This fear, unfortunately, is too often true, in large part because of the ever-expanding tax code. Tax law publisher CCH Inc. notes that in 1913, it took 400 pages in the company's Standard Federal Tax Reporter to discuss the legislative, administrative and judicial aspects of the tax laws. The 2013 edition covers almost 74,000 pages.
With numbers like that, it's no wonder the average taxpayer feels overwhelmed. Robert Simon, CPA and managing partner at EisnerLubin llp, an accounting, tax and consulting firm in New York, notes, "It is easy to understand why people can get confused when you consider the sheer number of code sections involved."
The remedy: Don't be afraid to ask for help. Most of us already do. The Internal Revenue Service says around 80 percent of us rely on tax software or tax professionals to get our tax job done.
You have lots of preparer options, from a personal accountant who can fill out your return and help you plan throughout the year to franchise operations that gear up between Jan. 1 and mid-April. If your tax situation is not overly complicated, computer software might be enough to help you file with a bit more confidence. Take a look at your tax needs, then find the tax assistance that best meets them.