There¹s no room for error when it comes to the IRS, which is probably why 59% of Americans pay someone to do their taxes for them. According to the National Society of Accountants, taxpayers with straightforward returns will pay an average of $152 this year, while those who itemize their deductions will pay $261. H&R Block, which employs tax preparers rather than certified accountants, charges an average of $198. But is that worth the cost? By contrast, online tax software is significantly cheaper, and is free for the one hundred million Americans who qualify for the IRS free file program. So which option is best for you? TheStreet's Lauren Lyons Cole has guidelines to help you decide between taking a DIY approach or paying a professional.

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