When Should You Have an Accountant Handle Your Taxes?

It's typically legal for an individual and even a business owner to prepare and file their own tax returns, and for many persons, they can handle this on their own. However, there are times when it's good to have a qualified accountant take care of your taxes for you, as things might be more difficult and involved than you realize and there may be details that complicate your return overall. Note a few times when you might want to consider having an accountant handle your taxes versus going it alone.

1. When you have different forms of income

You may have a job you work at but may also have other forms of income that you may or may not need to report on your taxes. For example, you might have spousal support, child support, an annuity from a lawsuit settlement, an inheritance from a relative, stock dividends, an insurance payout and the like. Whether or not you receive these things regularly or they were paid just once, do you know if they need to be claimed on your taxes? 

It's important to find this out about all your various forms of income no matter their source and no matter the amount, as some might need to be claimed while others might not. An accountant can sort through all the details and be sure you claim the income that should be claimed while not paying taxes on monies that are not meant to be taxed.

2. If you might put off filing your taxes

If preparing and filing your taxes is so difficult and overwhelming that you tend to put it off and then face late penalties and charges, it might be better to hire an accountant. He or she can address your taxes quickly and not get so overwhelmed with the forms and other information, so you're less likely to file late and, in turn, will avoid those unnecessary fees.

3. If you're looking to reduce your tax bill

If you face a tax bill every year, it can be good to leave your taxes in the hands of an accountant. He or she can review your method of filing, the deductions you take and deductions you miss. They can then advise you on how to reduce your taxes every year, whether it's through adding more deductions, changing the way you file or some other means. Their fee can be offset by the amount of money you save on your taxes by making these simple changes throughout the year.