As the tax filing deadline quickly approaches, how are you handling your taxes? Do you prepare and file them yourself? Have a relative or friend handle them for you? Do you hire an accountant?


However you handle the preparation and filing, how is it working out for you? While we don’t prepare and file taxes at our financial planning firm, we do assist some of our clients with investment related tax information. Also, we often will review their taxes after filing to ensure that nothing crucial was missed. And what we often find is that some of those who are preparing and filing their own taxes really shouldn’t be.


That’s not to say that everyone that files themselves shouldn’t be. It’s typically fine for someone with a relatively simple tax situation to prepare their own taxes without problems. Or if you have more than a passing knowledge about tax rules and regulations, preparing your own taxes should be fine. However, the more income you have, the more deductions, the more investments, etc, the higher likelihood that preparing your own taxes may not be a good idea.


The question that comes into play is how much is saving some money really worth to you? Are you spending countless hours sorting and prepping your tax info, dealing with headaches, and then still worrying at the end that you might have missed something or done something incorrectly? In our opinion, if this is how you spend every tax season, it would probably make more sense for you to hire an accountant.


Not that all accountants are equal either. If you are going to go down that road, make sure you find an accountant you are comfortable with and who you feel would be able to handle the level of complexity your tax situation lends.


With the popularity of tax software and online tax filing sites like TurboTax, “do-it-yourself” taxes are becoming more popular. However, just because it is an option for you, doesn’t mean you should utilize it, even if it will save you some money. Who knows, maybe the accountant you decide to hire will find a deduction you were missing and will pay for themselves!