A tax return is annoying, but it usually isn’t too hard to file them on your own. With countless online apps designed to guide taxpayers through every step of the process, it can feel like the days of working with a dedicated tax agent are behind us. However, there are situations where that isn’t the case.
Taxes are complex enough already, but they can be nearly impossible to manage without assistance from an experienced professional when combined with a few other factors. Here are a few signs that you shouldn’t go it alone next time tax season rolls around:
1. You Own a Business
It’s one thing to report your income when you’re a salaried employee with a W-2, but it’s far more complicated when you own the business yourself. When you run your own company, your tax returns will have to meet a vast range of regulations and requirements.
You might have to list all the 1099s you issued, account for payroll taxes, or include your P&L statements. That’s just scratching the surface of the potential complexities involved with business taxes, and unfortunately, even minor errors can trigger an audit, which is the last thing you need to worry about. Getting help from certified tax experts will give you peace of mind that your finances will be handled accurately.
2. You Aren’t a Tax Code Guru
If you’ve paid your taxes several times in the past, then you might have settled into a groove when it comes to handling your returns. You might rely on the same set of standard itemizations and deductions that worked for you in the past. Unfortunately, the tax code is a complicated beast that constantly changes and evolves.
Itemizations that previously delivered results for you might not work now, and you may be better off taking a standard deduction depending on your situation. It may be an idea to work with a trained agent who can help you comply with current regulations and perhaps even boost your refund.
3. You Own Rental Properties
Managing rental properties is an effective way to supplement your income, but it also adds some significant wrinkles to your tax return. Rental tax rates are elaborate, and they vary depending on the situation and location. Even some professional agents have trouble keeping track of them. If you value your sanity, you should call in a pro to help you through your rental taxes at the very least.
4. You Have Experienced a Major Life Change
Have you tied the knot or bought a home since the last time you filed your taxes? These additions to your situation can introduce new factors to consider when doing your return. Each of these significant life changes can qualify you for tax credits, deductions, or exemptions, which can be challenging to remember if you aren’t involved in the tax world.
5. You’ve Missed Previous Returns
We get it – no one likes paying taxes. However, if you ever missed filing taxes, then it’s crucial to get expert help as quickly as possible to mitigate the fallout. Even missing the deadline for tax filing in a single year can get you in trouble with the government and put you at risk for heavy fines, so when the time comes to file again, an agent can help you navigate the situation safely and successfully.
Perhaps you like being in control of your finances, but there are times where it’s a good idea to get some outside help. Next time you review your W-2s and 1099s for your tax return, keep these signs in mind to know when to seek assistance.