In the last-minute scramble to file your taxes, don't be fooled into thinking you need to pay through the nose for help.
Before you begin, keep this in mind: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changes won't apply until you prepare your 2018 taxes. That means that the 2017 tax year is the last time you'll be filing under the old code as well as the last call for certain tax breaks.
The averge cost for a professional to prepare an itemized Form 1040 (the standard federal income tax form) with Schedule A and a state tax return is about $273, according to the National Society of Accountants. The price quickly escalates for more complicated returns with additional forms.
Yet there are still plenty of ways to do it at little or no cost.
Ambitious filers can always tackle tax prep on their own by filling out the e-file forms the IRS — and in some cases, state tax departments — make available online. But an increasing number of tax-preparation software companies also offer help — for free.