Here's When to Ask a Tax Pro for Help

Whether you've already finished your taxes or you're kicking that can down the road, the question has probably hovered at the back of your mind: Should I use that software I keep getting emails about? Or should I get an actual human to help me this year?

On the one hand, software like TurboTax does seem easier and less messy. But maybe you're not sure if it's getting you all the rebates you could have. As it happens, both are good options, but depending on your circumstances, one may fit your needs better than the other — even if you're scared of filing and think you're bad at money.

Marketwatch's Tina Orem spoke with financial planners to get their perspective on the matter. The short version is that if your finances are really simple (e.g., you get one W-2 from one employer), tax-filing software is probably a really good bet for you. It's quick, it's streamlined, and it's available in the comfort of your own home. However, if you're one of the 47 percent of millennials who consider themselves freelancers, talking to a tax professional might help you navigate your innumerable receipts and forms most advantageously.

If you're wondering why taxes are so complicated in the first place, On the Media put together a great podcast explainer on the tax prep industry. And if all of it feels like too much trouble and cost, remember that you can file both state and federal taxes for free through the Internal Revenue Service's website. If you make under $54,000 a year, you're also eligible for free tax prep by volunteers. Taxes are nobody's favorite part of citizenship — but you've got plenty of options for getting them done and moving on to your next big thing.