While it is tempting to try to save money by preparing your own prior year tax returns, it really is not wise. The reasons to go it alone seem convincing. You avoid professional fees, you can do it on your own timeline, and you are not subject to someone else’s schedule. However, when you look at the cost versus the benefit of preparing prior year tax returns yourself, the other side becomes much more clear.
First, the complications that can come with filing prior taxes can be a challenge even for someone who regularly does their own taxes. Important information can be easily overlooked or forgotten. A CPA that specializes in preparing prior year tax returns is specially trained to make note of commonly missed items and mistakes, and can help make sure that your prior year taxes are done correctly. This will avoid any further fees or interest that could accrue during the correction process.
Of course, a CPA is going to charge a fee, and he may have other returns to work on as well, so that filing your return may take some time. However, the money and time saved in the long run by having it done correctly the first time is far more than any professional fee spent. Preparing prior year tax returns is much more complicated that most realize.
Whatever you decide, do not delay. It is illegal not to file your tax returns, and every day you wait before preparing prior year tax returns only adds penalties and interest to what you already owe. It may be tempting to panic at having to pay a large amount, but the IRS has payment options and there is one to fit most any budget.
The important thing is to get them filed so the penalties and interest stop accruing, and get on some sort of payment plan. A CPA can help you with that process as well, so that you do not feel you are at the mercy of the IRS with no one on your side. The money and time spent on a CPA preparing prior year tax returns is well worth the peace of mind.
We are a CPA firm and we deal specifically with clients who need help filing prior tax returns. Have questions? Call us now for a FREE consultation at 1-888-570-1033.
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