Tax prep: Is it worth it?

We're looking into if it's really worth it to have a professional prepare your taxes.

I-R-S, three letters being uttered more and more this time of year now that tax season is upon us.

The IRS announced that January 23, 2017 will be the first day you can file your 2016 taxes electronically. That's also the first day that paper returns will be processed.

The IRS estimates that the average taxpayer will spend $270 on a tax professional to complete a federal form 1040; that number jumps to $420 for business owners. Compare that to a cost of $60 to $100 for online filing software like Turbo Tax. And it's free to file directly with the IRS.

Experts have other suggestions for you if you're considering hiring someone.

Do you have the time? The Internal Revenue Service estimates you'll need 16 hours for record keeping, tax planning and completion of a federal 1040 form.

Are you tech savvy? Nearly 80% of taxpayers are expected to file their returns electronically. And that becomes much easier with a more simple return if you're single with one job and few investments. When you become married with children, own a house or business and have diverse investments, you may be better off having someone help you file.

Do you know your deductions? You can deduct things a lot of things like charitable donations, student loan interest even state sales tax in some cases. Many deductions go overlooked. With a little help, you may find there is more money owed to you from Uncle Sam.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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