In this week's Target 8 Consumer Report, KOMU's Jennifer Leong tells us the easiest, cheapest and most reliable methods for doing your taxes.
Taxes, no one likes doing them.
The task can be frustrating and time consuming.
With the filing deadline quickly approaching, here are some tips for tackling your taxes.
Missourians will file more than 2.5 million tax returns this filing season.
70% will file electronically and many will rely on tax professionals or tax software to crunch the numbers. But which method is the best for you?
"If you have simple taxes you'll probably be fine with the kind of tax software you can buy off the shelf and follow the instructions carefully,"said CPA Joan Casey. "But if you have any complication whatsoever it's best to at least get a second opinion if not have a professional actually prepare the taxes".
If you're comparing costs tax software is much cheaper than having your taxes done by a tax professional.
But certified public accountants and tax preparing companies argue the higher cost is worth it
"Coming in here you have the security that if we do something right or wrong, well not something right or wrong, but if we do something wrong you have us that we're going to stand behind your tax return," said Lyn Williams with H&R Block.
If you're comparing reliability the IRS says tax software and most tax professionals are equally reliable.
"Tax professionals, the great majority of them do an extremely good job of helping people with their taxes," said Michael Devine with the IRS.
If you're comparing the time it takes to get your refund filing electronically is the way to go.
Regardless of who prepares your taxes most refunds for electronic returns are issued within about 10 days. Tax payers filing paper returns could wait up to six weeks for a refund.
Other things to consider when deciding which method is right for you include: Do you make less than $52,000 a year? If so you are eligible to file your taxes free through the IRS.
And is your tax preparer knowledgeable about new tax exemptions like the telephone tax refund?
The IRS says the bottom line in determining what method is best for you is you.
Experts say: Ask yourself, is your return complex enough to require a pro? Or is it as simple as point and click?
Above are links for comparing tax software.
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