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It is that time of the year again when we have to set aside some time to gathering our documents to file income tax. During this time of the year, many filers dread the details of having to gather all the tax documents and whether they are actually ready to file their income taxes.

The tax laws are constantly changing, the cost of income tax preparation services also increases. Since tax preparation offices go through such a high volume of clients, I would wonder often how accurate their services are.  Because of these reasons, we encourage you to have an open mind when it comes to doing your 2017 income tax and future income tax returns to come.

I have been using  Turbo Tax for several years and find that their software provides the best value for both my business and personal income taxes. Here are our top 7 reasons you should file your own 2017 income tax.

You save money

The beginning of every year starts off with having to do your income taxes and making an effort to meet the April deadline. During the tax season, tax preparation offices are out there to get your business.  Recall seeing people in funny costumes on the side of the road waving posters for income tax services trying to draw you into their office.

There are tax services with excellent services.  There are higher price and moderately price services if you are willing to pay the preparation fees.  The last time we used a tax preparation service, we spent over $700 dollars for the service for small business and personal income tax.  This service fee was high and did not include what was owed to the IRS.

The following year’s taxes, we searched for alternatives to having our taxes done without having to experience that same expense.  Having shopped for the suitable TurboTax software that met our requirements for personal and small business taxes, we spent less than $200 on our TurboTax software that following year.  We been using TurboTax ever since that expensive $700 tax preparation.  Thanks TurboTax for the savings!

Simple to use software

In this day and age, technology has really advanced!  Years before the internet came into existence, the IRS used to mail to you the income tax booklet for that year’s tax filing along with the 1040 form that you would need to file your taxes.

If you wanted to manually do your personal taxes, you would need to read the pages and follow the instructions for each line item on your 1040 form.

If you didn’t want to manually do it, you would just take the entire income tax booklet with your W-2, 1099 forms and receipts for deductions to your local tax preparer’s office. NOW, with Turbo Tax, you install the software on your computer, do the updates and just follow the directions on your screen!  The onscreen directions are simple to follow from start to finish! After you complete your taxes, you can even file it online! All this to simplify your income tax filing….

 You have more control

When we used a local accountant several years ago to prepare our income taxes, other than the high cost of the preparation, we were unprepared to receive an unexpected letter from the IRS.  The letter from the IRS said that there were errors in our tax returns!

I was extremely upset with the accountant as we paid over $700 for tax preparation, several hundred dollars for taxes due, now a couple hundred dollars because of the accountant’s errors on the returns!

We are not using that accountant again!  From this point on, I have been doing our own taxes.  Both for personal and small business .  Having tried different tax preparation software, I found that Turbo Tax worked best for us and I haven’t turned back since then.  If you own a large business or corporation, of course you may want to have a certified public accountant prepare your taxes.

If you have a family and a small business, the beauty of doing your own taxes is the control that you have in the tax preparation.  You input your own numbers and you know what is happening.  Having control over your tax preparation means that you can review your taxes multiple times for accuracy. Multiple checks can be performed before you actually submit it to the IRS and your state tax office.

 Convenience

At the beginning of the year when you get all your tax documents (W-2’s, 1099’s etc.). Once you get these documents, you are ready to do your taxes.  Determine your tax deadlines for filing both federal and state income tax.  April 20, 2018 is the due date for the federal taxes. Be sure to confirm the due date of your local state return.

The convenience of doing your taxes is that you can choose the time you want to work on it.  You can complete your taxes over a weekend if you choose. Pace yourself and dedicate so many minutes or hours on certain days until you complete your taxes. You can prepare it at home in a quiet room or while listening to your favorite music. After you complete your taxes, you can even file it online.  You never have to step out of the house to get this process complete.

Another convenience of using is because they incorporate the new tax laws into their software. With the new tax laws that comes out every year, your concerns about how the laws affect are minimize. Back when the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) became a law, filers were unfamiliar with the details of this law. How it affects their taxes?

Although many filers have little knowledge of the new laws, TurboTax simplifies your filing in regards to these new laws.  Using Turbo Tax is simple. Just by answering some simple questions on your health care coverage for the year you are filing. TurboTax will calculate if you met the requirements for the Affordable Care Act or if there are any penalties. So in a nutshell, TurboTax is simple to use.

You learn about income tax

If you’ve never prepared your income taxes before, I have found that TurboTax is user friendly.  From start to the end, there are links with explanations as to what that section is about. These explanations are guidelines that help you determine how you should input that certain section of your taxes. As you complete each section in TurboTax, you learn more about your taxes.  Things like itemized deductions, dependents, the interest on your house mortgage and more.

You can re-evaluate your finances

When inputting your numbers, you can get an idea where you are with your finances.  When inputting your gross income into your TurboTax, you get a picture of where your finances are at.

You can compare the balances of your checking and savings accounts in relation to your annual pay.  You are able to evaluate your expenses, your contributions to your 401K plan at work and investments.

It is also a good time to evaluate your withholdings.  After completing your taxes, did you owe taxes or did you get a large refund?  Generally, if you owe taxes it is because not enough taxes were withheld.  If you’re due a large refund, a lot of taxes were taken out of your paycheck. You would need to adjust your withholding.

Although these are just guidelines, ultimately, you would need to do further research. You can contact a financial adviser to adjust your withholdings to what is suitable for your financial situation.

The guarantee on your returns

What I especially like about TurboTax is their guarantee.  One of the features on TurboTax software that I love is Risk of Audit Meter. It’s a meter found at the end of your income tax.  This meter is a gauge if your finish return is at risk of audit by the IRS.  It’s reassuring to see that my completed returns are at the low risk end of the meter.

Preparing your income tax is so simple. Using  Turbo Tax is the only software that I use now to do my taxes.  The most important factor that I find using TurboTax is that you save money!  No more visits to your local tax preparation office. You have control by inputting your data into TurboTax. You can be confident that your taxes are done accurate and satisfactory by yourself.