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Senior Contributor
Posts: 4,694
Registered: ‎02-23-2011

Re: taxes -- pay or do it myself?

[ Edited ]

With the advent of modern tax programs, 99% of the people are much better off doing it themselves.

 

Just read the rules, apply for all the deductions you qualify for, and keep all receipts and paperwork for three years.  CPAs must prepare taxes on the assumption each return will be "audited" fully; while prudent and conservative, this will never yield the best results.  In my estimation, the only reason to use a CPA is if you have a very complex tax return with various enterprises (LLCs, C Corps, K2s, and limited partnerships), trusts, and charitable filings, etc...

 

Short of that, do it yourself.  99% of the people (especially on W2s) will never be audited, if only because there's nothing for you to really legally deduct.  The tax code was prepared with the business owner in mind (which is ripe for abuse given all the deductions a business owner is legally allowed), which is also why it's the business owners who will be audited, and not W2s.

 

90% of people's returns can be done on Turbo Tax within 45 minutes.

Established Contributor
Posts: 747
Registered: ‎10-15-2012

Re: taxes -- pay or do it myself?

I know last year H&R Block did simple Federal returns for free for a limited time. Not sure if they had that promo again this year, but you should look into it.


Starting Score: 515
Current Score: EQ04 675 EX04 702 TU08 724
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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 355
Registered: ‎02-16-2013

Re: taxes -- pay or do it myself?

H&R did have free earlier, not sure if they're still offering it. Also, if you go in to Jackson Hewitt and start the process, when they ask about the costs, just say you saw it online for $40. They will call their boss and lower the price by about 50%. They want your business bad enough to cut deals.

I did mine and husbands as MFJ, just like last year. We always have deductions. Take your time and go over everything two or three times and you'll be golden!
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Established Contributor
Posts: 747
Registered: ‎10-15-2012

Re: taxes -- pay or do it myself?

I saw an old billboard today. H&R Block was only doing freebies until 2/15.


Starting Score: 515
Current Score: EQ04 675 EX04 702 TU08 724
Goal Score: 700+

Amex BCP $12300 | PSECU $10000 | Discover IT $9250 | Barclay Ring $6500 | Citi DC $6100 | DCU $5000 | Chase Freedom $4000 | PayPal Extras MC $3000 | US Airways $2400 | Cap 1 QS One $2000 | Cap 1 Platinum $1700 | Union Plus $1000 | Target $200
Established Contributor
Posts: 888
Registered: ‎09-10-2010

Re: taxes -- pay or do it myself?


bcdudley wrote:

About 3 years ago, I did my taxes on Turbo tax. It said I owed $2500 and I went through every section 4 or 5 times. I then went to H&R and paid them the $150. I wound up getting $1500 back. I have been going back th them every year since without hesitation.  My returns have not been that big again, but they always come out better than any online software and I always end up on top. Try it for yourself and see if it is worth it.

 

I just did my taxes online a few minute ago and was told I owe $241. I am now anxious to see hwo much I will get back.


And to make it even more confusing, if not already.... I used to use a CPA and one year I didn't like the amount I owed and decided to try a freee copy of Turbo Tax I had and did it myself.  Ended up getting a small amount back, but better than paying.  I have used Turbo for the past 7 years since.


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Established Contributor
Posts: 650
Registered: ‎03-01-2012

Re: taxes -- pay or do it myself?

Given your 'uncomplicated' tax situation, if I were you I would do it myself.  There aren't too many variables for you w/o investment income, etc.  What you want to determine (w/ due dilligence) is whether you should itemize your deductions.  This would make sense if you have charitable donations, energy saving home improvments, unre-imbursed business expenses, etc.  Don't leave money on the table.   Make sure you look into all available tax credits as well.  Although if you are phased out of the student loan interest deduction, you may be phased out on many of the tax credits as well.  Personally, I think on-line or purchased software packages do a pretty darn good job.  I use turbo tax deluxe and my tax situation is much more complicated.

 

 


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Super Contributor
Posts: 8,188
Registered: ‎03-25-2007

Re: taxes -- pay or do it myself?

I use an accountant (his company also does all my retirement stuff).  It is less than $600 for state and federal.  We do it bacause my wife is freelance, and that makes deductions, depreciation, etc much more complex.  Add to that foreign pensions and we need him!  Many more forms to fill out than a "simple" situation

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