When you think about filing taxes, piles of paperwork and complex rules probably come to mind. Sports cars? Not so much.
Yet money management expert Dave Ramsey draws a surprising connection between the cars he loves so much and the taxes most folks dread.
Dave recently added a 1960 Corvette to his garage. He quickly realized his classic hot rod brings one big benefit: It’s easy to work on. That’s because it was made back in the day when cars were simple. If you knew how to turn a wrench, you could most likely fix it yourself.
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Today’s cars, on the other hand, tout so much technology it’s hard to get under the hood and even charge the battery. When comparing his modern-day Corvette with the classic model, the difference is clear: “The chances of me being able to touch that new Corvette under the engine? Zero.”
Dave says doing your taxes is exactly the same.
When you’re young and single with one source of income and no mortgage to your name, filing taxes doesn’t take much effort. As long as you have your W-2 form, that’s usually all you need to complete your tax return.
But life doesn’t stay simple forever. Years go by. You get married, have children, buy a home, maybe even start your own business. All these changes complicate your tax return and create opportunities for costly mistakes and missed deductions.
That’s why Dave doesn’t do his own taxes anymore—even though he’s one of the country’s leading voices in personal finance. “I’ve learned to hire someone to do work I don’t know how to do,” he says. “It’s done more efficiently. I don’t break things. It saves me money.”
Of course, every tax situation is different. So how do you know you need a tax pro? Here are a few common reasons to consider hiring a professional:
• You’re married.
• You have kids.
• You have more than one job.
• You own a home or other property.
• You give charitable donations.
• You own a small business.
• You have a lot of investments.
• You get stuck or confused filing your own taxes.
Still not sure if a tax pro is right for you? Take our quiz to find out!
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