Tax Preparation Services
The stress of tax season and the accounting jargon on your tax return are enough to make you want to quit your job and live off the land. Or you could try plan B: have a professional prepare your taxes for you. Naturally, there are pros and cons to weigh with this choice, and there won't be a right answer for everyone.
Pro: According to tax lawyer Robert Wood, you have about a two percent chance of getting audited with each filing. It's true that some taxpayers are audited at random, but incorrect or suspicious claims can put you at a high risk. A professional overlooking your tax prep lowers this risk.
Con: Everyone starts feeling extra stingy around tax season, which means you probably don't want to spend money on tax preparation services. Hiring a tax preparer can cost anywhere from $50 to $1,000, sometimes more for extra complicated projects. The good news is you can write this expense off on next year's return.
Pro: The IRS estimated in 2012 that the average taxpayer needed 22 hours to complete his or her return. The estimate was even higher, at 32 hours, for Schedule C (Businesses) and Schedule E (Rental Properties). Weigh the cost of an accountant with the time you would sacrifice. Is it worth it?
Con: In the Fiscal Year 2012, the IRS reported approximately 900 cases of identity theft. Most tax service software provides strict security for this risk, but a marginal risk still remains. With an accountant-- especially one filing a traditional paper tax return-- you can lower your risk.
At H&R Block, we offer both forms of tax preparation services so you can choose what works for you. Ask one of our knowledgeable tax professionals for advice on the best tax preparation for you.