It’s taxfiling season, and if you haven’t filed your income tax returnyet, you will need to soon.
Tax returns are due April 18 this year, though you can get an extension until Oct. The first question to answer is whether you need a certified public account, enrolled agent and akin tax preparer. Generally, even if you do your personal tax returns, experts advise consulting an accountant at least periodically, to double check whether you’re sending the right information.
Consulting with an accountant every few years helps you keep up with both changes in the tax law and changes in your life that affect your tax situation, you may still choose to prepare your returns. Tax preparation software is only as good as the information you input. It’s good for preparing your return, Schnepper says. It’s not good for planning your life. Lost your home to foreclosure or frequently buy and sell stocks -you would be smart to consult an accountant throughout the year as well as at tax time, if you own a business or otherwise have a complicated tax situation -you have income from multiple sources.
Free taxfiling options mostly are for people whose financial lives are less complicated.
You want to have professional help, Goldburd says, if you’re not plain Jane. You want to go to a doctor, if someone’s sick. Essentially, you don’t want to go online to medicalpro. Even if you are self employed or itemize deductions, tax software is one way to do your personal taxes with some online guidance. Many Americans can get help with their tax returns and file electronically without spending a penny.
The Free File Alliance, a coalition of 13 tax software companies, partners with the Internal Revenue Service to provide free ‘tax filing’ software options for individuals. It provides free access to same versions commercial programs people pay for, and taxpayers can use the service if their incomes go up to