With just three weeks to go until Tax Day, I thought it would be interesting to find out how y’all go about preparing your taxes… Thus, the poll question of the week is “How do you do your taxes?” As usual, I’ll go first. We’ve always done our own taxes, and over the past five or so years we’ve used TurboTax (although the Mac version used to be called MacInTax). While I consider myself to be a fairly tech-savvy guy, I still haven’t taken the plunge with regard to online tax prep… Maybe next year (but probably not). So, how do you guys do it?
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14 Responses to “Money Poll #6: Tax Preparation”
Well nobody has commented here in a while, but I feel like throwing my two cents in anyway:
I work for H&R Block, and I know how SkyeBlue feels about Block and their scams. That’s why I’m keeping my ears open for a part-time seasonal tax prep job, and in the meantime I try to avoid being in the office while they’re pushing their Emerald Advance (essentially a refund anticipation loan, but more like a W-2 anticipation loan. Ugh!), among their other scams… Although if I ever left Block, I would have to admit that I would miss the cheap (nearly free) continuing education every year…
And as for how I do my taxes… pencil and paper. It’s easier when you only have 1-2 W-2’s than to deal with the software at Block that is designed for first-year tax preparers who don’t know much about taxes or computers. Not to mention all the other info Block wants to pry out of you just to get your taxes done…
I do taxes twice (I’m a glutten for punishment) – once by hand and once with the software. I’ve found more than once that the software misses some deductions as does my pencil method. By doing it twice, I can then merge the data to minimize the tax burden.
Turbo Tax it is for us. Tried an accountant last year and owed $6000…pretty sure that we could have figured that out on our own.
I did mine with pen and paper until it became possible to e-file. Now I use H&R Block Online. (Never been inside their office, nor wanted to.)
If it were possible for individuals to e-file their own taxes, I’d go back to doing it myself…I could actually finish the job quicker by using the forms than by going through those stupid “wizard” tools they’ve got to help ignorant people. But the IRS doesn’t yet allow individuals to e-file directly, so I have to use somebody else’s software.
OT: but hey, i’d be interested in a dry cleaning poll.. my coworker was just telling me how he went to drop off some shirts and the lady went to charge him some 220 large. confused, he’s like whatdaya mean? she comes back with a fistful of clothes he forgot to ever pick up for an entire month. oops! little did he know i was laughing AT him. doofus
I think I’m quite smart and have always done my taxes the hard way, using a pen and calculator. About 5 years ago I used Turbo Tax, I actually got more money doing it manually! A friend recommended an accountant 3 years back. Since the guy came with stellar recommendations, I decided to use him. It was the best thing I’ve ever done. He found deductions I didn’t even know of and I’ve gotten more money than I ever have. I’m self employed with a home office and hiring an accountant is the best thing I’ve done. His services definitely pay for itself.
I love TurboTax. I tried doing my State taxes manually after using Turbo for Federal. Man, was that a lot of work! I buy the disk at the store and off I go.
We have been using H & R Block to prepare our taxes for the past few years, and have been quite pleased with their service. But after hearing recently about the little scam they were pulling on low income people, getting them to sign up for some kind of retirement account or something similar, where the undisclosed fees were so high that the participants would lose money, I don’t feel we should do business with a company like that anymore.
We use to do it on our own with TurboTax. But, with my business, a business loss from 2 years ago, and many more deductions than before, we have an accountant that handles them. It’s easier for everybody.
I use TaxActOnline.com, which is one of the sites that the IRS provides to offer free online tax preparation. I worked for H&R Block, so I feel comfortable with doing my own taxes. I used this software a few years ago and it had a few glitches, but I am pleased to report that I found it quite user-friendly and comprehensive this year. I didn’t find any glitches. And best of all–it’s free! And for those who think they may have tax questions, did you know that you can call any H&R Block office and ask any tax professional your tax questions, and they will answer you whether you are a Block client or not. So–free software–free tax advice. What more could you want?
For the past 8 years or so I’ve used turbotax. Last 2 years used online prep when doing my kids and turbotax for me. But before submitting the kids online returns I ran their info thru my turbotax program as a double check.
This year I didn’t bother buying turbotax but have done all of ours online. Was comfortable with the online last year and figured why spend $40 fo turbotax.
Ironically enough I volunteer for the IRS doing taxes for the elderly and low income every week from Feb 1 – April 15 yet I use a CPA to do my own. With a home based office and multiple schedules I feel better knowing that everything is being reviewed by a second pair of eyes.
I use tax prep software. It makes things so much easier if for nothing else it tells you what forms you need and prints them for you.
And for the detail that might surprise you, I am a CPA! Gives you an idea of how confusing our tax system is when a certified professional prefers to use tax prep software. =)
First I use an online service (usually completed by Feb. 1). Then on Feb. 2 I go to a discount tax prep service to see if they can get me a bigger return. If they can, I go with them. If they can’t, I go home and complete the filing on my own. The whole thing is usually done by Feb. 3.