The Hidden Dangers of Tax Software

3 Minute Read

Sometime before April 15, you’ll probably do an online search for free tax software. When you do, you’ll find plenty of free or nearly free options—even the IRS offers free software for certain taxpayers.

Can You Be Sure It’s Right?

These low-cost choices look like a good deal. They’re less expensive than having a tax professional prepare your taxes. And tax software is convenient. You can fill out and file your returns while you’re sipping cocoa in your pajamas.

But not everyone has such a warm and fuzzy experience filing with tax software. Even when you think you’ve done everything right, Uncle Sam may disagree.

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Tanya M. told us on Facebook that she used a popular online tax-filing program for years. “Then I got a letter from the IRS saying I owed more money,” she said. “That was enough for me. I go to a local accountant who charges a little more than it costs for the [software].”

Brian P. had an even worse experience. “I used [tax software] three years ago and thought it was a good decision until I had $2,000 withheld from my federal return last year,” he told us.

Tiffany H. was shocked when she entered her tax information on three different online tax-prep sites one year. “I got three different results!” she said. “Who was right?”

A “Great” Deal That Could Cost You Hundreds!

Of course, millions of people file their own taxes with free and low-cost tax software every year without a problem. For people who have a simple tax situation—single, one income, taking the standard deduction, not self-employed—tax software can be a cost-saving solution.

But when your taxes are even slightly more complex, free or nearly free software can end up costing you hundreds! A survey of Dave’s Facebook fans shows that people who file their own taxes get back an average of $841 less than those who work with a tax professional to file their taxes. Can you afford to throw away $800 on “free” software?

Get Your Taxes Right the First Time

Monica T. summed it up perfectly: “I could have received a higher return last year had I spent a few dollars more using a tax expert rather than software. Never again!”

Don’t take a chance on missing out on money that belongs to you—or worse yet, finding out that you owe thousands! Work with a tax professional who will make sure you’re claiming all the deductions and credits you qualify for.

Dave’s tax Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs) are experienced tax experts who will make sure your taxes are done right the first time. And they can review past years’ tax forms for mistakes that may have cost you money. Find your ELP today!

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