Do Your Own Income Tax Preparation or Let a Professional Handle It? Income tax preparation can be difficult. It is usually best to have a professional do the work for you. Many people prefer not to spend the extra money, but it is a better alternative for most people. Many websites are now offering federal income tax preparation free of charge. This is possible because there is one rule-set for federal taxes. They do change every year, but there is only one set of rules for professionals to abide by. Websites do charge for state income tax preparation because of the many rules and regulations each state sets forth. Typically, each state has different tax rules that must be followed. Those tax professionals who work using online sites must have the knowledge of all different types of rules. If you decide to go to a tax preparation's physical site, you will generally be charged for both your federal and state taxes. This is called a tax preparer's fee. This can become costly, even if you can use the easy forms. Easy forms are for those that do not have a lot of property, loans and itemized deductions. If you are adamant about doing your own taxes, you may still be able to benefit from using an online resource. You still enter all your information manually. You can go through each form and worksheet to make sure things are done correctly. You still have control. This is a great relief to many people. With a tax preparation professional, they handle all the information. You do not enter any information yourself. You give all your important tax documents to the professional and they do all the work. This is why they charge so much money. Again, if you insist on doing your own taxes, an online service can be of great benefit. If it is not good enough, you can always go to your local post office or library and get the forms needed. You will then fill out your paperwork by hand and mail it to the address stated on the forms. Once you are finished preparing your own taxes, you may decide you need some income tax help. Many people feel that they may have made mistakes on taxes and it can become costly. Mistakes can cause you to face an audit by the IRS and halt your credits. If you feel you may have made a mistake, you can take your completed tax forms to any local tax preparing professional. They will look over the form for free. You only have to pay if they find any mistakes that you want them to correct.