Do It Yourself

It’s tax time. You’ve got to start going through those receipts to look for business deductions. You review the forms and read the circulars. But the tax code is complicated. Unless you also are a CPA, you have to consider your options for preparing your tax return.

You can do it yourself. You can fill out the tax forms the same as you did last year. The advantage is that there’s no initial outlay of costs. The disadvantage is the time it takes. A risk is that you’ll miss some tax breaks. The bigger risk is that you’ll report something incorrectly and be fined and/or penalized.

You can do it yourself with some help. You get Turbo Tax, or another tax software program. The program is helpful – it checks your math and prompts you for deductions. The cost is reasonable. But how personalized can a computer program get?

Or you cry uncle. You hire a CPA, discuss your tax situation with her, and organize your files to give her the best information. She prepares your tax return armed with knowledge and experience to give you the most from the tax code. Sure, the upfront cost is more. But so is the return.

It’s the same with a lawyer. You can do a lot of your legal work yourself. It will take more time, and you might get it wrong. But you’ve saved a few bucks upfront. The question then is, what will the costs be in the long run? Isn’t your photography important enough to get the best help? So maybe for this one, you shouldn’t do it yourself.

Take my advice; get professional help.

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