Tax time is overwhelming for everyone! It’s time-consuming, stressful, confusing and can be expensive. While I know getting a big tax refund isn’t the best money-move, I’d so much rather get a little something back than have a big bill to pay.
There are a lot of options out there now, between all the various tax software programs and if your taxes aren’t too complicated, using a software program may be the way to go for you.
My husband and I decided several years ago to go the accountant route because as our lives got more complicated over the years, our taxes did too. For us it’s been worth it, and I’m positive our accountant has saved us more than we’ve spent every year, plus we’ve learned a lot too. This year’s aha was a tip to change my withholding from “married” to “married but withhold at the higher single rate.” We were cutting it pretty close with our taxes and next year might have to pay since we had some tax deductions that carried over from last year that won’t be there to help us in the future. He said it was important to make sure that I marked “married but withhold at the higher single rate” because in the unfortunate chance I could need unemployment in the future I would not receive the higher married rate if I claimed “single” on my W4, regardless of my actual marital status.
Tax stuff is full of those kinds of loop-holes and it seems impossible for anyone to stay up on them all. Make a mistake and you over pay, make a bigger mistake and you’ll have the IRS breathing down your neck. No thank you.
National Society of Accountants survey stats that Tax Return Preparation Fees Averages $246. This is for an itemized deduction including the 1040 Form, Schedule A and State Tax Return. They also say that the “the average cost to prepare a Form 1040 and state return without itemized deductions is only $143.”
You can file your taxes for free if you make less than $58,000 using Free File from the IRS.
FatWallet Money Saving Tax Resources:
If you decide to go the Do It Yourself route with a tax software program, there are a lot of money saving resources for you, right here on FatWallet!
Tax Advice & Tips in the FatWallet Forums and Blog:
The FatWallet Finance Forums are a great place to go for Tax advice from the community.
Tax Tips from the FatWallet Blog:
- Making Tax Season Easy
- Six Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund
- The Big 0: Why It’s a Good Idea to Break Even with the IRS
- Tax Free Income: 10 Ways to Avoid Paying Taxes
- Ten Tax Deductions You Cannot Miss
- Make Life Better and Your Wallet Fatter with Tax Credits
- Tax Help for Newlyweds
- What Do You Do if You Didn’t File Your Taxes?
- What to Do When You Can’t Pay Your Taxes
Simplify Taxes if You Own a Business
You can see agony in the face of any small business owner early in the year when you ask them how their taxes are going. As if doing our own personal taxes wasn’t bad enough, trying to categorize and tally the itemizations for a business can be maddening. It’s my personal opinion, but if you own a small business, hiring an accountant to do your taxes is a must. There are so many rules to what can and cannot be deducted, I’d rather leave it to a pro. Even so, getting our tax stuff ready for the accountant can take me the better part of a week.
Tools like Mint.com can help to organize all your transactions into categories, making tax time easy.
- The blog post, Filing Taxes as an Independent Contractor might be of interest to you as well!
Whatever path you choose, Tax Software or Accountant, I hope your refund is fat!