Using tax software may seem like a time-saver, but industry statistics indicate that it probably isn’t. In fact, the average tax software user spends more than two hours preparing their taxes for the Internal Revenue Service and their state. The average meeting with an accountant is well under a half hour, and many people just drop off their paperwork and return later to finalize the arrangement.
Preparing with software usually is less expensive. After all, many of the leading packages let users prepare a 1040ez for free and only charge for the state filing and additional documentation. However, the cost of professional tax preparation is a tax-deductible expense. That means that in most cases the tax prepare will be able to offset the cost of his or her services for the client.
3. The Tax Code Changes Every Year
The tax code changes every year without fail. This is not hyperbole. The code often has to change because of changes to the law, and it’s practically impossible for the average person to keep up. Even due dates change, and in some cases, due dates vary depending on which forms you have to use when filing.
4. Some Tax Advantages Are Easily Overlooked
Many benefits that the average taxpayer can take advantage of are easy to miss. Think that software program will be able to identify them? Think again. Sure, the software can spot when you meet the criteria for a break. What software can’t easily do and human preparers can is identify the opportunities to position you to take advantage of a tax break.
5. Lower Risk of Error
Having your taxes prepared by a professional reduces the chance of error. This isn’t simply a matter of stating the obvious, but a truth that’s supported by IRS statistics. In fact, the number of mistakes on returns prepared by the filer are often 20 percent or more above those prepared by a professional.
6. Audit Assistance
The vast majority of tax returns are not audited, and using a professional reduces your chances of being audited even further. In the event you are audited, professional tax preparation can ease that process greatly. Most tax preparers already have most of the work done and can file the necessary paperwork on your behalf. These additional services are usually included in the initial tax-deductible fee you pay.