NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - Every year, it's on all of our to-do lists-- Filing your taxes. The deadline is less than two months away.
People have several options before the April 15 deadline, such as filing them on their own, meeting with an accountant, and using a national tax service. NewsChannel 12's Juliana Valencia went to downtown New Bern and asked for public input.
Wanda Kay Thompson owns two local businesses. She does her own taxes and has an accountant check them.
"You know the laws change every year and its so very complicated. There's no way I could keep up with it," Thompson said.
Certified public accountant Randy Gray told NewsChannel 12 that laws change from year to year. Gray said that's a big reason to have your tax return checked.
Gray said the Affordable Care Act will have the biggest impact on how people file their tax returns. The IRS website said the Affordable Care Act has no effect for most people this year. However, people without health care coverage starting January 2015 will have to pay a fee when filing their taxes if they don't have an exemption.
"It's based on income and there will be subsidies. That's a huge change. We in the industry have never had to keep up with who has insurance and how they applied," Gray said.
Gray said the only requirement by law is that you have to pay in as much as you paid in the prior year if your income is going to be equal to or greater than the last year.
In the past, Wayne Roach had his taxes done professionally. Recently, his wife has taken on the reins
"You know anybody can do it its just a matter of organization thats all it is," Roach said.
However, some people just don't want to deal with filing taxes on their own. Kay and Bj Palmer have retirement funds, prior jobs, and investments.
"We needed somebody that could handle several things meshed together for us," Palmer said.
The Palmers said they choose to use a CPA every year.
Then there are those like Lacy Dunn who stick to a national tax service every year.
"It's just easier to let somebody else do it for you instead of you having to worry about making all the mistakes," Dunn said.
Gray said mistakes can end up costing you double.
"Honestly after two or three years of interest and penalties on taxes, it can equal about half the original tax," Gray said.
These mistakes, are where Gray said H&R Block got their, "Get Your Billion Back America Campaign".
"I thinks its hard for any firm to say people are messing up their returns to such as extent that it equals a billion dollars across the nation," Gray said.
In the end, Gray said how you file your taxes comes down to your situation.
"The larger your family size, the more investments, home ownership, and people that have real estate rental properties. So, every time you add something to your life and as we grow older things get a little more complex," Gray said.
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