If you are not comfortable preparing your own tax return, it is important that you get the proper help for your situation. You may be able to do the taxes with the help of an online tax company for free, or have a friend or family member help with the filing. However, there are also good reasons to pay a professional to complete the job for you, especially if you had new circumstances in your finances during the past year. Here are a few tips for determining who you should contact to get your taxes done.
Family Member or Friend
If you held one job, do not have any reason to itemize your deductions, and the person helping you with your taxes has the same financial make up as you, getting help in this manner may be safe and fine. This person can sit and explain how to file your own taxes in the future. While it is not going to cost you anything to do this, keep in mind that you will have to do any explaining yourself if you are audited for some reason.
Free Online Website
There are a number of online websites that will fill out and file your taxes for free. You simply answer the questions they ask and they input the data. In most cases they will ask the questions necessary to all the different financial situations. However, if you have your own business, need to itemize, or have income not found on a simple W-2, you may have to upgrade to a different service they offer that will cost you money. In addition, if you want a guarantee that the company will deal with an IRS audit for you, it will cost you money.
Professional Tax Preparer
Visiting a tax preparer is often a good choice. This person has a lot of experience and can answer any questions or concerns you may have. However, you need to be sure the preparer is an "enrolled agent." This means he or she took tests given by the IRS to become a tax preparer. This person will be able to go with you to see an IRS agent if there is ever any trouble about the return. To maintain the credential, EAs are also required to take some type of class annually to keep up with any new tax laws.
While any accountant can prepare taxes, not all of them have much experience doing so. In addition, if you need to file a business return, make sure he or she is a business tax preparer. One of the best benefits to using an accountant is that you can be given valuable information on ways to reduce your tax debt for the coming years.
Not everyone can do taxes. There is no reason to be embarrassed. However, it is important to make sure you get the help you need. Not only will this give you a better return, or a smaller debt, it will also reduce the chance you will be audited.
For more information, talk to a professional like Vlasac John M & Co.Share