When it comes to doing your taxes, one question that most people have to ask themselves at some point is, “Should I do my own taxes or hire a professional?” A tax professional can make life much easier. A good tax professional will by far save you more money than you would pay them in preparation fees. However you need to weigh up your own situation to determine the best and most cost-effective way to have your taxes prepared.

So how do You know if you need a tax professional?

The more complicated your taxes are and the greater your earnings, the more likely it is you will need a tax professional. The easiest way to determine this – first try to do your taxes on your own. If you find it’s too difficult, or if you feel like you’re making mistakes, seek out a tax professional.

I want to add that when deciding on an accountant/tax professional, know who you are hiring, if you have a question check my post Choosing a tax professional:

If you have income from various sources or even countries (due to multiple investments), having a knowledgeable and competent tax professional will greatly assist with your family’s taxation impacts and they will provide sound tax related investing advice on a number of occasions. 

From my experience — and this may not be true for everyone — having a professional prepare their taxes has always paid for itself.

The tax code is updated every year and most non-professionals don’t have the time or background to keep up with all the changes and possible deductions.

Enrolled Agents (this nations tax experts – EA’s are also preferred over CPAs and Lawyers by The IRS to work with when representing Clients) or some other tax professional normally have tax preparation software, tax checklists that enable them to complete taxes quicker, with much fewer errors and to try and get you back as much as legally possible for your situation.

For example

Did you know you can claim the fuel /driving costs to and from training classes/courses you go to using your own car? On Form 2106 when deducting work related expenses if you attend a training class or CE course for your employer you are able to deduct any expenses that your employer doesn’t reimburse you for. To see if your specific situation applies to this rule, please check with your professional. For multiple days or year-long programs, that can add up to hundreds of dollars in deductions most wouldn’t know about if doing our taxes on our own.

A good tax professional will do more than just file your taxes; they will actually save you money and provide sound tax related advice. The other thing is to always choose a qualified professional you are comfortable with, trust and has good referrals.