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7 Reasons To Hire a Tax Professional

Tax season is just around the corner—you can live in a state of denial until you quite simply can’t. The tax man cometh every season whether we like it or not. Some of us look forward to it as we usually get a decent sized return but many of us end up owing. On top of that, doing our own taxes can be a giant headache.

If you anticipate that your taxes will be easy enough this year to do them by yourself, more power to you. But there are plenty of reasons to consider outsourcing this task, too. Read on for seven reasons to hire a tax professional.

Tax Professional
Tax Professional

1. You’ve Gone to the Chapel (or Courthouse)

You might not have realized this but there are quite a few tax benefits to getting married. If this is a recent event, you might not know what these are, which is why you should hire a tax professional. Conversely, you might consider doing the same if you’re doing through a divorce, especially if your ex is a bit—ahem—irresponsible. A tax professional will help you avoid being liable for his or her tax issues and can also help you ensure alimony is properly reported.

2. You’ve Launched a Small Biz

Small businesses make so many of us happy, especially those of us who were tired of reporting to “the man”. That said (or typed), however, it does come with a lot of responsibility, and that includes getting your taxes right. You don’t want to wait until you’ve been in business a while to get it sorted out. Hire a tax professional from the start to be able to hit the ground running.

3. You’ve Gotten a Windfall

Whether your inheritance is big or small, you should consult a tax professional the year you received it. As accounting firm EisnerAmper partner Barbara Taibi says via US News, "If you inherit 500 shares from your grandmother, most likely the statements you're getting would have her original cost basis on it, where you would need to be using a step-up in basis [where the cost basis is determined by the value at the time of inheritance, not the original value], so you aren't getting hit with a large capital gain.” If you don’t seek help, you risk overpaying.

4. You’ve Bought a House

Much like getting married, buying a house can bring you a lot of tax benefits. If you don’t seek the help of a tax professional, you risk not fully taking advantage of this. There are capital gains and mortgage deductions to consider as well as significant deductions that could take place if you sold a house to buy the new home.

Photo by Olu Eletu on Unsplash
Photo by Olu Eletu on Unsplash

5. You’ve Made Mistakes on Past Returns

Doing taxes isn’t for everyone. If you simply don’t understand how to file, it’s time to seek help. This is particularly true if you’ve tried to do them in past years and have made errors. This will not only save you the headache of mistakes but a tax professional can assist you with IRS back tax help.

6. You Want the Best Possible Return

If you’re confident in your tax filing abilities or you’re simply in a hurry (or don’t care all that much about your return!), go for it. Those of us who want the absolute best from a return should consider hiring a tax professional. Yes, you’ll have to pay this person but the difference in what you’ll pay and receive from his or her help will likely be significant.

Tax laws can be extremely nuanced, and the average layperson has no idea about these. When in doubt, hire a tax professional. Your wallet will thank you.

7. You’ve Adopted a Child

Adopting a child is a wonderful experience in and of itself but the reality is that it also comes with significant tax breaks. According to that same US News article, the IRS offers a tax credit of up $13,400 per child for expenses related to the adoption as of 2015. A tax professional can help walk you through the process of filling out the proper documents.

If you have any doubts at all about your ability to effectively file your own taxes, seeking the help of a tax professional is always a good idea.

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