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Hiring a tax preparer could be to your advantage.


Key points

  • The average cost for a professional to file a personal tax return is $220 to $323.
  • If you have just become self-employed or started a business, you may want to hire a tax preparer.
  • Hiring a professional might be worthwhile if you’re new to itemizing or just nervous about preparing your taxes.

Filing taxes is a chore most of us have to do (if you earn very little, you may be exempt from filing). And that’s something many people can easily do solo, perhaps with the help of tax software. But in some cases, you may want to entrust the task to a professional.

Of course, it will cost you dearly. The average price for a professional to file a personal tax return is $220 to $323, according to the National Society of Accountants. But if any of the following circumstances apply to you, it might be worth paying for this help.

1. You are detailing for the first time

You have a choice when filing your tax return: you can opt for the standard deduction (the amount of which can change from year to year and is based on your filing status), or you can itemize your deductions in the hope that they will lead to greater tax relief.

The breakdown makes sense when your personal deductions exceed the standard deduction and you can claim different expenses. These include interest on your mortgage, state and local taxes, and medical expenses based on your income and total expenses. But if you’re new to retail, you might not know exactly what you can and can’t claim. It is not unreasonable to hire someone to guide you through the process.

2. You became independent

Taxes can get a bit more complicated once you stop being a salaried employee and start working for yourself. If you became self-employed last year, it could be beneficial to hire help to complete your 2021 tax return. This way you will know which expenses you can write off and be less likely to miss tax breaks. to which you are entitled.

3. You started your own business

When you’re a small business owner, you need to fill out specific tax forms – forms you may not be familiar with. As such, it’s a good idea to hire a tax professional to handle your return for you, especially if you’re new to the process.

4. You’re just nervous about messing up your tax return

Your tax situation may be quite simple. But if you’re worried about making a mistake on your taxes or not claiming the correct credits and deductions, that alone justifies hiring a tax professional. While you may pay a fee for this service, it might be worth it if it means capitalizing on tax relief you’d otherwise miss out on while giving you peace of mind.

Don’t hesitate to get the help you need

Generally, it’s a good idea to outsource tax preparation if your tax returns are complicated. But even if you’re a salaried worker with little or no outside income, it could still be beneficial to hire someone if it gives you peace of mind. Many tax preparers charge reasonable fees for simple returns, so don’t assume that going this route will end up breaking the bank.