If you dread January, February and March because of the looming dark cloud that taxes put over your head, you aren’t alone. The anticipation of how to do your taxes, painlessly and accurately is haunting, and many people hate taxes because of how complicated and frustrating they can be. For most people, taking the pain out of your taxes is as simple as finding the best method for you specifically. When it comes to doing your taxes, you have plenty of options, and you get to choose which method works the best for you. If you’ve spent years tearing your hair out during the months leading up to April, it might be time for you to change your tactics. Read ahead for a few options that you can use to get your taxes done without losing your sanity before April.
Do it Yourself
Now, for some people, doing your own taxes might seem like the opposite of the easy way. However, if you are short on cash, then the Do-It-Yourself option is the best. This will save money but it does have pitfalls. Costly mistakes can be made during hand calculations, while entering numbers into tiny boxes and by being misinformed about current tax laws. If you do opt to go this route, you can still have a professional review your return before final submission to ensure that you didn’t make mistakes—you will still have to pay for this, but not as much as hiring someone to do your taxes for you. If you stress about getting your taxes done on time, you might need to take matters into your own hands and get them done early so that you can have peace of mind instead of waiting for someone to get them done.
Computer Tax Software
Another cost effective option is by using mass market software. There are many pain free tax preparation packages on the market today. Some of the well-known packages include; Turbo Tax, H&R Block, Tax Act, Tax Cut, and Free Tax USA. These packages do a great job guiding through the process in a step-by-step manner. They all include current federal codes, tax tips, help centers, and audit assistance with email support. If you’d like to do your own taxes but aren’t sure where to start, you can join the millions of Americans who enlist these software resources to help them get the job in the way they would like as well as in a timely manner.
Hire a Professional
If you cringe at the thought of taking your taxes into your own hands, the best option for you is to hire someone else to do them for you. According to a CPA for Nevada residents, if you’re not confident in your skills to complete the taxes accurately and on time, it will be worth your money to hire somebody in order to avoid costly mistakes or late fees. Hiring a professional to do taxes will come at a cost, but it requires less work from you. It’s cost is anywhere from a few dollars for a simple return to thousands for more extensive work. The tax preparation professionals are typically, certified public accountants, tax attorneys, and storefront agents. This is a more expensive option but the fees are deductible if itemized the following year, and if this option saves you sleepless nights and hair-tearing out frustration, it will be worth the money.
Government Assistance (VITA and TCE)
The government also provides some assistance when it comes to filing taxes. The IRS has a voluntary income tax assistance (VITA) program for households earning less than $52,000 per year and tax counseling for the elderly (TCE) over the age of 60. This program uses IRS-Certified volunteers to provide free help and guidance. The volunteers are equipped with knowledge of special tax credits such as, earned income, child and tax credits for elderly and disabled adults. If you are interested in using this assistance program, you can usually find volunteers at local community centers, libraries or schools during the early months of the year.
Whether you do-it-yourself, use software, hire an accountant or use government assistance, taxes do not have to be scary and intimidating. If you’ve dreaded tax season for years, you should consider changing your methods, to see if there is a less-stressful route you can take. Most people are frustrated by taxes because they find them confusing and often possible. If you simply look into the resources available to help you, you’ll find that this process will go much more smoothly.