How to decide if you should hire a CPA or use Turbo Tax. Deciding how to file your taxes can be a stressful decision, but it doesn’t need to be. For most people deciding between Turbo Tax and a CPA can be a relatively easy question to answer.

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If you have clicked this video you are probably worried about the following:
1. What if I use Turbo Tax or some other tax preparing software and I get audited?
2. What if I file my own taxes, but I do it wrong?
3. Is hiring a CPA worth the extra cost, or should I use Turbo Tax?
4. How can I find a good CPA?

All of these questions play in to whether you should use Turbo Tax or hire a CPA. I would dare say that most people should use Turbo Tax.

So here are the hard and fast rules on when you should use Turbo Tax vs. Hiring a CPA.

If you have a simple tax return (meaning you have a W2 and you are taking the standard deduction) then you should use Turbo Tax, no questions asked. Turbo Tax is perfect for individuals with simple tax returns. It is really good at asking the questions necessary to file a simple tax return accurately. Plus if you have a simple tax return you can save hundreds of dollars by using Turbo Tax instead of hiring a CPA.

What if you have a little more complicated taxes? Say you have a 401K or Traditional IRA, a HSA, or even a side hustle (small side business), or even if you are itemizing instead of taking the standard deduction. This is when you will need to do an analysis to decide if the opportunity costs are worth it. If it takes you 10 hours to do your own tax return is that worth the amount of money you saved?

If you have full time business or other items that make your tax return complicated, Hire a CPA! Complication makes hiring a CPA worth it. Turbo Tax is really good at completing the current years tax return. A good CPA though is great at tax planning for future years and will likely pay for themselves just simply by tax planning. So if you have a complicated return, Hire a CPA.

Simple Tax Return = Turbo Tax
Moderate Tax Return = Cost/Benefit Analysis
Complicated Return = Hire a CPA