When you first start filing your tax returns, one of the many questions that come into mind is; should I file my taxes online or with a tax professional? In this small segment, we will go over the benefits and disadvantages of both sides.
Certified Tax Preparer
Working with a tax professional has their advantages; first, you have an agency or individual you trust every year to make sure you’re filing your taxes in accordance to the IRS (Internal revenue service). Every year, your financial situation may change, for example, when you’re first filing your tax returns. You may only have a W-2 from your first employer; however, as the years go by, you may receive a 1098-t or a 1099 from Uber or other side hustle. In these cases, working with a tax professional will be within your best interest. They’ll be able to see your financial situation and determine what credits you qualify for; for example, if you attended school: received a 1098-t, paid for books, or tuition. You may qualify for the American opportunity tax credit or known as the hope credit. These are some of the benefits of working with tax professionals.
Now let’s talk about the CONs of working with a tax professional. Most of the time, you will notice a slight increase in price; working with a tax professional may cost you more than doing your taxes online. Another common concern with most customers is that some tax agencies open for tax season (February-April) and then close for the rest of the year. This leaves customers wondering on their own if/when they get a letter from the IRS; in our years of working with clients; sometimes we get customers coming back asking questions on letters they received from the IRS, and in some cases, we even get customer from other agencies asking for clarification on the letter they received since their tax agency was close and could not help them. In most cases, the IRS is asking for additional information or a copy of all the tax forms. Since our agency is open all year long, we’re able to help answer any questions; however, not all agencies are open all year to help their consumers.
Online Tax Filing
With the pandemic COVID-19 happening this 2020, social distancing has been something we all need to keep in mind. Filing your taxes online makes it easy to file your tax returns without having to walk into an office and risk being exposed to the virus. Companies like TurboTax and Credit Karma sometimes offer this service for free if you only have a W-2 and nothing else to report; and even if you have to pay for the services, filing your tax returns online will significantly be more cost effective than doing it in person with a tax professional. Many companies have invested into technology to give you a similar experience with face timing a tax professional or CPA to answer any questions you have regarding your tax returns.
The cons of filing online: To start with if you’re an individual who wants to “do it yourself”. You may miss out on credits or deductibles you may be eligible for; if your tax situation is more complex and requires more attention. You may save money when filing your tax returns but might pay more than your fair share to Uncle Sam or miss out on a potential refund. The second disadvantage, especially for business owners is you won’t have a trusted tax professional whom you can ask questions regarding your business. Yes, you can always google your questions and get an answer; however, the source where you’re getting your information from may not be accurate and up to date. Your tax professional would have a better insight on the latest changes in the IRS.
Barron Income Tax
With the changes happening due to COVID-19, we understand our customer’s concerns when they choose to file their taxes virtually instead of coming in the office. For these reasons we have become a hybrid agency and can now offer our clients the ability to file their taxes virtually while still getting the benefit of having a tax professional review everything and answer any questions regarding their tax situation. We now serve customers nationwide; we’re open all year around to answer any questions in case you require our assistance.
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