Should You Do Your Own Taxes or Hire a Professional?

Are you a prime candidate to go it alone? Here are two types of people who should consider doing their own taxes, and two types who should probably get some help.

(Image credit: Rawpixel Ltd. (Rawpixel Ltd. (Photographer) - [None])

For some people, tax season poses little worry, and the process occurs painlessly. Simply populate the requisite fields on your 1040 with info from your W-2, claim the standard deduction, sign on the dotted line and e-file. After that, the check is in the mail, so to speak.

For others, preparing taxes presents a stressful situation. Imagine handling numerous W-2s, 1099s, navigating the new qualified business income (QBI) rules and tracking a laundry list of write-offs related to your business, side hustles, real estate holdings or other income sources. While certainly not impossible to DIY (do-it-yourself) with the best tax software, this can still serve as a time-consuming activity. In some instances, it may make sense to outsource your tax preparation to a professional simply to avoid the headache or mistakes.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Owner, WealthUp

Riley Adams, CPA, is originally from New Orleans but now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he works as a senior financial analyst at Google. He is also the founder of WealthUp, a personal finance website where people of all ages can learn about money, discover their financial selves, and develop the skills they need to grow their nest egg.