Way back in the mists of time, I worked for a national CPA firm. They charged $250 for a simple individual tax return. Back then, that was more than my rent—today’s equivalent of over $1,250. That’s a lot of money for a simple tax return!
I thought it was absolutely ridiculous for people to have to pay that much money to get a simple tax return prepared. In the early 1980s, I started teaching people how to do their own tax returns.
Is it still a good idea to do your own tax return? In many instances, yes.
The way tax software is developing these days, you will get a lot of guidance on the routine issues that apply to the life of the average person.
The question is, are you the average person?
None of us likes to feel average. We all know we are special with unique aspects to our lives. Will the tax software help us deal with those things?
In many cases, yes.
I have been looking at software provided by the top online tax-preparation services for this year. Their emphasis is on walking you through the process of doing your tax return, bringing to your attention things you might otherwise overlook.
You should do your own tax return if
You should not be doing your own tax return if
Essentially, it boils down to this: If your life is straightforward and uncomplicated financially, you should do your own tax return. If you start having questions and issues, perhaps it’s time to sit down and speak to someone who can help you resolve them.
Stay tuned: we’ll be telling you how to select a tax pro who is right for you!
Weird Taxes Affecting You Right Now
Estate Tax Update: How Will the Estate Tax Affect You?
The Nanny Tax: How to Pay Nannies, Babysitters, and Home Help
Tax Repercussions of Divorce
Tax Consequences of Unemployment
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.