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Taxes

Just curious, how do you do your taxes? Do you use a professional preparer? A software package? By hand on paper?

I'll start... I'm using a software package this weekend.


Sat. Mar 31, 6:46pm

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Online. Done in January. No need to worry about them =)

Saturday, March 31, 2007, 7:18 PM

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My CPA is the best $200 I spend all year (I'm self-employed) -- he'd be a bargain at twice that price.

Saturday, March 31, 2007, 8:42 PM

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Tax software

I use http://www.esmarttax.com. My brother is a financial analyst and he recommended it to me. The best thing is you get a discount the second year you use it if you write down your login and password. I spent 13.95 on doing my own taxes, not hard once you get the hang of it.

Sunday, April 01, 2007, 4:49 PM

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Online & the programs you buy to do it yourself are only as good as the person DOING the tax return(s). They're okay for very basic, simple returns, but as soon as you get into *any* amount of complexity, you open yourself to errors, and not claiming deductions you could be entitled to.

If you use them, read EVERY line on the main part of the tax return. Who knows what you could be missing out on.

(There is a reason we professional tax preparers are in business -- not just to take your money (but that is good too, lol), but because the tax laws are complex, and changing every year.)

But watch out for the fly-by-night operations that disappear the day after the tax season ends. The big chains hire untrained button pushers, and the little guys are often those who can do their own returns, and think they can make a few fast bucks but doing others' too. Usually they don't know the more complex tax laws either, and they are GONE when it comes time later for audit support.

Sunday, April 01, 2007, 6:44 PM

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When my parents' tax circumstances changed (bankruptcy, self-employment, stockmarket losses, etc), they paid a pro to do them for one season. My mom then "forensically" figured out based on that one set of returns how to prepare her own for several years after that. Another one of her favorite tricks is to use the accountancy students who prepare taxes for free at the county library to doublecheck her work.

Sunday, April 01, 2007, 7:54 PM

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Tax product

I use Quick Tax. It is easy and it checks for errors before you complete your return and checks for more deductions. You can also acess previous years when you use this product. You can use this product to efile your return as well as investments and retirement.

Link

Sunday, April 01, 2007, 8:28 PM

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I use Turbotax (PC software, not online), somewhat grumpily. I would feel confident doing the whole return with pencil and paper, and did that for many years before PC tax software came along. But the software is a big time saver in dealing with AMT, carryforwards, long Schedule D's, etc.
This is my 32nd self-prepared return. My parents always did their own, and I was expected to help beginning when I was 11. By about 14 or 15, I did their returns and they just checked them before they signed. At the time, I thought this was normal. It wasn't until college that I learned that about half the population has no clear idea what's going on with their money.
I guess I have to reluctantly go along with the tax pro's comment above, though. I know the rules for my situations because I follow them from year to year, and rarely have more than one totally new area to pick up in a year. Tracking the changes isn't that hard when you know what you're going to be concerned about. If you have to cover the waterfront, so to speak, doing returns for random people, you'd have to put more time into it and sign up for the kinds of publications and seminars that help you track everything at once.
Aptitude matters too, and probably some of that is genetic. My parents both seemed to have the math and the comprehension of rules, and I got it too, without a conscious effort.

Sunday, April 01, 2007, 9:59 PM

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Child tax labor - 9:59, your parents are BRILLIANT!!

Sunday, April 01, 2007, 10:15 PM

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trubo tax - online

mine were done in january, too! and the tax return's already been spent! : )

Tuesday, April 03, 2007, 2:49 PM

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