This post is part of the TaxAct #DIYtaxes blog tour which empowers you to take ownership of your finances by doing your own taxes. TaxAct provides the tools and guidance to help you confidently file your taxes easy and fast. Do your own taxes today at TaxAct.com. You got this.
I’ve done my own taxes for years.
Years ago, I started out doing my taxes on Form 1040EZ. Ah, those were the days. At the time, I’d head over to the public library and pick up a paper copy of the form and instruction booklet. After making several mistakes, I quickly learned that it was best to get at least two copies of the form. That way, I could do a dry run first.
So, using a pencil and the paper form, I’d total my income from my three W-2s, take the standard deduction, and jot it down. Making sure I had it all right, I’d transpose it all in pen to the other form, seal it in an envelope, and wait for my refund. Of course, I’d have that tax refund spent three times before I ever receieved a check in the mail…but that’s another story.
Using a Tax Pro
Over the years, my taxes became a bit more complicated. After buying our first rental home, I didn’t want to take the chance of doing something wrong. I thought, “My taxes are far too complicated now. I can’t do them myself.”
So, I took them to a tax prep specialist for the first time. With all of my books, forms, and receipts in hand, I sauntered into the building, prepared to be dazzled by the wizardry of the specialist.
During the process, I glanced over at the specialist’s computer. Hmmmm. It appeared to me that they were simply filling in a questionnaire that looked quite similar to the DIY tax programs I had seen.
“Well, this person MUST know something I don’t know,” I rationalized.
Then, I got the bill. I was being charged over $250 for this “specialist” to do my taxes…and all he did was follow the same prompts I could have followed had I bought the program and done it myself at home.
Why I Do My Own Taxes
So, why do I do my own taxes? Welp, the main reason is money. (Doesn’t it always come back to that?)
Yep, doing my taxes saves me all kinds of cold hard cash. You see, most tax preparers charge based on the amount of forms that you file. With the ridiculous amount of forms I now need, having my taxes prepared professionally would cost me hundreds (perhaps over a thousand) dollars. Nuh-uh. That’s not happening.
Besides that, DIY tax programs – like TaxAct – make doing your own taxes easy. These programs walk you right through an interview process so you don’t even have to touch the actual forms if you don’t want to. Just follow the prompts, fill in the blanks, and let the program prepare the forms for you. It is super easy, and don’t let anybody convince you that it’s not.
Seriously, our family has money coming in from all over the place. This year, we had income from 2 rental units, 1 S-Corporation, and 2 LLCs. You can’t tell me that your taxes are more complex than mine. If I can do my own taxes, surely you can do yours too.
In addition to helping you file your federal income taxes, DIY tax programs can also assist with filing any state returns that you may need. Plus, if you qualify, you may be able to file the entire thing for free! To top it off, there are no paper forms to deal with. Simply use the program to help you e-file, and you’re set to go.
What I’ve Learned
Doing my own taxes has made me a better businessman and budgeter. As I comb through our records, I can see exactly what we spend. I’ve also learned about different deductions and credits that may be available to us. It’s helped me to save on more than just the price of preparing my taxes. DIYing my taxes has helped me cut the cost of my tax bill as well.
Honestly, I’ll never go back to a tax preparer again. Why would I? By doing my own taxes, I can save hundreds of dollars each year on tax preparation. Besides that, doing my own taxes helps me understand the entire process better.
I highly recommend checking out a DIY tax program like TaxAct. Beat the deadline and save yourself some money by checking out TaxAct right away.
Beating the tax deadline doesn’t have to be stressful. With TaxAct, everything you need to confidently prepare and e-file your taxes is right at your fingertips. You got this. File your simple federal and state return FREE today with TaxAct.