Author Topic: Accountant or Tax Software?  (Read 2674 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Accountant or Tax Software?
« on: May 03, 2013, 11:31:45 AM »
Which is better an accountant or a particular tax software?


  • Magnum Stache
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  • Location: Southern California
Re: Accountant or Tax Software?
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2013, 11:53:14 AM »
I've you've got complicated taxes (like mine) and/or need tax strategy advice then a CPA is worth the money.  If your taxes are simple then tax prep software is fine.  For somewhere in-between then it depends...are you interested in figuring it all out?  enjoy the nerdy aspects of tax planning?  just want to spend as little time as possible? 

You may want to use a CPA the first year to get your questions answered and and figure out your basic deduction stream then go with software.  Don't go to those storefront places to get your taxes done.  The preparers often don't know much more than you do. 


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 54
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Accountant or Tax Software?
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2013, 03:19:57 PM »
If you're looking at a professional tax preparer purely for the time/effort savings, it might help to remember that a big chunk of the time spent doing your own taxes is simply gathering up and organizing all the relevant information, and you still have to do all that with professional tax prep.

I had an accountant do my taxes for a while because my condo went from owner-occupied to rental and I thought it would make doing my own taxes too complicated. Turns out that TurboTax makes it plenty straightforward, and now I have a much clearer picture of my tax situation, having done my taxes myself.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Age: 44
  • Location: Denver
Re: Accountant or Tax Software?
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2013, 04:29:30 PM »
If you're self employed, an accountant is definitely the way to go, at least for the first year.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Accountant or Tax Software?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2013, 07:38:31 PM »
If you're just the average Joe Sixpack working at some company with a working wife, two kids and a mortgage, you'll be fine with just using regular tax software. If you're much more complicated than that, seeing an accountant could be helpful.