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If your tax situation is straightforward, and your financial life is relatively stable (i.e., no major life events occurred in the tax year), using tax software is probably fine. However, if you have had a big change in your life during the tax year, you should probably use a professional tax preparer. Some life events that might trigger the need for professional tax preparation include: buying or selling real estate; starting a family; getting married, separated, or divorced; having a spouse die; or inheriting money.