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Tax preparation: Should You File Or Pay A Professional?
You do not have to be a professional to do your taxes however if you have a complicated income structure or are just not quite sure, there are services to help you prepare taxes for yourself or your business. Like Christmas, tax time seems to come faster and faster every year. But unlike Christmas, tax time, is the most dreaded time of year.
The Internet and computers have served up many new options for you to choose, when preparing your taxes. These services include but are not limited to the following: Bookkeeping, Direct Deposit, Electronic Filing, Income Taxes. Tax preparation can be legally performed by lawyers and non-lawyers, alike. The fee for tax return preparation is based on the complexity of the return. Most services charge at an hourly rate -- generally per hour.
There is assistance from commercial tax filing services for low income tax payers. One service provider, VITA, provides free basic income tax return preparation to individuals with income of 000 and below. The IRS stresses that it does not provide free electronic filing or tax return preparation services, which is why it formed this public-private alliance.
Are you planning on filing your taxes yourself? You should consider avoiding filing manually and file electronically.Filing electronically is less cumbersome and less stressful. Make sure that you are using the appropriate tax rate for your filing status. Note, by processing financial information on a regular basis throughout the year, your income tax return preparation is more accurate and turn around is faster. Accurate tax return preparation is essential since your return should reflect disclosures
and elections consistent with your tax planning objectives.
E-filing, which can be accessed via your computer 24 hours a day seven days a week, is a great way to file if you plan on doing it yourself. If you expect a refund check, filing online is a great option.
Preparing your taxes is much like getting your teeth pulled. The reality is much less worse than the anticipation. Contrary to popular belief, tax return preparation is more of a creative art than an exact science. If you feel a bit overwhelmed trying to prepare your taxes, seek help. The small amount it will cost you to pay for expert advice could end up saving you hundreds
in the long run.
About the Author: Kenneth L Myers Is the contributing author for
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