Jan 25, 2024

Tax season is here! As your W2s, 1099s, and other tax forms start to hit your mailbox, you’re probably starting to think about whether to file your taxes yourself or hire a tax professional. A big life change or the opportunity to save money could impact which route is best for you. Here are a few reasons to consider whether to file on your own or leave it to a professional.

Two reasons to do it yourself

It’s free for simple financial situations

If you have your paperwork sorted out and time set aside, consider going online and filing your own taxes. Online services such as TurboTax and H&R Block offer free versions for those who have simpler financial situations with typical deductions. You’ll need to crunch numbers and go through the required steps to complete, but you’ll be in full control of what’s deducted as well as your personal information. Filing by yourself could also give you better insight into your financial outlook and can make doing your taxes easier as your finances become more complex over time.

Save money, even with a complex situation

For more complex situations, such as claiming specific expenses to reduce your taxable income, you can still save money by filing online. TurboTax and H&R Block offer a full-service option with a tax expert for a small fee, and you’ll most likely end up paying less than what an outside professional or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) normally charges. If you are a Cinfed member, you can get a discount through TurboTax or H&R Block to complete your tax return. Click here to learn more.

Two reasons to hire a tax professional

Your financial situation is too complicated.

If you had multiple employers or a mix of full-time and freelance work in 2023, it may be easier (and give you peace of mind) to turn to a tax professional. Sometimes it’s worth hiring help to prevent mistakes that could impact you financially or legally later on. Paperwork for investments, rental properties, or even marriage can get messy and lead to an unfamiliar situation. A professional can help you determine the best way to file and maximize or minimize the impact.

You don’t have the patience or time.

If you don’t have interest or the time to do your taxes, a tax pro can be the best option. It may cost you more than filing online, but you’ll have more time to enjoy activities and spending time with family and friends. Additionally, if you’re unorganized or don’t enjoy keeping track of a lot of numbers, a professional may make the most sense.

Taxes are an important part of your overall financial plan and well-being. If you’re not confident where numbers fit or even where to start with your financial situation, schedule an appointment with a Cinfed Financial Coach.