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Is having a tax professional worth it?

Started by Hayden, September 11, 2018, 10:59:43 AM

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It very much depends. 

I am a high-end Big 4 tax consultant who does a lot of M&A tax consulting for PE funds.... I use Turbo Tax.  But I only have a W-2, brokerage accounts, and a little rental real estate.  These are simple. 

OTOH, if you have a business, or are making big private investments, then you should definitely hire a professional. 

Additionally, if you business and/or limited partnership investments result in large and complicated K-1's, you want to outsource that because (1) you could just miss something and (2) your time is probably more valuable than what you'll spend gathering paperwork and inputting into the software yourself.


I think it is important to understand your taxes, but also good to consult a professional when needed.  Right now, my taxes are not terribly complicated (2 kids in college, w2 income, 2 mortgages with interest, some interest, some dividends, some capital gains, SALT stuff,... but the tax programs can handle all this stuff pretty well.  I've gone ever several years to a CPA and have them do my taxes (but I also do them myself to compare).

Planning for the future is where tax professionals can help.  I'm getting nervous about retirement and taxes - when to collect SS, RMDs, which sources of income (401K, Roth IRA, Capital Gains, etc.)  to draw from when to minimize taxes.