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Posted: 1/9/2005 9:48:30 PM EDT
It's tax season again! I am curious about the various methods people are using to file their income taxes this year.

If you prefer the tax software route, please indicate the software you use, and your opinions of the software.

If you use the national "Tax Preparation" chains (H&R Block, Jackson-Hewitt), please share opinions and the approx. amount that you paid to file this year or last year, as well as the chain you used.

If you utilize the services of a CPA, please share the price you paid for your tax preparation.

Thanks for all the input.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 9:50:59 PM EDT
I do my own. It really is not that hard. Of course, I don't take any serious deduction either.

SGatr15
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 9:52:10 PM EDT
I had a compliacted return one year and a simple return one yearm did both with software, and then took to the tax place. Tax place was the same as what I got do I did it myelf and saved money.

Still a few weeks before I get my forms and get pissed because I get shit back.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 9:53:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2005 9:59:25 PM EDT by 4xys2xxs]
Accountant.

ETA: I just asked my husband how much the accountant charges. It is 525.00 a quarter, and an extra 500.00 for the personal income tax return.

I had no idea.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 9:53:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sgtar15:
I do my own. It really is not that hard. Of course, I don't take any serious deduction either.

SGatr15



1040 EZ kinda guy, or Itemized 1040?
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 9:54:12 PM EDT
My Neighbor is my accountant
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 9:59:35 PM EDT
100% of our taxes should be considered armed robbery.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 10:03:07 PM EDT
I usually do it myself, and have no problems, but because of some more complicated things the last few years, had a cpa do it. Then I started doing it myself again last year and made a stupid mistake, forgetting that I had overpaid on estimated taxes, and was owed money. The IRS found the mistake in my favor and sent me a check. I think I may head back to the cpa this year for one more try, to make sure everything is resolved.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 10:06:50 PM EDT
I have a CPA to do my dirty work for my. Have some trusts and other stuff I got tired of dealing with myself. I'm much happier paying two hundred bucks to have all the headaches sorted out for me. He also has offered lots of good advice for that price as well.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 10:08:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 4xys2xxs:
Accountant.

ETA: I just asked my husband how much the accountant charges. It is 525.00 a quarter, and an extra 500.00 for the personal income tax return.

I had no idea.



WOW...Unless you have a VERY complicated personal return, that's a bit much. $525/quarter isn't too bad for a small business, but I am sure you could do better if you look around.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 10:09:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 4xys2xxs:
Accountant.

ETA: I just asked my husband how much the accountant charges. It is 525.00 a quarter, and an extra 500.00 for the personal income tax return.

I had no idea.



Holy Crap! I'm assuming your husband owns his own business?
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 10:15:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2005 10:20:01 PM EDT by 4xys2xxs]

Originally Posted By new2ars:

Originally Posted By 4xys2xxs:
Accountant.

ETA: I just asked my husband how much the accountant charges. It is 525.00 a quarter, and an extra 500.00 for the personal income tax return.

I had no idea.



WOW...Unless you have a VERY complicated personal return, that's a bit much. $525/quarter isn't too bad for a small business, but I am sure you could do better if you look around.



I would look, but that falls into the realm of my husbands business. I think it has something to do with the way his company is incorperated, and personal/business taxes somehow merge(?) All I am asked to do is sign. (and give my husband 6 deductions)
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 10:18:59 PM EDT
Some people on the board can get it filed free if you make over a certain amount it aint free www.taxfreedom.com/
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 11:09:56 PM EDT
Bump...for my first time. Oooooh, that felt good.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 11:12:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 11:18:15 PM EDT
Where is Tax-Monster tonight I wonder?
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 11:48:58 PM EDT

and an extra 500.00 for the personal income tax return

I don't charge enough! I did just over 400 returns last year, and I charged most of my customers $25. This year I'm charging $30 so I can afford to buy a new gun. It's been almost four years since I've bought one, so I'm really looking forward to it.z
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 11:58:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sherrick13:
How much do CPA's cost?

I just have a mortagage and a few donations.



<$200 for a 1040

Software might be a good option for your situatiuon also.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 12:44:55 AM EDT
If you have any kind of deductions at all, a real accountant can save you twice his fee. It cost me the first year because I was not prepared, but now I save every receipt, check, and bill.

The first time I had to file long form, I started to do it myself. After hours of pulling my hair out with some software, I went to HR Block. (The stinking program was not giving me all of my money). The very next year I went to an accountant that a friend uses. Much better.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 12:53:37 AM EDT
I use a CPA.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 1:00:16 AM EDT
Taxes....did I miss something?



No, really I do them myself. I am sure if I screw them up...they will let me know.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 1:12:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MT_Pockets:
Taxes....did I miss something?



No, really I do them myself. I am sure if I screw them up...they will let me know.



Link Posted: 1/10/2005 1:47:54 AM EDT
Have always done them myself, with no software. Even though our income has been steadily rising ($67,000 combined last year) we don't have kids, have had inexpensive houses (so little interest, and now NO interest as our mortgage is now paid off), and have never needed to itemize.

So, a 1040EZ or 1040 with one or two forms (like for education expenses) is all we have needed. I go over every line with a fine toothed comb to see what I can get and I just can't see how software or a CPA could find me anything else.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 6:02:42 AM EDT
Turbo tax
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 6:50:11 AM EDT
I file them myself.

Use the 1040A form (because I can claim my daughter everyother year - or I would use the EZ form) and standard deductions.

I'm old fashioned and snailmail it, but I may be tempted to use the phone-in form I got in the mail the other day.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 7:04:18 AM EDT
Heres a site that I use for Fed
http://www.djicomputer.com/TaxAssistant.htm
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:08:45 AM EDT
Check the IRS website. Anyone can get theirs done free for e-filing on line. Different places do it depending on your income.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:11:26 AM EDT
1040 EZ
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:22:39 AM EDT
I used to do it myself until I started working in multiple states. Now it's just a clusterfuck. I might have to check out some software.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:24:00 AM EDT
Turbo Tax has worked well for me, and I itemize quite a bit. I questioned my tax return last year because it was so large, but it turned out Turbo Tax was accurate and I was due that much back.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:24:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2005 8:25:02 AM EDT by pattymcn]
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 9:24:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2005 9:24:27 AM EDT by MT_Pockets]

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:

Originally Posted By MT_Pockets:
Taxes....did I miss something?



No, really I do them myself. I am sure if I screw them up...they will let me know.






When I call the IRS with tax questions....they laugh and say "Silly Man, you need to have some income before we can tax it."
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 9:40:20 AM EDT
I did my own for years. Got lazy one year, used my uncle's copy of Turbo Tax. Been buying it every year since.

I like the neatness of the printed forms rather than seeing my nasty scrawl on a self-prepared 1040.

But this prob. won't matter to me for another 2-3 weeks, as it will take that long for the slacker bookkeeper at work to get the W2's out.

Last two years we've gotten them on 1/31. And then last year we had to return them because they were wrong.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 10:19:49 AM EDT
I use to use the phone file forms that came in the mail but the last three
years I've had to do the long forms because of capital gains and losses.
Last year I used Turbo Tax and it made me wish I had used it sooner.
Too simple and quick and cheaper than a CPA. Though, I'll use a CPA
if/when my taxes get more complex.

But this prob. won't matter to me for another 2-3 weeks, as it will take that long for the slacker bookkeeper at work to get the W2's out.


I hear ya there Burley, it's been last week of Jan. first or second week of Feb.
for me the last couple of years thanks to my employer. Dont they understand
I have guns and ammo to buy when my taxes come back? I WANT IT NOW!

J
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 11:56:48 AM EDT
I used TurboTax for years. I got progressively more and more p'ed off with their non-standard way of printing which usually resulted in me having lots of problems getting the forms to print.

The in-your-face advertising got worse and worse until it made its way from just dropping crap on my desktop/filesystem to actually inserting itself into the interview process:

"Would you like us to enroll you in our empty your bank account program?"

No.

"Really? Its good for you, want to reconsider?"

The they added the DRM scheme to ensure that, criminal that they presume me to be, I didn't use the software I had paid for in ways which they thought inappropriate - this installed (silently) new software to keep track of what I was doing. That was the final straw.

Although Intuit saw the error of their ways (after being severely beaten around the head a few times) and removed the DRM features, I decided to pass on TurboTax and try out TaxCut.

It works well enough, although it too drops univited crap on my computer and includes advertizing, but not QUITE as obtrusively as TurboTax, so this year, I bought TaxCut again and will probably will continue to do so until they start being too unpleasant to deal with.


Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:22:48 PM EDT
I went to Jackson Hewitt last year. What a fucking ripoff. I'm single, no kids. With the exception of some CDs, a few bank accounts, and my mortgage, I was a pretty easy tax guy.

200 fucking bucks for that. Not this year.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 11:04:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PhilipPeake:
I used TurboTax for years. I got progressively more and more p'ed off with their non-standard way of printing which usually resulted in me having lots of problems getting the forms to print.

The in-your-face advertising got worse and worse until it made its way from just dropping crap on my desktop/filesystem to actually inserting itself into the interview process:

"Would you like us to enroll you in our empty your bank account program?"

No.

"Really? Its good for you, want to reconsider?"

The they added the DRM scheme to ensure that, criminal that they presume me to be, I didn't use the software I had paid for in ways which they thought inappropriate - this installed (silently) new software to keep track of what I was doing. That was the final straw.

Although Intuit saw the error of their ways (after being severely beaten around the head a few times) and removed the DRM features, I decided to pass on TurboTax and try out TaxCut.

It works well enough, although it too drops univited crap on my computer and includes advertizing, but not QUITE as obtrusively as TurboTax, so this year, I bought TaxCut again and will probably will continue to do so until they start being too unpleasant to deal with.





I totally agree w/ the TurboTax issues. For those who don't know, TaxCut is VERY similar to the software used by the paid preparers at the H&R block stores. I have done some fairly complex returns with TaxCut, and it beats the heck out of TurboTax IMHO.

Most people I know use a CPA for the "peace of mind" that a CPA stamp brings. But, this is a false sense of security, as any screw-ups come right back to the taxpayer. I was talking to a friend of mine, who is an agent with the IRS, and he indicated that you have a slightly lower chance of being audited if you use software; the IRS is seeing that software generated returns are statistically more error free than CPA prepared returns.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 11:41:55 AM EDT
As far as W2 preparation goes, aren't employers required to have them to the employees by 1/31? Our bookkeeper was in a quite a rush last year because she sent the bad W2's out on 1/29, ended up having to pull an all-nighter to get them to us by close of business on 1/31.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 12:17:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 12:36:39 PM EDT
I do my own, I figure if I screw up the IRS will find out and tell me about it. Hasn't happened so far.
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