I Like Mowing My Lawn and Shoveling Snow; Do You Like Preparing Your Tax Return?

One stretch of sidewalk I have to shovel.
One stretch of sidewalk I have to shovel.

This is a blog post about DIY tax preparation and whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Here’s what I tell people about using a professional to prepare their tax return: if you know what you’re doing and you feel comfortable doing it yourself, then do it yourself.

I say it with no animosity. That’s really how I feel. More people are choosing to prepare their taxes themselves, and as I’ve written before, that’s not a bad thing.

One of the neighborhood kids keeps bugging me about snow removal and lawn mowing. I’ll give the kid credit: he’s a good entrepreneur. He provides these services to several people in the neighborhood.

But I always politely tell him no.

I like mowing my lawn and shoveling snow.

Certainly my life would be easier if I outsourced these tasks. I live on a large corner lot, making my lawn the biggest in the neighborhood. I also have 66 yards of sidewalks and 603 square feet of driveway and decks to clear of snow — with a shovel (my snowblower died 2 years ago and I’m too cheap to fix it).

And yes, I really did measure the exact amount of sidewalks, driveway and deck area one time.

I could pay someone else to mow the lawn and remove the snow. It would free me up to do other things.

But I enjoy the tasks. I’m good at it. And I know what I’m doing.

I see no value in hiring someone else to mow my lawn or shovel my snow.

The same principle holds true for people who choose to prepare their own taxes. If they know what they’re doing and they enjoy doing it, then I encourage people to do it themselves because they won’t see value in the work of a tax professional.