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For a regular W-2 taxpayer, I think professional help is necessary when there are changes in the tax law. For example, in 2003, there was a change in tax law that may benefit the W-2 taxpayer. So it's good for them to know for their tax strategy. Also, tax consultation may be helpful when your situation change... you might claim your parents as dependents.

If there aren't tax law changes, I think the best thing you can do is to know as much applicable tax laws as possible and document all the deduction/credits. These might sound boring but I think this is the best tax stratgy.
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