5 Myths About Doing Your Own Taxes

5 Myths About Doing Your Own Taxes

  • Advice
  • February 26, 2024
  • 143

As the tax season approaches, many of us might feel daunted at the thought of filing our own taxes. The task is often perceived as overly complex, fraught with potential pitfalls, and better left to the professionals. However, this perspective is largely based on myths that don’t hold up under scrutiny. 

UK taxes can be a complicated affair if you’re not a trained tax accountant. But in reality, with the resources available today, doing your own taxes can be straightforward and even empowering. This article aims to debunk five common myths about doing your own taxes, drawing on expert insights and advice.

It’s Too Complicated

One of the biggest misconceptions about doing your own taxes is that the process is too complicated for the average person. Contrary to this belief, modern tax software and online platforms have significantly simplified the process. 

These tools are designed to be user-friendly, guiding users through the filing process with easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions. Whether you’re tech-savvy or not, these resources make it feasible for individuals of all ages to file their taxes without professional help​​.

You’ll Miss Out on Deductions

Many fear that by filing their own taxes, they’ll miss out on key deductions and end up overpaying. However, this is another myth that doesn’t align with the capabilities of today’s tax software. These platforms are adept at identifying potential deductions and credits, ensuring users can claim what they’re entitled to. 

The software asks about life changes, expenses, and possible deductions, making it unlikely that you’ll miss significant opportunities to reduce your taxable income​​​​.

It’s More Expensive to Do It Yourself

  • Audit chances are the same: Whether you do your taxes yourself or hire a professional, your chance of being audited by the tax authorities stays the same. It all depends on how accurately you fill in your tax return. The myth that DIY tax filers face a higher risk of audits is just that – a myth​​.
  • Accuracy is key: The main thing that can increase your chances of an audit is errors or missing information on your tax return. Whether a professional or a DIY tax software prepares your return, as long as your information is accurate and complete, your audit risk doesn’t change. Tax software often includes checks and balances to help ensure accuracy​​.
  • Professional support does not lower audit risk: Hiring a tax professional does not necessarily protect you from audits. While professionals can offer guidance and ensure your tax return complies with tax laws, they can’t reduce your chance of being audited. What matters most is the correctness of your tax return, not who prepares it​​.

You’re More Likely to Be Audited

The fear of being more susceptible to audits is a common concern among those considering DIY tax filing. However, there’s no evidence to suggest that self-filers face a greater risk of being audited than those who use a tax service. The likelihood of an audit is more closely related to the accuracy and completeness of your tax return, rather than who prepared it​​.

DIY Means Going It Alone

Finally, the notion that DIY tax filing means you’re on your own is far from the truth. Most tax filing software offers access to expert help and advice. Services like TurboTax provide options for unlimited help from tax experts and even a final review of your return, ensuring that you can file with confidence and support, debunking the myth that DIY filers are left to navigate the complexities of tax law without assistance​​.

In Summary

In dispelling these myths, it becomes clear that doing your own taxes is not only feasible but can also be empowering and educational. With the aid of modern technology and resources, individuals can navigate their tax filings confidently, potentially save money, and gain valuable financial insights. 

Whether you choose to file on your own or seek professional advice, understanding the truth behind these myths can help you make an informed decision about the best approach for your situation.

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