Tax Software Vs. CPA Firm

Whether or not you feel secure doing your own taxes, of course, depends on many factors, such as the complexity of the return and your understanding of tax law. If your return is simple enough to require little more than math calculations, do-it-yourself tax software may be all you need.

However, the problem with doing your own tax return lies in the ever-changing nature of the Internal Revenue Code, which is measured at more than 3 million words. In 2009 and 2010, new laws were passed that contained numerous tax changes, affecting common issues such as Section 179 business equipment depreciation, retirement plans, and more.

During some years, Congress passes laws so late in the year that the tax forms have been printed and some tax software packages are already on store shelves.

It is true that most tax software packages can be updated online to reflect changes, but only if you know what to look for and use the update feature before completing your tax return. Otherwise, you run the risk of missing tax breaks or unintentionally violating the rules.

A red flag is an error or omission that attracts the attention of IRS auditors. It may be a simple error, but once auditors realize there is something wrong with a return, they may begin to wonder what else might be wrong and dig deeper. That's a scenario taxpayers want to avoid.

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