Customization is becoming a word that automatically equates to dollar signs. This isn’t always the case because it may often times be cheaper to get things customized for yourself, than to by standardized assembly products off the shelf.
A few examples of this concept is clothes and taxes.
I recently purchased three (3) tailored suits with an additional pair of pants for each suit (FYI, always get an extra pair of pants because they always wear out before your blazer) and 11 tailored dress shirts. These items were manufactured by hand and produced in 3 days and 2 nights, where I was provided 3 fittings (Industry standard is generally 2 fittings).
The standard cost of a Men’s Warehouse suit off the rack that will make your ass look like the titanic will cost you about $300 dollars minimum. I paid $2,000 dollars approximately for everything listed above. A single Armani suit purchased at an outlet would cost more than $2,000 dollars.
I had all of this done by a professional in Hong Kong and he is now able to ship me any article of clothing custom tailored to my measurements anywhere in the world. If you’re questioning the cost because of the airfare, then allow an accountant to properly break out the cost for you.
A “bespoke” or custom suit in New York City would cost you about $10,000 dollars starting. An average tailor in Chinatown or of similar quality would still run you about $1,200 dollars a suit minimum. Thus, the closest comparative cost is about $4,000 dollars. That’s enough for my suits, my airfare and etc.
TurboTax is your run of the mill over-the-shelf product that will help you “self-file.” Taxation in itself is an incredibly simple process because as long as you’re willing to pay more and do less, then filing taxes is easy. But, if you’re looking to save or pay less taxes, then it becomes a beast.
Paying an accountant that can provide his professional experience to provide you a greater refund or greater amount of safety from the IRS is always worth more than an off-the-shelf alternative.
I will qualify this with the statement that this is meant for individuals with their own personal businesses, startups or other similar pursuits. If you’re an employee and no other source of income, then TurboTax will probably be sufficient.