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Posted: 2/3/2006 5:40:57 AM EDT
I lost my accountant. She can't be trusted anymore and I was wondering if this Turbotax software is worth the money. I have a very small farm and the deductions help me get most of my money back. Does this tax program allow for my farm deductions?
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 5:42:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Pangea:
I lost my accountant. She can't be trusted anymore and I was wondering if this Turbotax software is worth the money. I have a very small farm and the deductions help me get most of my money back. Does this tax program allow for my farm deductions?



I do several taxes a year with Turbo Tax. I tried H&R blocks program last year and it sucked big time so I junked it and bought Turbo Tax.

Patty
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 5:42:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/3/2006 5:43:09 AM EDT by SWS]
I can't speak about farms, but I have a home office that TurboTax seems to help me find all deductions.

It's worth the $40.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 5:43:40 AM EDT
My wife used it and it took her about an hour and we got about $3k back .
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 5:43:59 AM EDT
Yes, we've used Turbo Tax for the last 2 years, i'm very satisfied with it. It's very fast, & easy to use.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 5:46:24 AM EDT
I didn't read the tid bit about the farm. I file a schedule D with my farm so yes, it does cover farms.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:01:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/3/2006 6:02:30 AM EDT by Zaphod]
I've used it every year, save one (last year), since 1993. I love it.

Only reason I didn't do it last year was because of time, deductions, consulting, moving, etc.

ETA: Yes, it covers farms quite specifically, IIRC.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:03:15 AM EDT
Yep 2 years now. Works great.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:08:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/3/2006 6:08:54 AM EDT by Pangea]
How about state income tax? Is that on the same program as the federal tax?


eta I looked at their website and couldn't find a list of state tax software.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:09:11 AM EDT
It's a "free" download when you buy the Deluxe edition.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:14:57 AM EDT
Turbo tax is good, but depending on your income you may be able to use one of the free services.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:24:34 AM EDT
Turbo Tax is great.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:34:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SWS:
It's a "free" download when you buy the Deluxe edition.



I have to buy two state editions (wife works in another state and has to pay tax there). Do they give you two free states?
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:36:44 AM EDT
My dad has used TT for the last few years and yes we have a blueberry farm in Medford, NJ. He loves it.

I just started using TT last year because up until then I didn't have a home or anything complex. Big thumbs up from me.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:39:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
I have to buy two state editions (wife works in another state and has to pay tax there). Do they give you two free states?



I don't know the answer to that, but I doubt it.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:40:39 AM EDT
I've used Turbo Tax since '97. Part of that time I had a small side business. I highly recommend it.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:41:27 AM EDT
I've been using it for quite a few years now. It is well worth the money with regards to finding deductions and the time savings.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:42:45 AM EDT
....and if we scrapped the tax code and went with the "Fair Tax", we wouldn't need this software and April 15th would just be another day.


That said, TurboTax kicks butt!

roy d....too bad politicians don't have the nuts to support it (except for John Linder and his buds)
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:46:51 AM EDT
It's a good package. I use it every year.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:55:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pattymcn:

Originally Posted By Pangea:
I lost my accountant. She can't be trusted anymore and I was wondering if this Turbotax software is worth the money. I have a very small farm and the deductions help me get most of my money back. Does this tax program allow for my farm deductions?



I do several taxes a year with Turbo Tax. I tried H&R blocks program last year and it sucked big time so I junked it and bought Turbo Tax.

Patty



That's weird, I used TurboTax last year and TaxCut this year and I found TaxCut to be a better deal. Less money and it does the same thing, in my opinion it is easier to navigate.

Anyhow they're both good, I wouldn't waste money on an accountant unless you have something really complicated.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 8:10:03 AM EDT
I used the freeware version from irs.gov last year; worked great!
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 8:13:50 AM EDT
Turbo Tax is good
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 8:15:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:
It's a good package. I use it every year.



Same here.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 8:16:08 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 8:26:55 AM EDT
I have used turbotax for the past few years (for free) and have helped about 4 Soldiers do their taxes for free in the past two weeks.
Check it out, see if you qualify to file Federal for free www.taxfreedom.com/
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 8:28:27 AM EDT
turbo tax is free for .mil members.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 8:36:59 AM EDT
For all you military types (Active / Guard / Reserve):

TurboTax has a one-hundred percent off sale! That's right, Free-Ninety-Nine! Thanks to Uncle Sam.

Log onto Military One Source and follow the links. Of course my wife and I found out about this by accident after we filed.

For more / better details, contact your base's / ship's / post's Family Readiness / Ombudsman's / Fleet & Family Services Center Office.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 8:49:33 AM EDT
I had a client come in who used Turbo Tax to prepare his own return and wanted me to review it. He was pretty happy that he only owed $1000. When he came back I told him he got pretty close, but I was able to get him a $2500 refund instead of owing money.

He never bought tax software again and just had me do the return.

Lesson here: Tax software is great to help you organize your tax info and it prints out a nice looking return, but it can't replace experienced tax pros. If you have a basic return (1 job, 2 kids, and a house), then you're probably good to go. If you run a business (or farm) or deal with investments, you might be better off finding a new tax preparer than relying on software.

Tips on tax preparers - there are three types:

1. CPA (Certified Public Accountant) Not all CPAs do taxes. CPAs are licensed by the state they work in after getting a minimum of a Bachelor's degree, and often a Master's in Accounting, passing a difficult 2 day test and having direct experience under another CPA. CPAs will generally charge you more than anyone else, unless you have money to burn and have a tax attorney do your work.

2. EA (Enrolled Agent). All EA's do taxes. EA's are licensed by the IRS to represent taxpayers at any level of the IRS except for Tax Court (same as CPAs). To become an EA you must pass a very difficult 2 day exam (usually 75% or so of the people who take it don't pass all the parts) and do continuing education each year to maintain the status, same as a CPA. EA's will generally cost you less than a CPA.

3. Unenrolled return preparers (this is an IRS term). This is everyone else - HR Block, Jackson Hewitt, the guy down the street. Except for a very few states (such as Oregon), there is no licensing or qualification requirement to prepare taxes for a living. Some of these people are very good and some are not. These usually charge the least of the three.

Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 9:02:22 AM EDT
I've used TurboTax for five years
The last three I've done on-line so I don't have to install the software.
Works very well..
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 9:08:15 AM EDT
I have used it every year. Yes, sometimes the investment/stocks/options parts can be quite cryptic. If you do a lot of trading, go with a professional. I worked my way through a couple difficult returns and had to just stop, walk away, and go at it another day when my mind cleared.

Lately, my returns are very simple, so I have the wife type the numbers in Turbo Tax while I sit beside drinking beer.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 9:17:16 AM EDT
I used them last year for the first time. I didn't trust their work so I went to H&R Block to check their work. Turbo Tax was wrong, by $1.21. Cost me $129.00 to find that out.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 9:26:53 AM EDT
What tax_monster said. Turbo-Tax is great if you have a fairly simple return and a good understanding of the regulations.

tax_monster do you answer tax related questions?
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 10:36:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Pangea:
I lost my accountant. She can't be trusted anymore and I was wondering if this Turbotax software is worth the money. I have a very small farm and the deductions help me get most of my money back. Does this tax program allow for my farm deductions?



I use it with very good results.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 10:57:46 AM EDT
I still use ATurbo TAx but did find a little gotcha a few years ago.
When deciding on the depreciation basis for property TT used the real estate tax assessment instead of the market value on date of conversion to rental use. Depending on how assessments are performed this could be anything from a major mistake to only a few $$. Most assessors stay away from being to high since there would be hundreds of challenges. It is better for them to assess low and avoid defending the assessments.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 3:16:55 PM EDT
I used it last year; wasn't particularly impressed. Going to a real accountant this year.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 3:22:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 5:36:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rkbar15:
What tax_monster said. Turbo-Tax is great if you have a fairly simple return and a good understanding of the regulations.

tax_monster do you answer tax related questions?



I don't mind at all. Ask away.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 5:48:43 PM EDT
use the online one. You dont pay for it if you dont file it.

I use 4 different ones and see waht gets me the most. So far they are all pretty even. Actually one www.taxact.com came up with the same as Turbo tax and I dont have to pay for it. Just the e-fil charge. Think I will save the $30 and do that.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 6:29:09 PM EDT
I used Turbo Tax yesterday and it took me about three hours. Totally my fault though because I couldn't find all of my documentation beforehand. My wife found the documents for me; my dumbass had them in my hand at least two times and never knew it, and it was over with pretty quick.

My ex accountant more than likley could have found me more deductions but I trust a plastic disc much more than her.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 6:30:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By tax_monster:

Originally Posted By rkbar15:
What tax_monster said. Turbo-Tax is great if you have a fairly simple return and a good understanding of the regulations.

tax_monster do you answer tax related questions?



I don't mind at all. Ask away.



I received a 1099-G for a state tax refund for TY 2005. I did receive the refund in 2005 but I already included that refund amount on a prior year tax return. Where do I stick the adjustment in TurboTax so it offsets the 1099 and I don't pay the tax on the refund again. TIA
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:44:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rkbar15:
I received a 1099-G for a state tax refund for TY 2005. I did receive the refund in 2005 but I already included that refund amount on a prior year tax return. Where do I stick the adjustment in TurboTax so it offsets the 1099 and I don't pay the tax on the refund again. TIA




I'm guessing that you mean the refund was for tax year 2004, received in 2005, since you couldn't have filed 2005 until just last month.

I'm a little confused about the comment saying you've already included it in a prior year return, since you normally don't declare state tax refunds until the time you actually get them, and then only if you itemized and wrote off your state income tax as a deduction.

If you are certain that you don't owe tax on this amount, probably the best thing to do in Turbo Tax is simply not tell the program you got the form. I don't use TT, so I couldn't tell you exactly how to offset it, but in my software I can put in a tax refund and have an override that shows how much of it is taxable.

If you got a tax refund from the state and didn't itemize for that year, it's not taxable at all, since you didn't deduct it in the first place.

If this doesn't make sense, send me an IM so I can get some more detail from you.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 8:20:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tax_monster:

Originally Posted By rkbar15:
What tax_monster said. Turbo-Tax is great if you have a fairly simple return and a good understanding of the regulations.

tax_monster do you answer tax related questions?



I don't mind at all. Ask away.



I have a few questions for you for you. This past year my wife moved to another state for a temporary (12-month) job. How do we deal with paying state taxes in two states and are there any Fed deductions for moving expenses or the additional costs for maintaining a second domicile in another state?

Thanks,
GunLvr
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 8:31:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Pangea:
I lost my accountant. She can't be trusted anymore and I was wondering if this Turbotax software is worth the money. I have a very small farm and the deductions help me get most of my money back. Does this tax program allow for my farm deductions?



DONT USE TURBOTAX


I did, and by the time I had found out my filings weren't submitted and called their customer service number, I got Punjab in India on the other end of the line:

"I em Beddy Soddy Meester Camble, baht jou are a-past jour 60 day in wheech jou can a-request a refahnd fromm ahs."

"So you are telling me that you took my money, but failed to deliver the service I paid for and now are telling me that I'm out $90?"

"Jes, dat iz correct"

"Is there a manager there I can talk to about this?"

"No Sir, I em beddy soddy baht der is only myself and one ahdder person in dees office"

"Unbelievable! You'll be hearing from me again."

"Tenkyou for chooseen Turbotax end hab a nize dey."


Link Posted: 2/9/2006 8:38:22 AM EDT
I use Taxact.com it is easy and does my Fed and state taxes.

I'm getting close to 4k back but it is spent already.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 10:47:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
I have a few questions for you for you. This past year my wife moved to another state for a temporary (12-month) job. How do we deal with paying state taxes in two states and are there any Fed deductions for moving expenses or the additional costs for maintaining a second domicile in another state?



The basis for my answers is found on IRS Form 39093 (Moving Expenses). Download a copy here

1. Paying taxes to two states: Since you state it was temporary and if you had no intention of abandoning your current domicle, then you would file a non-resident tax return for the state she worked in last year. Your home state will give you a credit for the tax paid to the other state. Some states give you a dollar for dollar credit, others have a different formula. You would pay tax to the other state only on the income earned there.

2. Deductions for moving - I don't think you'd qualify to deduct moving expenses. The first part of the instructions state "If you move to a new home because of a new principal workplace (emphasis added), you may be able to deduct your moving expenses ..." There are other tests that need to be met, but since this was an admitted temporary job, I really don't think it qualifies as a new principal workplace.

3. There are no deductions for maintaining a separate home, except for the standard property taxes/mortgage interest on Schedule A, which would be allowable regardless of the reason for the second home.

Hope this helps. If you think your situation might be different than what I described, I would strongly suggest talking to a competent tax pro in your area who can look at the exact facts in your situation and let you know where you stand.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 10:52:38 AM EDT
Has TurboTax gotten rid of their excessive spyware laden product activation stuff?

I used TurboTax for 3 years until they pulled that nonsense. Now I use Taxcut from H&R Block.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:03:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By WyattEarp:
Yes, we've used Turbo Tax for the last 2 years, i'm very satisfied with it. It's very fast, & easy to use.



+1
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:12:38 AM EDT
I still use an expensive accountant

I need to get with the times.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:50:02 AM EDT
I used it this year and it worked real good.

It's real easy too.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 12:53:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MrClean4Hire:
I still use an expensive accountant



Good for you!
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 1:03:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/9/2006 1:05:10 PM EDT by dolanp]
I've got a question for you. My TaxCut software had a little segment on 'bunching' to help you go over the standard deduction in a particular year if you have certain deductions on a regular basis (like property taxes). Basically you take your deductions every other year. I paid my property taxes in the beginning of '06, so if I pay my next property tax bill at the end of '06, can I deduct BOTH of them on my '06 return? This is what it sounded like they were saying but I wasn't sure.
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