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When to Call an Accountant Versus "DIYing" Your Taxes

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Many people can easily manage their tax returns on their own, and even go online to file their forms with the government rather quickly. However, if you have even the smallest question about your tax returns and how they should be prepared, you'll want to have an accountant handle that paperwork for you. To ensure you get your taxes done properly and don't overlook any tax that should be paid or any deduction you can take, note a few time when you want to call an accountant versus trying to "DIY" your returns.

You do business across state lines

Doing business across state lines can affect your taxes in a number of ways, and this includes federal taxes. Each state may have different taxation rates for profits earned through business done in that state, even if the business itself is physically located in another state, and you may be required to fill out additional, state-specific tax paperwork when you do business across state lines. This also applies to having moved and changed jobs from one state to another. Whatever the issues that might arise from doing business in, or having been employed in, separate states, call an accountant to sort out these details for you.

Your investments are complicated

If you only own a few stocks that pay a small dividend every year, you may be able to easily find the right space on your tax return form to claim that income, or any such losses. However, publicly traded partnerships, investing in overseas companies, and other such investments may be more complicated to claim properly. It's good to then have an accountant manage your taxes if you have anything more than a few simple investments to your name.

Dramatic life changes

An accountant doesn't need to be called if you've lost a lot of weight or decided to get a pet; those life changes may be dramatic to you, but not to your tax preparer! However, you do want to consult with an accountant if you've gotten married or divorced, had major medical expenses, bought or sold a house or other real property, or if you've brought a child into the home. These types of life changes can affect the deductions you're allowed, and they may change your tax rate, but you might overlook such details if you're accustomed to filing taxes one particular way. To ensure nothing is missed, at least call an accountant and ask if anything you've been through in the past year would affect your tax filing and paperwork.