Your average taxpayer is not running a huge business or are involved in intricate tax schemes—so why pay companies like H&R Block a percentage of your return to do something that is relatively easy? Just Netfile your taxes and refunds are generally in your account in a week or so (via direct deposit).
Use TurboTax by Intuit
You can register for an account online in a few quick and easy steps and filing through them is intuitive and efficient. They take you through the entire process, start to finish, and utilize a software program to maximize deductions and ultimately the money you get back from the government. Worried about errors? TurboTax will automatically review your file and make recommendations to benefit you. You even have access to live support, if needed. I am not being paid to endorse this company. Their basic package runs about $40.00 (one-time credit card purchase), with that number going up if you need more complex tax analysis by their team.
If you are filing with a spouse, they make it easy to conduct income and credit splitting to lower taxes on the highest earner in the household. Have medical expenses or intricate dependency information to claim? They got it covered.
You would think working at a tax preparation office would require lengthy schooling, but the opposite is true. Often these places pay their workers near minimum-wage and the training is minimal. It does not require any sort of diploma or bachelor’s degree. They usually run employees through an in-house training program. The point is that they are no more qualified than any other person when it comes to filing taxes. The knowledge gap can quickly be filled some simple searching on the internet and any one of the automated tax programs widely available on the market. The so-called retail tax professional also uses, you guessed it, proprietary netfiling programs. Don’t pay some pop-up tax office hundreds of dollars for something you can just as easily do yourself.
If you do have a complex tax strategy in place it is best advised to enlist the services of a certified accountant. They will be well-versed in advanced tax planning.