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If your situation is pretty simple—you don’t have multiple sources of income, significant capital gains from investments, a business you own, or a lot of deductible expenses–you can probably do your taxes on your own or with the help of tax-preparation software.

Once your situation becomes more complex, however, it may pay to hire an accountant who can help you navigate the maze of exemptions and deductions and–most importantly–assist you with big-picture tax planning that will help you save in the future. You may also benefit from some personalized advice if you have recently experienced a major life change with consequences on your tax situation, such as getting married, having a baby or buying a house. In either case, what you spend on accounting fees—which, by the way, are deductible—you may save in spades on taxes.

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