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Online or Tax Pro: Which Is Right for You?

Online or Tax Pro: Which Is Right for You?

3 Minute Read

Can you believe it’s 2020 already? If it’s anything like last year, time will fly! Before you know it, it’ll be April, and you’ll be scrambling to meet the tax-filing deadline. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Not quite.

We can all agree that doing taxes is a pain. But no matter how long you wait, you still have to file them. 

If you don’t want to do your taxes yourself—and we don’t blame you if you don’t—you could consider teaming up with a tax pro. But is that the right choice for you? Or are you better off just filing online yourself? It really comes down to you and your personal situation.

Here are some helpful guidelines to make the choice a little easier.

When It Makes Sense to File Online

When making big financial decisions, we’re all about using a professional. It’s just smart to get advice from an expert. But there are also times when filing your taxes with online software makes sense.

Do you really need a tax pro if you have a basic W-2 and plan on taking the standard deduction? Probably not. 

If you have a simple financial situation and you’re not stressed about your taxes, filing on your own is a good option. You can use online tax software with confidence.

Online tax prep sites do a good job of walking you through the process, but remember you’ll need to clear time beforehand to gather your paperwork.

When It Make Sense to Use a Tax Pro

Sometimes your taxes can go from simple to complicated in the blink of an eye. You should definitely consider using a tax pro if you:

  • Own a business.
  • Have multiple sources of income.
  • Plan to itemize your deductions.

All these scenarios make your taxes a lot trickier, which can cause you to make costly mistakes.

You may have other reasons for considering a tax pro. Maybe you’re nervous about all the new tax changes and know you’d have more peace of mind with a pro. Or maybe you’d have no problem filing your taxes on your own, but you just don’t want to. Do what works for you! Even if your taxes aren’t complicated, sometimes it just makes sense to get the advice of a professional.

Still unsure? Take our quiz to find out if you should self-file or work with a tax pro this year. 

Need Help Self-Filing?

If you decide to self-file, we’ve got some resources to help you knock out your taxes with confidence. Download our personal filing checklist to guide you through the documents you’ll need to file on your own. Want even more info? Here’s what you need to know!

Need Help Finding a Pro?

Here’s the bottom line: Tax software is a great option if you have a simple tax situation and you feel good about handling it on your own. But if your finances are complex or you own a small business, getting guidance and advice from a tax pro is a smart idea.

When hiring a tax pro, make sure you’re working with someone you trust. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work of vetting hundreds of tax professionals across the country to find the best. We can put you in touch with a tax advisor in your area who has earned Dave’s recommendation.

Ready to find a tax pro? Just take the first step and your pro will guide you through the rest. 

Find your pro!