Hiring a Tax Professional Versus Using Software

It is a question more and more frequently asked. Should I hire a tax professional or use a software program to do my income tax return?

Professional tax experts say that a trained, accredited professional can come up with deductions, exemptions, or credits that tax preparation software cannot.

Software developers and retailers say that the programs are sophisticated enough to do just as good a job as a tax professional, and will save you money to boot.

This is really a decision based upon your personal preference.

Before hiring a tax professional make certain that you are getting experience and expertise for your money. Be sure to check the tax expert’s qualifications and accreditation. Ask for references from other taxpayers who have used their service. Find out what guarantees and support they offer should you be audited.

In states other than Oregon, California, and Maryland, almost anyone can get paid to file an income tax return. Of course, if you hire a Certified Public Accountant, Attorney, or Enrolled Agent, they are all regulated by oversight. Otherwise, you are on your own. That is why it is vitally important to check any and all qualifications and references offered to you by someone charging to prepare your income tax return.

Many people who once used someone else to prepare their taxes, or who sat down with a pencil and a calculator to it themselves, are now using computer software to prepare their returns. The programs offer ease, speed, and low cost. People say that it is just as good as using a tax preparation service since the database is loaded with all of the most recent tax information and at the heart of it all is the information you provide, anyway. Also, if you run into trouble, you have the option of getting help from a live support team.

Like I said, the decision really boils down to a matter of personal preference. It is also a matter of finance, as well. Most tax software applications are available for under a hundred dollars; most tax preparation services are not. Also, tax preparation programs will not offer you a tax rebate anticipation loan, which have become a very popular reason to use tax preparation services.

If you are not in need of a tax rebate anticipation loan and are unafraid to do your taxes yourself, there is no question that you will save money by using Turbo Tax or some other tax preparation software. Either way, always be sure to do all you can to assure yourself of the lowest tax liability legitimately possible.