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Should you do your own taxes?

5 Questions to ask before doing your own taxes
Thinking of doing your own taxes? Ask yourself these five questions first.

Are you thinking about doing your own taxes this year to save money? There are some things you should think about first to make sure this is the best option for you!

Let me start this post by saying, I am not a CPA nor do I study or work on taxes for a living, but if you are thinking of doing your own taxes this year, I can give you a heads up about what you should consider.

I have done my own taxes most of my adult life, with the help of my husband since I have been married (for seven years); however, one year I did succumb to tax commercials and was very disappointed with the result.

The commercials entice me by telling me they could get more money; however, if your taxes are pretty straightforward – like mine were that year – you will get the same amount back, no matter who does your taxes. From personal experience, I was disappointed when I went in because I noticed they were using turbo tax or a similar tax software program, that I could have done on my own for WAY less money.

Here at I Heart Frugal, I am all about saving you money. So if you can save this year by doing your own taxes, why not try.

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File your taxes online for a low price here

The issue I had with someone else doing my taxes is all they did was ask me the same questions on the tax software and well, I do know how to read, so I could have very well, done them myself, used a low-cost online service and saved around $80. After watching this man read me questions off the computer – I had done myself for years – I felt really duped when I walked out the door.

So if you are thinking of doing your own taxes to save money this year, here are some questions to ask yourself first:

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Should I do my Own Tax Return?

If you are wondering if doing your taxes is right for you, ask yourself these questions:

#1 Are you good with numbers?

Even if you are not the best with numbers if you have a good software program and all of your paperwork, the program will do the math for you or grab your handy, dandy calculator. If you are good with numbers, doing your taxes should be a no-brainer for you!

#2 Did you keep up with up with your financial records?

One thing that will make doing your own tax return much easier is having all the needed paperwork handy. If you begin your taxes and you are left searching for this receipt or need to track down your W-2 or 1099 (form for doing contract work over $600) you will have a hard time. My suggestion is to stay organized and keep a file for each year. When you receive any receipt or form that is tax-related, tuck it in the folder labeled tax season. This could save you a lot of time in the long run! Even if you have someone else does your taxes, they will want this information and you WILL still have to dig for it.

Furthermore, I recommend every household have a filing system. Use a plastic filing bin or buy a larger bin if you have a lot of papers, but it will make it easier to keep track of taxes, health information, kid’s papers, marriage certificate, and so on.

If you are not good at keeping up with your records, consider using a service such as this.

Suggested Reading: How to Declutter Your House and Gain Perspective

Suggested Reading: Why You Can’t Get Out of Debt

Still Considering Doing Your Own Taxes…

#3 Are you self-employed?

If you are self-employed your taxes may be a bit trickier. Most bloggers (that are making money – one day for me, haha) hire a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) to handle taxes. Yet, many brave souls buy the self-employed version of turbo tax and still do their own taxes. Yet, if you have any questions or are not sure, this is a case where you want to pay someone to help you out.

File your own taxes with this self-employed tax software

#4 Do you own rental properties or investments? 

It is more difficult to do your own taxes if you owe taxes on rental properties or have investments. There are deductions and credits you may not know about and would be better handled by a professional.

#5 Do you have the tax software? 

If you are ready to start your taxes, make sure you have the necessary software! Check your software and make sure it covers federal and state so you are not left paying more money. You can even buy tax software online, so don’t worry about walking into a BestBuy and having a salesperson try to sell you some expensive version you don’t need.

This year H&R Block has more ways to save than ever!

Keep in mind… If you prepare your own tax return, you are responsible for any errors. So it is up to you! You should do whatever you are most comfortable with and complete your taxes on time (April 15) to avoid any penalties.

Not Sure? Check out the IRS website to find common deduction questions.

If you decide doing your own taxes is too much and you would rather consult a professional, you can make an appointment here.

Should I do Your Own Taxes Conclusion

If you are unsure about your taxes or don’t feel comfortable doing them yourself, there is no shame in asking for help or paying someone to do them. Yet, take it from me, if your taxes are pretty straightforward, you can easily save yourself money by buying software or using a free version and doing them yourself. It is super easy and I’m here to save you money, so give it a try this year. If you feel your taxes are difficult you can always call someone and make an appointment, but give it a try first.

 

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How do you do your taxes or do you pay someone? What is your favorite software? Leave me a comment! I would love to hear from you!

 

Should you do your own taxes?

4 Comments on 5 Questions to Ask Before You Do Your Own Taxes

  1. I stopped doing my own taxes when I started my own business. Paying an accountant isn’t cheap, but it’s well worth the money. He takes care of everything, I don’t have to worry about it, and I know it’s done right.

    • Thank you for your comment, Marc! Taxes are definitely trickier when you own your own business and I would certainly do the same! Take care and best regards to you and your business!

  2. We love TurboTax, but it’s not obvious how to add an Airbnb room, or self-employed income for both of us.
    Totally see how an accountant would be helpful.

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