Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tax Software vs. An Accountant

1099s are showing up in the mail box, it is Tax Time!  Loyal readers may be surprised to read that in our home we send our taxes out to a CPA for completion.  This will be our third year of using a CPA, and it took a lot for me to convince my number loving I-can-do-anything engineer of a husband to agree.  The fee is usually about $300.  We still have to gather all the necessary paperwork, but no longer do we spend an entire weekend with Turbo Tax.  Our life just got too complicated.  We are both self-employed, I have an office assistant, we have household payroll for the nanny, and on and on.

Photo Credit: - free image

Yet, this past fall I attended a continuing legal education course on tax law and a very prominent tax attorney said "it is amazing how often software can save you, I would have never thought of that offset on my own!".  Hmmm, maybe software isn't that bad.  We'll see how this year goes.  Will the accountant come up with some things we would have never thought of?  I don't necessarily want to go back to an entire weekend of tax forms, but Turbo Tax worked very well for us previously.  In my year devoted to reduction, reuse, and recycling, my accountant needs to perform.

How about you?  Are you do-it-yourselfers with taxes?  What is your favorite program?  Or, like us, do you outsource?

Happy Tax Season everyone.


  1. The nice thing about accountants is that they are used to filling out forms. They do that mechanical work for you and handle the psychological stress of filling out impersonal forms that you're promising under penalty of jail that you're being honest.

    1. I'll admit that I considered an accountant this year when we got a letter in the mail from someone offering state and federal prep for $120. The federal and state turbo tax is usually $70-80. Not much of a difference, which made it tempting.

      But our situation is far less complicated than yours, just a couple of W-2s, so I'm sticking with doing them myself with the computer program. A big benefit of this is working on my own time table and not having to coordinate with or meet with someone else.

      If I was self-employed and/or had employees, though, I think I'd be outsourcing/stimulating the economy too.