Consider the Average IQ When Doing Taxes
I'm filing my own taxes this year for my business, something that my accountant had done for me in the previous year. In the initial inspection of the different forms and paperwork, I was overwhelmed. My business is an S Corp so I have to file a 1120S and K1 Addendum for the IRS, a similar but different state S Corp tax form, as well as a myriad of other documents all coupled in together. I looked through all of the different forms and my gut reaction was just to cave and call the accountant the next day. But that would be taking the easy (and expensive) way out. My business didn't make a lot of money in 2016, and paying an accountant to fill out some simple forms would take additional profit out of an already slim margin for 2017. I've decided to just do them myself.
When I made the decision, I stopped to consider the average IQ. By definition, it is 100 points. 50% of the population is lower than that, 50% is above. College graduates are generally in excess of 110 no matter the field. In STEM fields, that average can be up near 120. For particularly bright ones that go on to graduate school, obtain PhD's and postdoc fellowships, that is up at around 130 or more.
Consider the daunting task that the IRS had to undertake when producing the documents that they collect every year for taxes. Now, Turbo Tax made 1040s even easier by simply asking a string of questions, obtaining and tabulating your deductions and credits based off of your responses, then automatically populating your IRS 1040 and e-filing without you ever having to punch in the IRS URL in your browser. They also get paid handsomely for it.
If you look at form 1040, it isn't complicated to fill out. In fact, its so simple that the government had to allow the form to be understood by the dumber sect of society, those with IQs of 80 and below. Just follow the instructions carefully and it's actually pretty hard to screw up, you just have to take your time.
I applied the same logic to the forms required to file taxes for my business. I consider myself smarter than the average bear, and I write for a finance site of all things, I literally have no excuse to not do my own taxes. When I complete the forms I would like to produce a follow up post that included some of the subtleties of completing the form, and things that I learned, if I intend to do it again next year, so on and so fourth.
Wish me luck!