Are You Ready for Tax Season?
Tax Season Is Right Around The Corner
Well, 2007 is officially over and 2008 is here. You know what that means! No, I'm not talking about sticking to your New Year's resolutions. I'm talking about tax season. If you haven't thought about how you're going to handle your taxes this year, you need to get a move on. Here are your top options.
A Professional CPA
A professional CPA is not cheap, but it might be your best bet if you have complicated taxes. For instance, if you are self employed as a sole proprietor or an S corporation you might want the advanced services a CPA can give you. Those "walk-in" tax services you can find during tax season probably don't have the extensive expertise needed to ensure you're putting as little as you have to into Uncle Sam's pockets.
On the other hand, if your income taxes are simple and straightforward then a CPA is probably overkill. It'd be like hiring the Orkin man to take out a single house spider. Will it get the job done? Yes, but there are easier (and more affordable) ways of doing it.
Walk-In Tax Centers
If you aren't comfortable doing your own taxes but don't require the extensive services of a CPA, you might be wondering if a walk-in tax center is a good idea. They are in abundance during tax season. Some have even been known to set up shop at the local Wal-Mart or grocery stores. Herein lies the problem...
Walk-in tax centers are usually seasonal operations and the people working on your taxes are seasonal employees who usually don't have much of a tax background. Some of them just go through a short training program before they're put to work. When you consider that these people aren't really tax professionals and they're getting access to your very personal information, it's cause for concern. That being said, many still prefer this method of tax preparation.
Of course, you can always opt to tackle tax season yourself. If you're pretty sharp and computer savvy, you can file your return online and have your return in a couple of weeks. Just make sure you compare the do-it-yourself products out there. Not all of them are created equal and pricing changes quite a bit from one company to the next.
If you are interested in do-it-yourself tax preparation this tax season, look for my upcoming article comparing some of the most popular tax products.