I recently saw an article online listing 6 reasons to dump your accountant this tax season and do it yourself. I thought that was kind of crazy. In fact, fixing the toilet, painting a wall or planting a shrub are all things that you can do yourself. Personally, I don’t think taxes are one of them.
If you have a very simple return then it’s a different story. If your return involves a business or more complex items, then you do need some help in my opinion.
So I’ll go through my 6 Reasons You Shouldn’t Fire Your Accountant This Tax Season:
Reason 1: Save Money
The reasoning here was that it’s not worth paying an accountant. You can use online tax software and save around $200 or more per year. I’m not sure what the average accountant charges. I can say that mine is worth every penny. In fact, he has saved me more in taxes and reminded me of deductions totally far more than he charges every year.
Why would you give up the human touch? The more complex your return gets, the more likely you are to make mistakes. Mistakes that could cost you more than the savings of doing it yourself.
Reason 2: Save Time
I really didn’t agree with this one at all. Some of the arguments were that you didn’t have to leave your home to visit the tax preparer’s office. There was no waiting period for the accountant to call you back. Plus, you didn’t have to take time to search for a good accountant. And finally, you have all your paperwork in one place.
I’ve discussed using Evernote and Shoeboxed for preparing your taxes before. Shoeboxed will scan your receipts and Evernote can store them for your later reference. I spend 30 minutes with my accountant to talk strategy for the tax season and drop off a few forms. Plus, while I’m waiting for the return to be prepared I can use my time for pretty much anything else. All my tax paperwork is in one place…my accountant’s office. I also keep a hard copy as well as digital copies. If you are searching for a new tax preparer I can see how that may take some time. My accountant has saved me countless hours by automating everything.
Reason 3: Financial Self-Awareness
The argument here is that you will truly understand your finances and taxes only after you do them yourself. I do agree with this. I have done my own taxes in years past. However,not since I’ve owned the business. It’s just too much. Too many forms, and too many rules. If you really want to learn about this, then review the return with your tax preparer once it is finished. That way you can see what you can legally deduct. It’s also up to you to tell the accountant everything. No matter how unimportant the information might seem. You never know, you might be able to deduct that thingamajingy!
Next time, we’ll discuss the other three reasons you shouldn’t fire your accountant this tax season. Stay tuned! In the meantime, why not subscribe to my articles for free?