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I was talking with someone about finances, and he said his Accountant is the greatest. He asked how mine was working out, and I said I didn't have one. He was shocked. He mentioned that I am missing out on a lot of money because of this.

I think his comment would need much more information to back it up before I would worry about it. Do you know for a fact that your friend pays significantly less taxes than you or are you taking on face value that the accountant is performing magic?
In both of your cases your tax preparation should be fairly straight forward, with the possible exception of the home based business which has been discussed.
Some are more adept at dealing with the IRS forms than others. If one is not particularly adept, then using a paid tax preparer is probably a good idea. The preparer will probably find some deductions that may not have been considered. On the other hand if you are familar with the tax preparation instructions and/or use tax preparation software you will most likely get them all.
The questions to consider are whether you are comfortable in doing your own taxes? Secondly, would a paid preparer make enough legitimate difference to pay for his fees?
Personally, I am the type of person that would not be satisfied with the services of a paid preparer unless I fully understood what was being done. This would mean that I would still have to pull together all of the pertinent financial records and understand where they all fit into the tax return. I have always thought that once I do that the filling out of the forms is relatively easy especially since I use software to prepare the forms.

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