Should You Do Your Taxes Yourself And Fire Your Accountant?

According to Money Magazine, you may want to fire your accountant if:

1. Your return is straightforward.
If you just have income from wages and interest and some simple investments, you could do it yourself.

2. You have an afternoon to spare.
Depending on who you ask, some people do their taxes in an hour, while others spend the entire weekend. How much time do you spend doing them?

3. You had no major life changes in 2007.
The more things have changed, the more difficult your taxes could be.

4. You have no big questions.
If you know what you are doing, why pay someone to do your taxes?

I use an accountant – my brother. But if I did not have him, I would probably do my taxes myself, although it is getting more and more difficult the further away I get from having the typical 1 job per year like I used to have! What do you guys do? Hire someone or do it yourself?

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Comments (7)

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  1. Braunn says:

    I am an accountant and have used Taxact.com for the past 6 years. There is no state income tax (and thus, no return) in Texas, so I spend $10/yr to file a federal return electronically and usually have my refund in about 10 days (direct deposit). I just paid a rather large chunk of our outstanding CC debt with our 2007 refund.

  2. I’ve used TaxCut for the past 10+ years and have never had problem. I even used it during several years that I owned a sub S corp and never had a single problem.

    I’ve been working on our return today (but left some needed info at the office). I’ll input that info Monday night and have my refund direct deposited into my account within 8 to 16 days.

    Gotta love it.

  3. Anne says:

    I do it myself. I think it’s pretty important to be familiar with my tax situation and there’s no better way to do that than to carefully prepare my own return.

  4. Mrs. Micah says:

    Heh heh heh…yeah, big life changes and some questions. But I still think I can figure it out. I’m just not going “commando” with plain old tax forms, I’m going to use TurboTax. Or TaxCut.

  5. I like the list, but I think #3 can be misleading. For example, marriage and having kids are major life changes, as is changing jobs, and yet I don’t think those changes in and of themselves complicate taxes too much. I learned to do my own taxes the year that I got my first job, at 16, and I did them for years. But last year, #4 started looming large for me and I got an accountant. I wish I had a brother I could just pose my questions to!

  6. Braunn says:

    Following up on my original reply:

    For anyone who hasn’t started on their tax return(s) just yet, I can’t recommend taxact.com highly enough. I discovered them years ago when I was searching IRS.gov for e-filing sites. You can actually prepare your federal return and e-file for free. It’s web based, but works the same way as Taxcut or Turbotax. It walks you through step-by-step and asks all the same questions that a professional preparer would ask and has online help resources to answer most any question you might have.

    Every year since the first year, I’ve gone ahead and paid for the Deluxe version ($10) that automatically imports all of my personal information (SSN’s, W-2 & 1099 information, dependent & child care info, Schedule C’s, etc.) from the prior year so that I don’t have to key it all in by hand again.

    Preparing and filing a state return (which I don’t have to do) costs a little more, but even then, the whole thing is less than $20 – less than half the price of most off the shelf software…and far less than Block, et.al.

    If you haven’t started yet, it costs you nothing to give it a look see! (Heh, guess I need to start a blog and see if they have an affiliate program!!)

  7. […] Two Dollars: Should You Do Your Taxes Yourself And Fire Your Accountant? I do mine myself, but I am seriously thinking of hiring an accountant next year as things seem more […]