Come April 15, we all have to deal with taxes. Whether you file them yourself or hire a professional to do them depends on several factors, starting with how willing you are to spend the required time working on them. A professional will charge you $100 US Dollars or more, but it may be worth it if you dread the process.
If this is your first time filing taxes, and you think they may be relatively simple, try doing them yourself first. If you don't itemize and have few deductions, filing should be relatively easy. Try using a software program or book, or file online at sites such as TurboTax or TaxCut.
On the other hand, if your finances are complicated, have bought or sold investments during the past year, or if you are filing business taxes rather than personal, you may be better off paying a professional, at least for the first year or two. During the process, ask a lot of questions and make sure you understand what is going on. If next year you decide to file by yourself, the process won't seem so intimidating.
Being afraid of auditing is not necessarily a good reason to hire a professional to do your taxes. Less than one percent of tax payers get audited, and this is directly related to their level of income rather than the way the documents are filed. If you are audited, you can always hire somebody to represent you later.
If you have been filing taxes on your own for a long time with no problems, you should continue doing so. However, if you have had problems in the past, such as overpaying, filing mistakes, or delays, hiring a professional can help you get on track. While all preparers should be able to get you a similar refund, it is possible that you are missing something that a more experienced eye can catch. If you are in no rush and want to take the time to learn about current tax laws, filing for yourself should be no problem.