When I was younger, my parents’ accountant did my taxes.
I gathered my hodge podge of forms once a year, handed them off to Mike the Tax Man, signed whatever my mom and dad brought back to me and a few months later had some extra cash burning a hole in my pocket.
The first year I filed on my own, I had no less than six jobs (not all at once, I promise) and I had lived in three different places, so I gathered my manilla folder of forms and went to one of those big chain places.
I forked over my $100 bucks and answered the preparer’s million questions as I sat in a strip mall between a nail salon and a Subway.
For the next three years, I only worked at one job and I kept the moving to a minimum — or at least within the realm of Cumberland County’s Cap Tax district.
I filed everything myself — usually in one expletive-filled afternoon.
That was until 2011.
Last year I took on a freelancing gig. I switched jobs. I moved into another county. I paid down some student loan debt. I went to grad school part time. I transferred my 401(k).
And even though I’m perfectly aware that other 20-somethings are buying houses and doing other complicated things with money, all of the resulting forms make my head hurt.
Up to this point, I’ve managed my finances, kept a budget and made sure every bill is paid on time. I take advantage of new money-managing apps that make life easier for digitally minded millennials.
The boyfriend and I PayPal each other funds for groceries and rent instead of dealing with trips to the bank; I use auto-deposit for my check at work; and I’ve successfully managed my retirement account without ever speaking to a live human being.
But as the tax deadline inched closer and my pile of paperwork wasn’t going anywhere, I decided to give in and just hire someone to deal with the headache I created in 2011.
So last week I went on the search for an accountant like Mike the Tax Man. I asked around to see who friends were using. I looked for an accountant with available weekend appointments this close to April 15.
And finally I found someone. Fingers crossed he keeps me from getting audited and get me a refund large enough to cover my vacation plans later this year.
Fellow 20-somethings, do you do your taxes yourself? Do you hire someone? Do you also miss when mom and dad just took care of it all? What other adult responsibilities do you turn over to the professionals? Leave a note in the comments section.
Related articles: Read a recap of our recent live chat with CPAs at Flickinger & Company.