February 4, 2014
Some extremely complex financial situations call for the expertise of an accountant, but often, filing online on your own can be advantageous, even if you are not up to speed on tax law. Here are some benefits of e-filing:
Save $200 or more on fees: The average accountant's fee is nearly $250, while using reputable online tax preparation software will run between $30 and $50.
Save time: When dealing with an accountant, you must gather and deliver the hard copies of financial documents, and wait for calls and requests for clarification. Using online software, cuts out the middleman and the back-and-forth tasks.
Gain financial awareness: Most online tax preparation will explain each step and term as you go. You can gain awareness of your income and expenditures, what can be used as a write-off, and how your financial decisions affected your return.
Reduce your risk of an audit: Quality online tax software is compliant with current tax law and most come with "audit-risk" tools to help you reduce the chance you will be audited.
See prior tax returns: If you use the same online tax program each year, you have immediate access to your previous return - and much of the information on it can be automatically used to fill in information on the current year.
File instantly: When you complete your online preparation process, you can immediately e-file, and will receive email notification of receipt and acceptance - and your refund can be automatically deposited to your account.
"If your tax situation is exceptionally complex, you are computer-challenged and afraid of technology, or you have no idea what financial records or other information you will need (or where to find it), you may want to use an accountant." explained Paul Stanley of eTax.com "Otherwise, using an online tax program and e-filing yourself can be beneficial to you."