Should You DIY Your Taxes?
In the world of finance, there is always a debate about whether or not you should DIY your taxes. And as with all things finance, the answer is always “It depends.” (I know, don’t you hate that?)
I can tell you that I have not done my own taxes in years. However, I did DIY my taxes until I just couldn’t anymore. Here are some ways to know whether or not you should DIY your taxes.
Do you even have the time?
We’re getting down to the wire for taxes. Even though I already did mine, there are still millions of people who haven’t. To be honest, sometimes whether or not you decide to DIY your taxes just depends on how much time you have on your hands.
As several successful people can tell you, sometimes it’s just easier and more efficient to pay someone to do something for you. Of course, if you do have the time and don’t mind doing them on your own, then go ahead and DIY.
How complicated is your situation?
Another way to determine whether or not to DIY your taxes is to see how complicated your situation is. It was easy for me to DIY when I only had to worry about a day job and some freelance income on the side. It was also easy for me to DIY when I only had one source of income in my business.
However, as time went on and things got more complicated, I could no longer DIY. I have multiple sources of income and need to tax plan for the year. Period. Truth be told, I have no business trying to calculate estimated tax payments. It’s a miracle I even got them right all those years ago.
I also don’t have an accounting and finance background like some bloggers do, so I just don’t feel comfortable doing it myself. If you also have a complicated situation or just don’t feel comfortable, then you probably shouldn’t DIY your taxes.
Do you need accountability?
This is kind of weird in terms of whether or not to DIY your taxes, but hear me out. The reason my taxes are done super early is that my accountant gets on me about it. This is also the reason I’m so organized. He even got me to go digital whereas before I had papers everywhere.
Granted, this is me. Maybe you’re a naturally organized person. Perhaps you already do everything digitally. Maybe you don’t need someone to remind you about taxes. If that’s the case, then you can probably DIY your taxes with no issues.
I also have a really good accountant who is also a colleague. I happen to know he does this with his other clients as well. Will all accountants do this? Probably not. But knowing you are being held accountable can be helpful.
Whether or not you decide to DIY your taxes is on you. So long as you feel comfortable doing them yourself, then you should be fine. If not, then there are plenty of options for hiring it out. Whatever you do, just don’t mess with the tax man.