Top Ten Reasons To Hire a Tax Preparer


In today’s do-it-yourself (DIY) society, it’s tempting to take on many tasks that might otherwise cost you money.

Changing the brakes on your car? It’s a messy job but once you learn how, it could be worth it. Making your own smoothies? That’s an easy one.

But hiring a professional for some things you might think cost money can actually save you money–especially when doing them right requires specialized knowledge of a complex area. For tax returns, it can be easy if you have a simple return with few itemized deductions. But once you get beyond that point, the tax law is so complicated that you can benefit from hiring a professional, who can make sure you don’t miss a deduction or misinterpret tax rules.

That’s why many taxpayers are saying they are “done doing taxes” (DDT) and are turning the job over to professional tax preparers.

Why? Consider the top ten reasons:

10. The Affordable Care Act created five new tax forms. Do you know which one(s) you need to fill out? Professional tax preparers do. If you get it wrong, you may face significant tax penalties related to health insurance coverage.

9. Do you know the tax law changes this year related to health care deductions, charitable deductions, tax-free gifts, rental property documentation, and the hundreds of other changes? Missing any of these could cost you money; qualified tax professionals know this new information.

8. Making mistakes on your tax return can be costly. Tax professionals are less likely to make mistakes and help ensure that your return is processed smoothly.

7. An off-the-shelf tax preparation program is not a substitute for a conversation with a real person who can assess your tax situation.

6. A tax professional can review tax returns you filed in previous years to find missed deductions and file amended returns to recoup these refunds.

5. Tax professionals do more than fill in forms. They ask you key questions and help you make smarter tax-saving decisions.

4. A tax professional can advise you year-round and for future years, helping maximize tax deductions and credits.

3. A tax professional can discuss changes in your life circumstances to help you save on all types of taxes, including those involving property, small business ownership and self-employment, among others.

2. A professional taking care of your tax return and tax planning takes the hassle out of doing your taxes and brings you peace of mind.

And the number-one reason you should hire a tax preparer is:

“It can save you money,” says John Ams, Executive Vice President of the National Society of Accountants. “If your tax preparer finds even one significant deduction or tax credit you may have missed, it can easily exceed the fee it costs to have a professional prepare your return.”

A recent NSA survey found the average cost for a professional tax preparer to prepare an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A and a state tax return is $273. Without itemized deductions, the cost drops to $159. If you own a business and need to file a Schedule C, the average additional cost for that is just $174.

Ninety percent of tax preparers offer a free consultation and can also review past returns for accuracy and file amended returns if needed.

For more information and to use an online search directory to identify a qualified tax preparer in your area, visit, where you can find a guide to credentials, fee information, a consumer blog, and more. Click on “Find a Tax Professional” to access the directory or call 800-966-6679.

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