Should I Hire a Professional to File Your Taxes?

| December 18, 2012

tax assistanceWhether or not you should hire a tax professional depends on a variety of factors. Ask yourself the questions below, then use DexKnows listings to find an accountant once you make your decision.

How complicated is your tax situation?

If you need to simply report income from one employer and plan to take minimal deductions, you likely can handle filling out and filing your 2012 IRS forms and state tax forms yourself. Consider hiring a professional if any of the following apply for 2012:

  • You got married, divorced and/or had a first child.
  • You bought or sold a home.
  • You have self-employed income to report.
  • You must file individual and business tax returns.
  • You sold investments in nonretirement accounts.

These are just a few of the events that can make filling out 2012 federal tax forms and state tax forms more challenging for most.

How good are you with numbers and understanding tax forms?

Even if you lead a simple life in the eyes of the IRS, crunching numbers and comprehending tax forms may not be two of your strengths. If you struggle with your personal finances and find yourself glazing over when doing research on the 2012 new tax laws on IRS.gov, you might want to hire a professional or use an online tax tool such as an online tax calculator, TaxSlayer or another resource.

Do you have the time?

You may have a straightforward tax situation and enough understanding of the 2012 tax rates and forms to get the job done, but do you have the time? The IRS estimated that it took the average taxpayer 22 hours to do his or her 2011 taxes, with that number rising to 32 hours if the taxpayer had a business or rental properties. You might want to hire a professional so that you don’t have to spend precious spare time on such a task.

Can you afford to make a mistake?

Even if you feel confident that you understand not only the 2012 federal tax brackets but also any applicable state tax issues, hiring a professional can give you peace of mind when signing the tax forms. Tax laws remain a complex and ever-changing area. In fact, just last year IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman reported that there had been about 3,500 tax law changes since 2000. Ignorance of a tax law will not matter if the IRS chooses to audit you because of errors in your return. Not only can such a process result in fines, but simply not knowing and taking advantage of all your possible deductions costs you money, as well.

If you need help finding a tax professional, DexKnows listings can help. Also keep in mind that an accountant can advise you on the 2013 tax rates, helping you to make the most of your income in the coming year.

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Category: Taxes

About the Author ()

Pamela Mitchell spent more than 15 years at daily newspapers such as the Hartford Courant and Houston Chronicle before becoming a full-time freelancer. She now writes about a variety of topics, from dining and entertainment to pets and travel.