Date Added: Jan 2010
This is a point of lively debate within the tax community. In the 2005 Form 1040 filing instructions, the IRS included a controversial table that compared time and cost estimates across the three filing categories (self-prepared without help, self-prepared with tax software, and prepared by tax professional). According to the IRS's estimates, no matter how simple or complicated an individual's tax situation, using tax-prep software not only cost more, it took several hours longer than preparing your taxes without help. Having a tax professional or accountant prepare the same non-business return, the IRS said, would save time, but the extra cost-on average, $155 more than doing it yourself-would no doubt be prohibitive to many taxpayers.