All the preparation and planning you did for tax season is very important. However, choosing the right preparation service based on your situation will put you on the right path to get the most out of your refund and ensure you don’t have any overlooked deductions.  So let’s discuss the different options available to you:

Old-fashioned paper filing

Even in today’s day and age of digital technology, many people still feel safer preparing taxes with good old pen and paper. If you are filing a paper return you will need to mail it to the IRS upon completion, which means it will take longer to file than those processed electronically. The plus side of paper filing is that you are in charge of every aspect from start to finish; the down side is that there is no immediate tax help available, which means you may make errors or miss deductions or credits. Be careful and double check your calculations if you use this method.

Tax Preparation Software

This DIY option is becoming quite popular and it’s slowly replacing the paper filing method.  Most of these easy to use programs are designed to help you take advantage of as many tax deductions and tax credits as possible. Most of them have tax professionals available to answer any questions you may have and you will receive your return faster than if you filed by paper.

Professional Tax Preparers

Depending on how complex your financial situation is and how well you understand the tax code, a tax professional may be beneficial to you. If during the past tax year, you’ve gotten married or divorced, bought or sold a house, inherited money, experienced a death of a spouse, or other major life event, like a bankruptcy, then you’ll probably be better off going to a qualified tax preparer.  Also, if you are generally confused and don’t feel comfortable doing your own taxes, you should look into seeing a qualified tax professional to minimize errors and cut out the guesswork.