Thursday, October 16, 2008

Taxes Can Be Scary: Part 1

Tax Fear #1:

Afraid I cannot prepare my own taxes

Ok, I admit that this fear is not only common but occasionally justified by the way our tax system continues to make things more complicated. There is always new tax code being introduced and what was suppose to be a simple tax return can now seem like a calculus exam.

The media has not tried to alleviate this fear either. You cannot watch television without coming across a commercial for a tax preparation service promising to handle filing your taxes, because your taxes can be complicated and should really only be prepared by professionals. If you mess up, you will have the IRS to deal with.

So what do you do? Well, some of us panic. But that obviously doesn’t help things. Take a minute to breathe and realize you have options.

First, don’t assume that when you sit down to fill out your tax return that you have to know all the answers ahead of time. Chances are you aren’t going to know something and will need to ask someone for help. So do just that. It’s ok to do so. I promise.

If your tax situation is not too complicated, you can purchase computer software to aid you in preparing your return.

Another option is to hire a CPA who can assist you or to take your tax returns to a tax preparation firm. It’s your call and what you do should best fit your situation. In the end, keep in mind that not filing your returns because you are afraid you won’t be able to prepare them yourself is not a good reason for not filing taxes altogether. You always have options.


Further Reading:
Picking A Tax Professional
Need Old Return Filed? Hire an Enrolled Agent!

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