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Do I pay a tax accountant or file my own taxes?
Old 01-27-2023, 09:13 AM   #1
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Do I pay a tax accountant or file my own taxes?

Should I pay 250 dollars this year to do my Federal and 3 state tax returns, because of the extra expense for each state tax filing?

I can use TT, but the total cost would be about 110-130 dollars to buy the software and electronic filing plus the 3 state tax returns.

Is it worth my time and stress (), or pay to get it done?

What do you all think?

Appreciate your thoughts, thanks.
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:14 AM   #2
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For 100 bucks, I'll just pay and get it over.
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:21 AM   #3
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For 100 bucks, I'll just pay and get it over.
Thanks HF - that is my feeling as well, since It will cost me one way or another.
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:24 AM   #4
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Time is money. For me it's a control and educational aspect. I like having the control and knowledge to know that I am getting all the deductions I can. I have a hard time trusting other's when it impacts my financial outcomes. It's just who I am as a person. Always DIY invested and filed my own taxes. I can't tell you how long I spent this year scouring tax codes, SECURE 2.0 changes, re-running my tax scenarios, MFJ, Single, etc etc. I have 2 businesses though so for me, its a lot of time just making sure my records are in order in case of an audit.
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:24 AM   #5
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We pay an accountant. Many/most here do not. We just don't feel confident about filing correctly, plus DH has a consulting gig in our home and writes off expenses. One can look at it as a waste of money. Then again, there are times we spend that much on one dinner out with friends. So for peace of mind, it's worth it.
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:24 AM   #6
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one of the nice things about TT, is that brings over all the data from the previous year. You do not have to reenter personal data.
Also all the income categories are carried over, such as brokerage accounts, etc.
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:39 AM   #7
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I'd use TT and paper file the states.
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:44 AM   #8
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The answer, as is often the case, is "It depends." I used CPAs for years, typically paying up to about $1K per year because we had income real estate, commercial real estate occupied by my company, and various kinds of investment income. The issue was expertise, not time and stress. Maybe 5 years ago all of that complexity finally fell away and, coincidentally, my CPA retired. So things became very simple and I switched to H &R Block's package. That has worked well for me.
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:48 AM   #9
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I have learned so much about taxes and tax planning by doing my own.
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:54 AM   #10
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If filing three state returns is a one-time thing, then I'd just pay to have it done. $250 is cheap for 4 returns so I'd reconfirm that price before getting started and make sure the preparer is at least familiar with all three states, especially if you have anything like HSA or 529 contributions that are only deductible in some states.

If this is an ongoing situation and you might not be near this same accountant when it's time to file next year, then it would be worth learning to do it yourself. You don't have to e-file the states, which costs an extra $20-$25 for each one, just print and mail those on paper.
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:57 AM   #11
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We pay to have someone do our taxes.
it is worth it to us.
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Old 01-27-2023, 10:09 AM   #12
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If filing three state returns is a one-time thing, then I'd just pay to have it done. $250 is cheap for 4 returns so I'd reconfirm that price before getting started and make sure the preparer is at least familiar with all three states, especially if you have anything like HSA or 529 contributions that are only deductible in some states.

If this is an ongoing situation and you might not be near this same accountant when it's time to file next year, then it would be worth learning to do it yourself. You don't have to e-file the states, which costs an extra $20-$25 for each one, just print and mail those on paper.
All excellent responses that I can totally agree with.
I use to always do the taxes myself, until I had to deal with these 3 states to also file.

I can also relate to the fact of doing these taxes myself, as I had learned so much about the tax code in the past. Today, I maybe getting lazy.

Thanks all!
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Old 01-27-2023, 10:33 AM   #13
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How do you get to deal with 3 States to file ?
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Old 01-27-2023, 11:08 AM   #14
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Buy the time I left my CPA (after over 25 years) he was getting over $1k for a corporate return and $450 for my personal. Owned property in 3 states hence 3 state returns.

Finally cried "Uncle!" ... took the last return he did a backed all the depreciation tables into TT. Not a small task. But that was 2 years ago ... no turning back now!
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Old 01-27-2023, 11:22 AM   #15
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Iím glad to pay my CPA so I donít have to learn tax law. And I reach out to her 1 or 2 times each year to answer this or that question. And I think her fee is deductible but I might be wrong.
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Old 01-27-2023, 01:11 PM   #16
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The first time I had a professional accountant do our taxes, along with a five year look back it resulted in just over $10K in tax refunds at a cost of $3K (which I wrote off).

Going forward that account recommended that we re-arrange certain financial activities. The resulting savings over the years were substantial.

By the time we retired we were on a steady tax planning course and I started to do our taxes.

We anticipate going back to the accountant for a complete review and for an updated tax avoidance plan given that our income circumstances will change over the next 18 months or so as we approach 70.

My only comment would be if you are going to have an accountant ensure that you engage the services of a professional. Anyone with limited experience can hang out a shingle indicating that they do taxes. This is, in all probability, not who you want to complete your tax and any forward tax planning.
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Old 01-27-2023, 01:44 PM   #17
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I have learned so much about taxes and tax planning by doing my own.
That sums it up. And a pretty good indicator of your abilities regarding other financial issues.
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Old 01-27-2023, 01:52 PM   #18
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$250 seems like a really good price. Also, as noted, the software for the extra States isn't free. So, by the time you get the software, the difference is rather small. But, that's not why I'd recommend getting it done. As much as I'd like to do my own taxes and recommend the same, if you're not going to do those three States in the future, I'd just have it done. There are little nuances that each State will have that you'll need to understand. If someone is prepared to take that on for $250, I'd let them do it.

OTOH, if I was going to file those three States in the future it would be worth it for me to get the software and learn those States. For a one time thing, I wouldn't bother.
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Old 01-27-2023, 04:10 PM   #19
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I'd use TT and paper file the states.
Thatís what I do every year, including a couple years ago when we moved and had to file in two states. Just easier to let TT figure it out even if it cost me an extra $45 that year, over the $55-65 I pay for Fed eFile and state (paper) every year.
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Old 01-28-2023, 08:26 AM   #20
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Appreciate all the comments and suggestions and happy to have the support of this forum.

I have decided to pay the tax professional this year to handle my tax business,
since the cost does not bother me too much this year.
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