Technology has made it easier than ever for the average person on the street to do their taxes. People also have better access to financial advice and are more informed in general. However, that doesn’t remove the fact that taxes can get very complex, even if you think that your financial situation isn’t.
You might be missing out on some benefits you may not be aware of, or end up making crucial errors that could end up affecting you further down the line. There are some cases, however, where going DIY could actually be beneficial. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of doing your taxes or international taxes yourself.
Pro – Immediate Savings
One of the main reasons why people decide to file on their own is because they want to save money. The truth is that hiring an accountant costs money, and is not accessible to all people.
Anybody can file their taxes through the IRS’s website for free. If your AGI is under $57,000, the IRS will even direct you to companies that can help you through the whole process. Know, however, that these could end up adding charges and may have additional requirements besides your AGI.
Also read: Irs penalty and interest calculator.
Con – Long Term Losses
However, while you may be saving money right now, you may end up losing money in the long run. You may lose out on a deduction that you could’ve been eligible for, or not be aware of some methods you can use to save on your taxes.
For instance, many people don’t realize that doing something as simple as contributing heavily to a health savings account could significantly reduce their taxable income. This is the kind of thing good income tax services from companies like Brown Smith Wallace will be able to catch and help you benefit from.
Pro – You Get to Learn
Some people just prefer to do things themselves so they can have more control and insight. One of the good things about filing taxes yourself is that you’ll get a greater understanding of your finances, and how your choices are affecting them. You will then be able to change your habits to get greater benefits.
Con – The Chance for Error
At the end of the day, accountants have been working and studying their craft for years, and chances are you’ll never know taxes better than them. This is why they are much less likely to commit errors that could end up costing you.
If you do decide to go ahead and file your taxes, we strongly suggest you complete your return, then leave it aside for a couple of days. This will allow you to reflect on the last fiscal year and recall anything you may have omitted.
Choosing between doing your taxes on your own or working with an accountant can be difficult, and one option might be better than the other depending on your situation. Whatever the case, make sure that you always improve on your financial education, and that you know what you’re doing before you make any decisions.