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Doing Your Own Taxes: The Pros and Cons
Deciding whether or not you want to file your taxes yourself or hire someone to them can be a hard choice. Read on to learn about doing your own taxes and the pros and cons.
If you’re one of the 141 million people who filed their tax return this year, you know how much of a pain tax season can be.
As a result, many people choose to file their own taxes to save time and money. But is it the best way to file, and how can you be sure you’re getting the right return? It’s a decades-old question that we’re here to help you explore.
Here are the pros and cons of doing your own taxes.
Pros Of Doing Your Own Taxes
Knowing how to file your own taxes can be rather helpful for a number of reasons. Let’s explore some of the biggest advantages to filing your own taxes.
At the end of the day, the biggest advantage to filing your own taxes is that you’ll save yourself some hard-earned money.
The average person can expect to spend anywhere from $175 to $450 depending on employment status and filing requirements.
However, by filing yourself, you can spend a fraction of that money (or nothing, for that matter) to file online using tax prep software.
You Can File On Your Own Time
Most of us lead extremely busy lives. We may not have the time to get away from work and spend hours in a tax preparer’s office.
This leads to yet another huge advantage of self-filing, as you can file on your own time.
Want to get your taxes done piece by piece over several weeks? Not a problem. Want to spend a few hours on a rainy Sunday afternoon and knock them out? Also an option!
You have complete control over when and how you file your taxes.
Internet-Based Options Make The Process Easier
Just because you’re filing without the assistance of a professional doesn’t mean you can’t get a great deduction. The web features plenty of great, reputable tax return software to help you through the process.
In fact, you may be able to file for free!
Cons Of Doing Your Own Taxes
Of course, doing your own taxes has its own set of drawbacks, too. Here are a few common reasons why you may want to think twice about filing your own taxes.
Filing Can Be Anxiety-Inducing
In truth, filing taxes can be quite a tense process. Your return heads directly to the government, after all, one slip-up can land you in hot water.
If tax season stresses you out, it may be worth it to get some outside help from a tax prep specialist. It’ll cost more upfront, sure, but it’s hard to put a price tag on your peace of mind.
Filing Forms Can Get Complex
As we mentioned before, certain types of employment status require certain filing forms.
Most people will only have to file a 1040EZ or another variation of a 1040 form. But self-employed individuals will have a noticeably tougher time.
Filing a 1099 form isn’t impossible, but it’s a lot more difficult than other tax forms.
It’s Harder To Maximize Your Deductions
Of course, the biggest disadvantage to filing your own taxes is that there’s no way to ensure you’re taking advantage of all possible deductions.
There are all sorts of hidden deductions that can net you a bigger return. You may be missing out on hundreds of extra dollars per year!
Final Thoughts On Filing Your Own Taxes
In truth, it’s impossible to say whether doing your own taxes is worth it or not, as everyone’s situation is different. However, if you’re self-employed or just hate filing, it’s never a bad idea to at least look at your options.
Looking to make the most of your money? Be sure to check out our post on how to stop spending so much and start saving!