While hiring a tax professional may cost more upfront, the amount of money you can save is worth paying out of pocket. The cost of hiring a professional accountant to do your taxes varies depending on your situation and the tax forms you must file. If your tax situation is simple, let's say you work for a company and need to file your W2, it may cost less to hire an accountant. If you're self-employed, an accountant may be more expensive.
Small businesses often benefit from hiring a tax preparer who specializes in this area of tax preparation. The CPA made two major mistakes: I reported my life insurance dividends as “interest”, and Roths, which she reported as “income”, that I didn't spend and didn't generate a tax document, and the company says it doesn't owe any tax on this money until I withdraw it. While Turbo Tax is supposed to act like a virtual accountant, I personally always err on the side of extreme conservatism when it comes to making deductions with Turbo Tax. Income tax was not owed to SS during those years and even if it was due, the parents would have paid the tax regardless of whether they had cashed the checks or not.
In theory, Turbo Tax should be aware of all the most recent deductions and ask you the right questions so that you can take advantage of all the tax breaks like a real accountant would. Once Junior goes to college, he may be able to use the lifelong learning tax credit or the education and fees deduction to reduce his tax liability. An experienced tax preparer can detect deductions you're not aware of, avoid costly mistakes, and help you create a long-term tax plan. Your decision about whether or not to hire a professional or file your own taxes with the help of accounting software should be based on how comfortable you are with numbers, your familiarity with basic tax rules, and the time you're willing to spend.
Some states, including Florida, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas, do not impose any state income taxes and therefore do not require an annual tax return. Tax professionals can save you money and time, and ensure that you follow the relevant tax rules for business owners. The knowledge I have about taxes comes from books, but as you probably know, there are a lot of gray areas in tax law that books just don't do justice to. The other thing I like about Turbo Tax is that you can keep an electronic version of all the worksheets that can be easily imported into Turbo Tax the following year.
A serious accountant, tax preparer, deals with tax authorities on a regular basis and thus (potentially) adds a layer of real-world knowledge and interpretation based on practice. While doing your taxes independently with tax software can save you money compared to hiring a professional, working with a CPA has many benefits.