When to Hire a Tax Professional
Should you do your own taxes?
It’s the new year and that means tax forms will be trickling in. You’ve closed out 2016 and are ready to get your tax refund as soon as possible. Should you do your own taxes this year? There are countless factors to consider which include having a major life event, wanting peace of mind, being able to focus time on what you enjoy, and saving money.
You had a major life event.
Starting a business, moving, buying a house, having a child, getting married, or large medical expenses could all trigger special treatment. Most tax software you purchase will have a questionnaire to help you submit the proper information, but are you sure it generated the correct output? Are you leaving money on the table, or worse, exposing yourself to the risk of underpayment and penalties in the case of an audit? If you had a W2 and no changes, feel comfortable doing them yourself. If you had a major life event, then you are likely eligible for tax breaks or may be required to file additional forms. Speaking to a professional is your best option in this case.
Peace of mind.
Are you completing your forms properly? You will be able to find most of the form instructions you need, but are they from the right year? Tax forms change with legislation each year, and it can be difficult to stay on top of them all. Are you sure that’s the right form to fill out in the first place? Even if your taxes are straightforward, it can be nice to know a professional has reviewed everything and had a chance to talk you through some of the finer details. You can rest easy knowing someone is on your side. A good tax advisor won’t belittle you – they should work with you and help you understand what you need and plan for your future.
Time is better spent on your core business.
You don’t want to deal with all the research. Taxes are complicated, but you’re smart. You could read the forms, interpret the rules, and hope you applied the correct and most up-to-date rulings to your situation. Is that time better spent delivering to clients, improving your website, or maybe even catching up on some reading? Did you go into business so that you could focus on what you love or fret about doing your tax return properly? Being an entrepreneur means you often make the decision to do something yourself or hire a professional. You may only spend $50 on a self-file software, but what’s your hourly rate and did it take you more than two or three hours to complete your return?
A good tax advisor will do more than prepare your forms for last year; they’ll offer advice and insight to reduce your taxes and prevent penalties. Tax professionals earn their living by creating value for clients. A win for you is a win for them. A single error could cost thousands of dollars in penalties and interest or cause you to lose out on a deduction entirely. You can clean your own teeth really well, but ensuring a cavity is filled or a wisdom tooth is removed properly requires professional help. Don’t let a simple tax cavity turn into an expensive root canal.
Deciding how to get your taxes done is emotional and complex. There are many situations where it makes sense to do them yourself, but if your nature is to optimize and ensure things are done correctly, it may be time to hire someone who can help you in the tax realm. Make sure you find someone who is experienced, works the way you do, and willing to talk you through the process. Book a call with us or sign-up today!