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Tax Prep Services: Why DIY Is a Bad Idea For Many

When is it best to hire tax prep services? Learn about how they can benefit you and help you avoid complications through a generally-complicated process.

If you are in a situation where you can file a 1040EZ and be done with it on or before April 15th each year, the idea of hiring tax prep services is probably a ridiculous one. But for those who have more complicated filings to do every year, it is just as ridiculous to consider trying to file without them. First of all, who wants to spend a weekend locked to a desk trying to sort out the ludicrously complex IRS forms? Secondly, even if this is your idea of a productive way to spend your time, there are a number of benefits to hiring professionals. Here are some reasons doing it yourself may be a bad idea.

You Don't Know the Law

While the IRS gives you a booklet and a website for questions about current law, you'll soon find that this is a lot to take in at once. What most people do when they have specific questions they can't figure out is go online and start trawling for information from third party sites. This is where you can run into trouble. First, there is an absurd amount of spam out there when it comes to taxes and the information pertaining to them. Secondly, even when you get past the spam, there is a lot of misinformation. And mis-filing your taxes can result in some significant penalties, most of which will eclipse tax prep services in terms of money spent.

Pass the Buck

If you do your own taxes and there is an error, the IRS is going to come looking for you to sort out the problem. You and you alone are responsible for what's in the filing. When you hire professional tax prep services, they take that responsibility away. The IRS will look to them when there is a problem, thus giving you some degree of cushion when it comes to getting into trouble. Of course, a professional accountant can only work with what you give them, so if you hide income from them, they will be quick to inform the IRS that they had no idea and that cushion will disappear.


Not only can a professional tax prep services company handle your filing, they can help you plan for next years. With specific tips and strategies, they can often help people handle their money in such a way that next year's refund is much more significant (or, alternatively, the bill is far less significant). In a good situationArticle Submission, the service more than pays for itself.

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