Tax Software Vs. An Accountant: Which Is Right For You?
Published on Thursday, 09 February 2012 10:11 Written by Investopedia
With every important job comes the question of whether or not individuals should do it themselves or hire a professional. While the ever improving selection of tax preparation software certainly makes it easier to do your own taxes, it has hardly put Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and other personal tax preparers out of business. (For related reading, see 10 Steps To Tax Preparation.)
The Advantages of Using Tax Software
There is no way around the fact that you will pay less for a software package than you will to hire a CPA or another qualified tax professional. The price of tax preparation software ranges from the $10-$120 range to websites that offer the service for free. On the other hand, the least expensive tax preparers will cost at least $100 and a CPA is likely to charge at least twice that amount.
Once you have all the necessary documents in front of you, it is possible to complete your own taxes in less than an hour. In contrast, the best accountants will usually take from several days to a few weeks to process your paperwork and file your forms.
Good tax preparation software walks you through the process very quickly and easily. For those who have only a few deductions, sources of income, or investments, there is little need to sit down with an accountant to sort it all out. (For additional reading, check out 6 Sources For Free Tax Help.)
The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Accountant
According to Denver CPA Carl Wehner, accountants pay around $1,000 to $6,000 for their software, which is far more sophisticated than the products sold to consumers.
Like a good family doctor that knows your medical history, you can develop a relationship with an accountant so that he or she understands
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