This is a blog all about real-life, everyday financial topics. Stacey Powell provides not just expertise and insight from a CFO's point of view, but also real-life "been there, done that" lessons from lifting herself out of a financial mess.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Finance Gym Weekly Workout - Should You Do Your Own Taxes or Hire an Accountant?
Hi, welcome to The Finance Gym Action Plan for a Better Life with Money video series. My name is Stacey Powell and if you're ready to not just know better but do better with your money then you've come to the right place.
Lately we've been talking about the grown up stuff around our money. Today's grown up stuff? Taxes... Sorry, we all have to like what's that saying? Death and taxes. We all have to do it! So today I'm going to teach you a little bit about how to choose how to get your taxes done. I get asked that question all the time.. Should I do it myself? Who should I hire? Where should I go? And for me, it's about how complicated are your finances? How complicated is your world? If you're not married, you don't have kids, you don't have a house yet, you don't have anything unusual going on then you absolutely should do your own taxes. And here's why.. Simply by doing them, by buying Turbo Tax or whatever tax software product it is out there, letting it walk you through the questions, seeing where it puts the answer and really kind of paying attention, hitting the little help button, the little question, googling things you don't understand, you're gonna learn, you're gonna get a little tiny tax class and have a more comprehensive understanding and that's good for you and then as you add complications on, have a kid, well you've learned then you're gonna be able to learn what that means. Get married, you're gonna be able to learn that. Buy a house? Maybe you're gonna be able to learn it. Then it starts to get a little complicated. Did you get stock options at work? Did you have to like sell back some stock options? Then it starts to get super complicated. Did you become a business owner? Then it really starts to get super complicated and that's the point. The point at which you kind of start going, maybe I should really seek the advice of someone who is experienced. You'll know when it's time I think. And then who do you hire when it's time? Do you go to one of the big box tax places? Maybe. Um.. Well.. Maybe but I'm often hesitant to send people there because, not always but often the people there they're well trained, they're well supervised they are often not very experienced. So I'm always hesitate to send people to a big box place. That's not to say there aren't some good ones, there are. Shockingly enough, they aren't that less expensive than a good tax accountant. I have for years sent a number of my clients to just a few people, I like to talk about Mike. I send people to Mike because when I send people to mike, theres a couple of things I know, one I trust the man personally, two I know he's going to teach people about their money. Not simply hand them a 50 page questionnaire, have one his staff people enter it into their tax software and spit a tax return back out without actually talking to you about it. I think that's what it really comes down to, is that when you're hiring somebody, you want to hire somebody who's going teach you a little bit. Somebody who has been doing this for a while and is trustworthy and is going to get your stuff done. You don't want to hire the person who just has the best tax strategies in the world. Unless you're in a unique situation there are very few best tax loopholes in the world. If you have the kind of money that can afford you that, you're not watching this video and there are very few tax strategies for you. It's simple, we earn money, we pay taxes, that's the truth of the matter and any reasonable tax account will tell you the same thing.
Hopefully I've taught you a little bit about how to get your taxes done. If you would like to ask me some more questions, come on over to our FB group Team Do Better and you're welcome to ask questions in that forum. You can sign up for our newsletter at www.TheFinanceGym.com and subscribe to our video series below. Now go have fun doing your taxes!