something other than numbers.
You may be asking, “Should I do my own taxes?” If you’re not a numbers person, the answer is no. It’s easy to get in over your head and get completely confused.
Your free time is valuable. Save it for something you enjoy!
You Do a Lot of Charitable Giving
If you donate a lot of money to charity, pat yourself on the back. That’s good work you’re doing! However, those donations come with special tax rules.
If you do a lot of giving, you’ll want to itemize your deductions instead of doing a standard deduction. That’s a much longer tax form and takes much longer to sort out.
Don’t give yourself the headache. Skip asking “Can I do my own taxes?” and just leave it to the pros.
You Own a Business or Side Hustle
If you own a business or do any kind of side hustle that earns you extra money outside of your job, you definitely need a pro to help with your taxes.
Business income is very complex. It has different tax rules than regular income, there are a variety of deductions you can apply, and you have to itemize each expense. It’s easy to make a mistake on business income, which is why you should leave it to the pros.
What’s more, there are a lot of ways you can structure and run your business that can benefit your tax situation. Having expert tax guidance, not just at tax time but all year, can make a big difference.
You Own Property
Whether it’s your own home or investment property, owning real estate changes your tax picture. There are deductions you can take when you own a home, and investment property is a business with its own deductions.
However, the tax laws around property deductions recently changed, so even if you’ve done your taxes in the past, you may find it especially difficult going forward.
A tax professional will stay up to date with changing tax laws and give you expert advice to help you maximize your tax benefits. You can uncover little-known deductions and get important guidance!
Your Family Situation Changed This Year
Marriage, divorce, someone passing away, the birth of a child… these are all part of the cycle of life. As these things happen, however, your tax situation changes significantly.
Bringing in a new person through marriage, or losing one through death or divorce, changes your tax bracket, income, and available deductions. It’s helpful to have a professional to guide you through the transition.
You Have Children
As long as you have dependents, your tax situation will be more complex. Tax credits and deductions apply that help you save money, but only if you’re aware of them and know how to apply them appropriately.
If kids are in college full-time, you can claim them and their education expenses until they are 24. Knowing the exact situation and filing everything correctly takes a lot of expertise – exactly why it’s good to hire a pro.
You’re Concerned About Mistakes
Mistakes in your tax filings can be extremely costly. You can end up with extra tax liability along with fees and interest. Even worse, your mistakes might cause the IRS to choose to audit you.
To avoid these concerns, bring in a professional. Another set of eyes is also helpful, but it means even more if those eyes belong to an expert who takes care of tax concerns for a living.
Avoid finding yourself in a hole with back taxes, fees, or a time-consuming audit. It’s easy to misunderstand the questions on the tax form. Let someone handle it for you.
You Want the Best Possible Tax Return
Everyone wants to maximize what they receive as a tax refund and minimize what they owe. The only way to do that is hire a professional!
You might think you have a good understanding of your taxes, but like all areas of law, there are a lot of nuances and details that are easy to miss. If you want to maximize your deductions and get the best possible outcome, choose an accountant this tax season.
You Want to Plan Ahead
If you run your own business or have other financial arrangements that cause you to owe on taxes each year, you’ll want to get great advice on how to plan ahead. Having a professional look over your business or situation will help you know what to expect.
How you manage your finances can make a big difference in other ways as well. For instance, if you have children who will be entering college, your income, assets, and tax forms will have a huge impact. Choosing to work with a professional will help you get the advice you need.
How Hard is It to Do Your Own Taxes?
If you’re still asking “how hard is it to do your own taxes,” the answer is simple: hard enough!
Don’t put your finances at risk. Get the best returns you can, and make sure you take into account every available deduction for your home, business, family, and more.
If you’re ready to set up an appointment for tax help, we’re here for you. Contact us for assistance today!