Twenty years ago, paying someone to do your taxes was a common practice. After all, manually crunching numbers to determine if you should be receiving a refund or paying tax to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) was a daunting ordeal for some. The use of various tax software today makes filing your own taxes easy while saving you time and money. So, should you file your own taxes or should you hire a professional?
In short, it depends on your circumstance.
If you’re tax situation is simple—you’re a single, young adult with few tax slips—then there’s a good chance that you can file your own taxes correctly using the tax software’s available to you.
But if you’re married with children and have an abundance of tax slips, then it may be worth your while to get your taxes professionally done. Depending on where you go for professional tax help, here is what you are paying for:
- Taxes professionally done by someone who has knowledge of the Income Tax Act
- Ability to ask the right questions to uncover areas where you can save tax or claim tax credits that you may not already know about
- Ability to recommend areas of improvement for future tax savings
When you pay to get your taxes done you are paying for a lot more than someone who will simply tally your slips and file for you. Just make sure that if you are going to pay to get your taxes done, you are getting a good bang for your buck.
Also ask the right questions. Ask how much professionals charge for tax preparation services. Are they charging you per slip or is there a flat price? Find out how many years your tax preparer has been doing tax preparation. And do your research because the last thing you want is a mistake, which could lead to an audit by the CRA.
Depending on your needs, it may be worth the extra dollars to get a professional do your income tax return, as professionals can uncover a tax deductions or credits that you weren’t aware of. Sometimes, those deductions and credits can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in tax.