Let’s face it. The only good thing about doing your taxes is getting the refund (if you get one). Not only do you have to gather paperwork and then find an accountant, but you may have to spend money to get your taxes done.
It’s no wonder people hate tax season. If you’re self-employed, you probably hate tax season more than most. Let’s make one area easier to swallow. Let’s look at how to save money on tax prep.
Do It Yourself
If you have a straight forward tax situation, you may be able to do your taxes yourself. You can find the tax forms you need on the IRS.gov website. Print and fill out the form. It is recommended that you mail the form using certified mail. This way, you’ll know when your forms arrive. If you have one job without a lot of deductions, doing your taxes on your own may work out for you.
Look for Free Sites
Again, if you have a straight forward tax situation, like most people do, you’ll find that there are a number of sites that allow you to file your taxes for free. Do be aware of any hidden costs. Some sites will try to upsell you for auditing protection.
Take the time to compare prices if you’re paying for tax prep. Don’t just rush out to the first accountant recommended to you. You should take recommendations into account, especially if people rave about how much money they got back, but you need to check prices. The cost of tax preparation can very greatly from accountant to accountant.
Something else that will save you money is being organized. The more work an accountant has to do, the higher the charge will be. If the accountant has to sort receipts and hunt down deductions, you will definitely have to pay more.
This year, you may have to take some time to get everything organized. For next year, have folders setup for your deductions. You may even want to highlight expenses on receipts so that your accountant can easily see them or make sure to pay for those items separately.
Tax prep doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Whether you do your taxes on your own or take the time to compare prices, you can save money. If you have simple, straight forward taxes, you’re going to save the most money. Those with more complicated tax situations will need to work a bit harder, but you can still save money on tax prep.