The Downfalls of Filing Your Own Taxes

Tax season is officially here—and if you’ve put off filing your taxes until the last minute, you may be wondering if you should file them yourself.  However, we should warn you that while preparing your own taxes can save you some money on the front end, it could cost you far more on the back end. Below are just a few of the pitfalls associated with doing the job yourself.

You could leave money on the table

One woman we spoke with told us about the experience her parents had in filing their taxes. Her father had been handing that himself for years, she said, because he didn’t want to spend the money to hire a professional.  But 2019 was different, and their return was more complicated.  “My dad sat down with a CPA thinking he owed the IRS close to $8,000,” she said. Not only did the CPA review his 2019 taxes, he went back and checked his 2017 and 2018 taxes. Instead of owing $8,000, my parents got a refund for nearly $10,000. The problem with the prior returns, was that my dad didn’t know what he ‘didn’t know.’”

You could make mistakes

If you enter numbers in the wrong places, invert part of your social security number, or forget to sign your return, your tax return will likely be rejected. Having your return rejected is not only stressful, it can delay the processing of your refund check.

Additionally, if you plan to itemize your business expenses and you don’t have a good record keeping system, there are items you might forget to add to your Schedule C.  Working with a CPA can help ensure you’ll get all the write-offs you’re entitled to.

You likely won’t get the help you need

Although tax-filing software packages often include online help, you may not get the help you need. Yes, you can send your questions to an expert, but you could wait hours (if not a day or more) before you get a response.  Scheduling time to sit with a CPA will ensure that you have their undivided attention.

Have questions? Call us today to get started

If you haven’t filed your taxes yet and you’re worried about making the deadline, you can still file for an extension—and— filing an extension will give you some extra time to schedule an appointment with a CPA. For more information about the benefits of working with a professional, call our office today to learn more.