What are the Pros and Cons in Filing Returns by Yourself?

Tax season is aloft and could be extended anew for this year as with last year, though, nothing is yet final on the extension. We have to watch the news for that, but, extended or not, you still have to file. It is best to have the mindset that there will be no extension this year.

Whether this is your first time to file a return or you did your patriotic duty for a decade now, all taxpayers have the option to file their returns by themselves. This is the most appealing choice for first-time filers especially.

These are the young ones who just had landed their very first job after college. You who barely could pay the rent and living on instant noodles do not want to be gypped by hard-core professionals with hidden fees in fine print.

You must file your return and don’t want to mess with the federal government, you’re young and a fruitful life awaits you. You hear others say it is very tedious, and you ask your friends who don’t know anything, of course.

But you went through college, four years. How hard could it be? With confidence on high, you tread on the lonely, unmapped road to perdition.

Advantages.

  • Saves you money from professional fees that you pay to accountants, if you have taken their services. These accountants are people that have gone through college like you and have passed the required board exams and state licenses necessary to ply their trade.

They have come a long way and they will charge accordingly in line with state and federal laws. Unless your sister is an accountant, or you have money to spare, savor the money you spare since it is not exactly an impossible task to file your return.

  • Peace of mind. During this time of year, accountants are overloaded with work and trusting your document might find yourself short-changed. The frenzy before the deadline and the number of clients an accountant has will most likely have a slip up.

The slip up could go both ways, however; the accountant or you could have forgotten a crucial information that could have translated to deductions on your tax. The document given to you is incomplete and you have less than a day before the deadline.

Doing the return on your own eliminates the deficiency of document and the bug in communication. You are happy to know that the document you are holding is complete and true.

  • Financial Awareness. Filing your returns on your own can make you see your very own personal finances and give you deeper understanding on how to improve your tax; rather, lessen your tax, that is, the next time around.

Deductions is a beauty for the taxpayer, naturally, that is well provided for by the Internal Revenue System (IRS). An instrument a taxpayer may use to get deductions are tax-deductible donations.

Donating your couch where your beer would sit next to it is a different story.

Disadvantages.

  • Time Consuming. Personal preparation of your tax return, especially if you are new, is time consuming and may even eat up the time you allotted for other equally important matters. A domino effect ensues, and the abyss opens up, dark and deep.

The Tax Code of the U.S.A. is complex and taxing, and submitting an erroneous return will get you slapped with fines and penalties. To mitigate this, start right after the tax season, store receipts, vouchers and pertinent papers ready for next year.

If a first timer, start at the very first day of the year that will give you a hundred days, at least, to learn, understand, review and submit a perfect return.

  • Prone to Error. This is expected on a solo wanderer in unfamiliar land. Errors may be typographical, if it were a literary piece, or non-typographical.

Error could have been done by a misstep on the Tax Code, a regulation violation. Or, it could be missing out on some benefits you should have gotten.

  • Online Help is not Good Enough. There are a lot of websites that offer free software for tax preparation which is supposed to be a big assist to the lonely taxpayer. These software are like some dogs; the bark is worse than the bite.

For whatever consolation it may have, use it in its incompleteness, but augment it to get the job done. 

Like all off-beaten tracks, it will be bumpy and rough. A silver lining, however, is yours for the taking at the end of the journey. It will be exhilarating and fulfilling at the same time. Hats off to you.
If you come to a blank wall in your self-preparation, call or explore H&R BLOCK.

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