I’ve been using tax-preparation software to do my taxes for years, and I don’t want to do it anymore. I want someone else to do it. Even with the software, I end up intensely frustrated: partly because I can’t figure out what I’m supposed to do, and partly because the tax forms every citizen MUST fill out should not be so complicated that a college-educated citizen can’t figure out what to do EVEN WITH helpful guiding software. Plus, we got a follow-up question on our financial aid forms from a college Rob applied to, which brought to light that I may have failed to take a large deduction I could have taken last year and the two years previous.
Anyway, that brings us to now. Here are the two options I’m considering:
1. My friend has just this year made this same decision about having someone else handle it, and she got a recommendation for a local accountant who does tax preparation. My friend says this woman seems very nice and competent. Upside: the personal recommendation; I can picture getting to know her and having her get to know me, and having that make taxes easier. Downsides: her office is in a dark and slightly scary location; I don’t actually know anything more about her; one day she would retire and I would feel stressed starting over with someone new.
2. There’s an H&R Block near me. It says “walk-ins welcome.” Upsides: I can just walk in, I don’t have to make the scary call for an appointment; feels more anonymous; it’s a big company which makes me feel less like I have to personally check their credentials. Downsides: They’d care less about my business, I would guess, but maybe not, I don’t know.
But notice how many of these upsides and downsides are based on guessing. I don’t really know anything about this. I am hoping for input. ANY input: differences you’ve found in costs, differences you’ve found in quality, anything you know about the differences between hiring an accountant and going to H&R Block, and also between those two things and any third or fourth option I haven’t considered.
[By the way, we are having some trouble with posting comments and commenting. I have Paul looking into it, and he is figuring it out, but it is taking time and he still has to get in touch with the website…host…or whatever, and then they have to fix whatever the issue is on their end. So you may notice weirdness for awhile with: new posts not showing up; edits not showing up; comments not showing up; comment fields auto-filling with weird information. The only solution I have right now is to hard-refresh, which on my Mac is done by holding down shift and command and then pressing R.]