To some this is the most wonderful time of the year – tax return season! But before you can get that return, you have to take care of the filing part.
As MilFams, we have several different options for filing that cost little to nothing. One of those options is filing yourself using something like TurboTax or H&R Block. While doing your own taxes can be less expensive and done on your own time (rather than waiting for an open appointment somewhere) – should you really be doing your own taxes?
Here are 4 signs that you really should be outsourcing your taxes:
Time – or lack there of
If you have screaming children, a needy spouse (because we all know only you can make dinner!), or anything else that needs your attention, you might need someone to prepare your taxes for you. Not only do you have to find the time to file, you have to organize a year’s worth of papers and receipts. Odds are you started the year off with good intentions of using an organized system to track everything, then life gets in the way and you say forget it! Filing taxes incorrectly can have serious consequences so you want to make sure that you have the time it takes to dedicate putting the numbers in correctly.
You’re a Landlord
Owning a rental home might as well be a secondary military occupation since so many families do so. This means you get to fill out some extra fun stuff to go along with the usual state and federal returns. If you have multiple rental homes or started renting out a property mid-year, or had to fix up a property you’ll probably just end up with a headache and incomplete paperwork trying to do it on your own.
You’re a working spouse and you moved
Military Spouse Residence Relief Act (MSRRA). While this gem of a bill is wonderful in so many aspects, it can make doing taxes complicated – especially if you moved multiple times in a year. You have to figure out which employer took state taxes out, which one didn’t. Paying the state you claim as your residence while getting a refund from the state you worked in. If you didn’t pay estimated quarterly taxes to the state you want to claim then you could face late fees… It’s often less of a headache to let someone else figure that out and do the proper paperwork for that mess.
You have more questions than answers
I’m a member of a handful of military spouse Facebook pages where fellow spouses post questions about any and every aspect of military life – which includes taxes. But if you’re that spouse that posts several different questions about your taxes, please just have someone else do them. Not only is there concern for the accuracy of what you’re submitting but we all know that if you ask 50 spouses the same question you’ll get 50 different answers. No one PCS is the same. No one TAD is the same. No one TDY is the same. No one other acronym that you can think of is the same. No one rental home situation is the same. Please get professional help!
I have never done my own taxes. I know I don’t have the time (or patience), I’ve moved and had to deal with state taxes for my place of residence and domicile state, and I frequently have more questions than I have answers for things. Maybe one day I’ll attempt to do them but until that cold day comes around I’ll let someone else do the dirty work so I know I’m getting the correct amount of money back. I mean, who wants to lose out on some money in the bank because you forgot about a credit or deduction that you qualify for but didn’t know you did? Not me!