Doing your own taxes can be rewarding and save you money, but if you do something wrong or miscalculate a deduction the I.R.S. could be on their way to visit you. A few simple mistakes can cost a lot more than your return, as they can definitely get the Audit Fairy after you to sprinkle some heat and extra attention you may not want on your expenses. Doing your taxes online is quickly becoming the new trend, saving you time, money and frustration from calculating and recalculating deductions and other write-offs.
In our troubled economy it may seem glamorous to want to do your own taxes, but the reality is it is a very scary situation for anyone who may be less experienced with deductions and loss calculations. Using a preparer or online tax software can help in the case that you are audited because most will be standing by you. That fact alone makes most people choose the online or traditional accountant/preparer method of tax preparation. Free programs may seem like a great option, but most of them unfortunately do not work with all tax forms, especially if you own your own business or something similar. It may not seem like the most fun to pay for someone to help with your taxes or to use a more specialized program to file your taxes, but the quality and safety you'll have in the process makes it much more worthwhile.
Online tax filing is the happy medium between paying for a preparer or accountant, and doing taxes yourself. You still have to input all your information and it might feel like you are still doing it on your own, but the program will double-check your progress, and alert you if you may have deducted too much and will be flagged for an audit. This can save you a lot of stress by avoiding said audit, and can save you time by not making you search and recalculate to find out where you went wrong. You of course save paper and time by not having to write down and mail anything, and your return will come much sooner, meaning you get your money sooner as well, a win-win!
These reasons here are very clear indicators that while you may save some money filing your taxes, there are inherent risks involved. Hiring an accountant or tax preparer can be the least risky, but most expensive option. The happy medium is paying for a professional-grade tax software, like Online Tax Pros, which will give you the savings with the safety, so you're getting to have your cake and eat it too!