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If you’re trying to decide whether to use DIY tax prep software or pay a professional to prepare your taxes, there are a few things to consider. Let’s compare hiring a tax preparer versus using tax software to file your tax returns:

Professional Tax Preparer vs. Tax Software

1. Accuracy: paying what you owe—nothing more, nothing less

There’s only one thing that’s worse than filing your taxes only to receive a notification from the IRS later that you owe more. So what’s worse than not paying enough taxes? That’s right. Paying too much because you were not aware of the deductions and credits you qualified for. It is crucial to make sure you pay the right amount—nothing more, nothing less.

Most tax software asks lots of in-depth questions to help you file the most accurate return possible. But the questions can be confusing. Unless you're a CPA or a tax expert, there’s always the possibility of misunderstanding something. A certified tax preparer understands all IRS requirements and can ensure accuracy in your return. So you don’t have to worry about whether you did it right or whether you paid too much or too little.

2. Maximizing your refund: Understanding which tax credits and deductions you qualify for.

Claiming the right tax credits and deductions is one of the primary ways to maximize your refund. While you can use software to claim these benefits, there may be questions an online program doesn’t know to ask. Because tax preparers work with you personally, they often have a better idea of what deductions you may qualify for that are unique to your financial circumstance.

3. Customer service—the value of having someone there to answer your questions.

While filing your taxes online, chances are, you’re going to have a question about a tax document or deductions you may qualify for.

Unless your mother-in-law is a CPA and you can call her with your questions, your only option for getting the right answer is Google, which is risky when it comes to dealing with the IRS.

One of the best things about working with an experienced tax preparer is that you have a personal customer service representative available to answer any questions you have about your taxes and finances anytime you need them.

4. Doing your taxes on your time vs. letting someone else handle it.

For some people, using tax software is convenient because they get to prepare their taxes at home and on their own schedule. For other people, there is a real benefit to letting a professional handle the details rather than trying to find time in their busy schedule.

5. E-filing

Many people wrongly believe that only tax software offers e-filing options. But many tax professionals can also e-file your return, including Midwest Finance. The advantage of e-filing versus paper filing your return is that your refund is sent to you much faster!

6. The cost

Tax software is almost always cheaper than hiring a professional tax preparer. Because you’re working with a trained tax professional and not just an automated system, hiring a tax preparer costs more. However, often tax preparers can help you learn about deductions and tax credits that you didn’t know you had. Many people earn back more money by working with a trained tax preparer rather than filing their tax returns themselves.

7. Having access to previous tax returns

It’s convenient to have access to info from previous years’ tax returns. If you use the same tax software each year, most programs keep previous tax returns in their database. This allows you to autofill information instead of manually entering it each year. Working with the same tax preparer each year provides the same convenience since the preparer has access to last year’s records.

8. Developing a trustworthy relationship

When it comes to your money, it’s important to work with someone you can trust. Many people who work with professional tax preparers usually try to meet with the same person each year because they’ve established a relationship with them. Tax software doesn’t offer the same one-on-one relationship.

9. No up-front fee.

Both tax software and professional tax preparers often offer the option of deducting the tax prep fee from your refund instead of paying for it out of pocket.

10. Get paid today!

As a finance company offering both tax services as well as affordable installment loans, Midwest Finance offers same-day tax refunds. You can receive a refund advance through our finance corporation to go home with your refund in hand today.

When it comes to filing your taxes, it’s crucial to get it right. We recommend seeking a qualified tax expert to provide you with 100% accuracy and maximize your refund. If you live in West Texas or New Mexico, please call or visit one of Midwest’s 22 convenient locations. Give us a call today if you have any questions about your taxes.