My colleagues laughed at me today when I mentioned I was doing my taxes. They argued that, given the price of my time — my wage rate — I should hire a professional. They ignore the fact that comparative advantage works in production, but it must be modified in consumption activities, as those can alter utility beyond any monetary gains (or losses).
In an occupation with few opportunities to exhibit one’s macho characteristics, doing my own tax returns is my chance to go mano a mano with the federal government. I get a real kick from finding a legitimate deduction that had not previously occurred to me. That I also learn more about the tax structure, its incentives and burdens, and can use this information in my principles lectures, is an additional, although lesser reason, not to hire a pro.