|Ken Jennings' long reign as champ on the
TV quiz show "Jeopardy!" ended
when he could not identify the company with
the largest number of seasonal white-collar
workers (it was, of course, a well-known
tax preparation firm). Mr. Jennings says
he did not know the correct response because
he does his own taxes.|
The main advantage gained by preparing your
tax returns is not from saving the preparation
fees, although this can be significant. Rather,
it is the deeper understanding you gain of
your personal financial situation and, in
particular, the impact of taxes on it.
Preparing your own tax returns
a relatively straightforward
If your situation is simple,
above, the instruction booklets
with your tax returns (both federal
normally are more than adequate
before making your first foray
it yourself, you should consider:
- You are an employee rather than a business
- Your investments are basic financial instruments
like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and bank
accounts, with nothing exotic.
- You do not engage in complicated real estate
- You are an organized person who can keep
the required documents and receipts in good
Any student attending a college
business courses should consider
in tax law. The information gained
will prove invaluable.
- Attending a course on tax preparation. See
what your local community college offers
in its evening adult education program.
- Getting a private tutorial from someone experienced
in tax preparation, preferably a professional
such as a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).
- Reading books on the subject.
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