Every year taxpayers have to decide whether they will have their individual taxes done professionally or not. In 2016 alone, over 130 million returns were filed electronically. Of those, nearly 80 million were completed by tax professionals. There are as many reasons that people choose to file their own taxes as there are for choosing not to. If you do need a professional’s help, Tax Matters can help you file your taxes.
Time, Money, and Individual Taxes
As the say goes, time is money. The IRS estimates that you’ll need 16 hours to complete a Form 1040, which is the form that almost 70% of people use. This includes gathering records, tax planning and filling out as well as submitting the return. While you will be responsible for gathering tax statements and other material, once you deliver the necessary documents for your individual taxes to the person doing them for you, you will have more time for other tasks.
However, you need to be advised that paying a tax professional to do your individual taxes can add up. The IRS estimates that the average taxpayer will spend close to $300 in order to have someone complete a federal form 1040 for them. While you may be able to deduct any fees if you itemize your return, miscellaneous deductions are subject to a 2 percent floor.
Comfort Level, Patience, and Individual Taxes
Even if you have the time to fill out your own tax return, two questions remain. They are whether you are comfortable enough with the tax code to fill out the forms and do you have the patience to do so. You need to be able to sleep at night knowing that you filled out the forms correctly and that if the IRS calls you, you have nothing to fear. In addition, you need to be aware that Congress has made almost 5,000 changes to the Tax Code since 2001. That adds up to more than one change per day. Moreover, the Tax Code is almost four million words in length. Therefore, nobody has the time or is willing to sit down and read it all during tax season and while the IRS offers a number of helpful forms and publications, it can still be difficult figuring out the nuances of various deductions and credits. So, if plowing through formulas is going to make you frustrated, you are better off getting professional help for your individual taxes.
While there is software available that can help you with your individual taxes, you need to be computer savvy and confident in order to go that route. While more and more people get there every day, if you are not there yet, do not chance it with the government.
If you are in need of assistance filling out the forms for your individual taxes and you are in the El Paso area, contact Tax Matters for assistance. They have been serving the area since 1988.