Sure, it may seem easy to do your own taxes, especially with all the easy to use tax programs available. Those taxpayers who have a simple W-2 from their employer and very little else can have a quick and easy tax filing season. However, not all taxpayers are that lucky, and there are some situations that are much more complicated. If you fall under one of the categories below, you may want to consider hiring a tax professional to help prepare and file your return, so you can ensure accuracy.
- You own rental property. This is a complicated landscape regarding taxes, as the rules on how much property is taxed and how taxes are assessed are some of the most complicated in the tax code. If you live in your own rental property during the year, this further complicated the situation, as does any property loss (such as a fire) or made upgrades or bought items for the home. It’s best to let a professional handle your Schedule E in these cases.
- You didn’t file your past returns. Some taxpayers just don’t file their returns, especially if they think they will owe a significant amount in taxes. If you don’t file, you’ll be in hot water with the IRS. In many cases, it’s better to file the return and not pay the taxes, then to not file at all, as the penalties will be less since you’re not committing tax fraud. The penalty for “failure to file” is up to 25% of the amount due. Not filing your return is serious, and you’d definitely benefit from hiring a professional to help. You’ll need to file your missed returns, and a tax pro can help ensure you’re getting all the deductions and credits your eligible for, and not just meeting the minimum requirements for filing, which can save you a lot of money in the end.