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Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 11:06 AM   #1
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Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

Even with TurboTax, the amount of time I spend keeping records, filling buckets, and ruminating, just wears me out and leaves me feeling pretty low, especially after finding out I have to pay an AMT tax for the first time!
Why haven't those dopes in D.C. gotten rid of it!

I wish they would just simplify everything finally like they promised - take a (low) flat percentage of my income....and they could cut my taxes while their at it too...

The feds and the state should just get one free central online system, check a few things, fill in the income and forget all the other crud, you pay the state & Fed at same time, with direct debit or credit card, and then go back to sleep.

I figure I've spent at least 25 hours and I'm not done yet....

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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 11:11 AM   #2
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

I feel your pain!

The worst thing about income taxes:

1. Being frustrated about unnecessarily complex, and stupidly designed aspects of it (AMT is a perfect example).

2. Dealing with the gray areas.
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 11:15 AM   #3
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

I got mine down to ~8 hours. By hand - state and federal. Simplest returns in years!
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 11:15 AM   #4
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 11:25 AM   #5
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

It burns me too!

Honestly, it seems a crime that taxes are so complex, that even with someone with a strong math background and engineering degrees like myself has to spend hours and lots of head-scratching at times to make sure it's coming together right.

I don't see how less math-inclined/educated folks handle it at all. I guess a) they just have a simple w2 and that's it or b) they go to H&R Block.

It seems insane that the average citizen has to go get help to do their taxes. This is wrong!

end-of-soapbox

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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 11:28 AM   #6
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
I got mine down to ~8 hours. By hand - state and federal. Simplest returns in years!
I envy you..

I've ended up - not by choice - dealing with an LLC, installment sale income, a Trust K-1, non-resident California forms and also Minnesota, along with all the usual stuff.

I read some of the language and my brain turns to pudding. I have to put it down for a while, and come back the next day.

Also, I'm not as sharp as I used to be now that I'm retired.....

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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 11:32 AM   #7
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

Not much can be done about 2006 taxes................

However, if the AMT is biting you in the behind, I would look at tax efficent funds and things for 2007............no use getting hit twice..........
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 11:46 AM   #8
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

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Originally Posted by FinanceDude
Not much can be done about 2006 taxes................

However, if the AMT is biting you in the behind, I would look at tax efficent funds and things for 2007............no use getting hit twice..........
You're right on the TE funds and munis are good too..

We had to sell a rental house last year to help pay legal bills from the trust being sued, so pushed our income up - not only lost things like most of personal exemptions, medical deductions, Hope, Lifetime education credits, etc, but ended up with a $10k AMT... normally I would have a refund, but will have to write a $50k check to IRS and $22k check to California...just getting over writing over $100k in checks to lawyers...we beat the suit, but people forget how much it costs to defend yourself.... really it's the lawyers that win....
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 12:21 PM   #9
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
I envy you..

I've ended up - not by choice - dealing with an LLC, installment sale income, a Trust K-1, non-resident California forms and also Minnesota, along with all the usual stuff.

I read some of the language and my brain turns to pudding. I have to put it down for a while, and come back the next day.

Also, I'm not as sharp as I used to be now that I'm retired.....
Yeah - I feel for you! That's really the problem - all the complex investment vehicles you are using. I danced a jig when my husband finally closed his business and we were able to be rid of all the horrid Schedule C, depreciation and self-employment stuff.

I guess if you want simple taxes, you have to have a simple financial situation. We're down to bare bones now, but as long as one owns stocks or mutual funds outside an IRA/401K, you have to file Schedule D and you have to calculate AMT. And it behooves most people try to do Schedule A. So you just can't get simpler than that in my book.

I guess folks who only have a salary, tax-deferred investments, and a few straightforward deductions have it easy. After that it gets complicated.

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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 12:30 PM   #10
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
Even with TurboTax, the amount of time I spend keeping records, filling buckets, and ruminating, just wears me out and leaves me feeling pretty low, especially after finding out I have to pay an AMT tax for the first time!
Why haven't those dopes in D.C. gotten rid of it!

I wish they would just simplify everything finally like they promised - take a (low) flat percentage of my income....and they could cut my taxes while their at it too...

The feds and the state should just get one free central online system, check a few things, fill in the income and forget all the other crud, you pay the state & Fed at same time, with direct debit or credit card, and then go back to sleep.

I figure I've spent at least 25 hours and I'm not done yet....

Yup, That's why I turn it over to someone else. They usually save me money too! - certain jobs you are better off just letting go!

Plumbing is another one!
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 12:33 PM   #11
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

30 minutes with Tax Act. Filed them on a Sunday (E-file), Refund (I know never get a refund!) was in the bank by the following Friday.
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 12:36 PM   #12
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Yup, That's why I turn it over to someone else. They usually save me money too! - certain jobs you are better off just letting go!

Plumbing is another one!
Maybe you're right Cut-Throat, I might just to do that next year...going to go on Angie's List and find a plumber that does taxes to. ...
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 01:44 PM   #13
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
You're right on the TE funds and munis are good too..

We had to sell a rental house last year to help pay legal bills from the trust being sued, so pushed our income up - not only lost things like most of personal exemptions, medical deductions, Hope, Lifetime education credits, etc, but ended up with a $10k AMT... normally I would have a refund, but will have to write a $50k check to IRS and $22k check to California...just getting over writing over $100k in checks to lawyers...we beat the suit, but people forget how much it costs to defend yourself.... really it's the lawyers that win....
Ok................one of those "weird years"............maybe refer to 2006 as the "Perfect Storm" of personal taxes for you...............
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 02:01 PM   #14
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

I "earned" over $1000/hour doing mine with TurboTax. Well, OK, it was really MY money that I was getting back, to be completely accurate. I pretend that it isn't, just to make doing taxes a little less onerous.

Got both state and federal refunds yesterday. No other way that I can make that kind of hourly wage.
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 03:17 PM   #15
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude
Ok................one of those "weird years"............maybe refer to 2006 as the "Perfect Storm" of personal taxes for you...............
Yeah and I'm still standing!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire
I "earned" over $1000/hour doing mine with TurboTax. Well, OK, it was really MY money that I was getting back, to be completely accurate. I pretend that it isn't, just to make doing taxes a little less onerous.

Got both state and federal refunds yesterday. No other way that I can make that kind of hourly wage.

That's good pay...and it's just as good as money...YB


By the way what are people paying to do their taxes this year..we already know that Justin sprang for some snacks, cold beverages, paper, pencil and stamps...

How about the rest

I bought Turbo Premier Fed & State with Efile for Fed & 2 States = $90 + and this next part hurts - I will also spend $1000+ for a CPA that specializes in trusts to fill out the 1041s for fed & Ca, she will provide the K-1s to me for me to place in my program...I did all the grunt work for her for nothing..I figure she spends lass than 2 hours on it, but she does guarantee the filings, with the caveat in the contract we sign that they represent us in an audit on an hourly basis....I think this may be her last year..I've been going to school on her and by the way for that much money she could at least return my calls and email! There is no way in H that I will give her the rest of the returns! I notice in Turbo they will represent you on an audit for free if I pay $40 now...Sounds good to me!

Does anyone farm the work out like CutThroat and how much do you end up paying?

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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 03:19 PM   #16
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
By the way what are people paying to do their taxes this year..we already know that Justin sprang for some snacks, cold beverages, paper, pencil and stamps...
And a $800 check to ole Uncle. At least he was willing to give me a loan for a year.
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 03:21 PM   #17
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

I dropped ours off at the accountant yesterday.

Lots of prep time, though I do just dump the K-ls on him.

Someday we will do our own taxes. The funny thing is that i enjoy helping other people with tax stuff, but I really dislike working on our own. Fun puzzles morph into major irritations.

Dantien, I have noticed wide variability in how much accountants charge for returns, not necessarily correlated with expertise and good service. Last year we paid $500 for returns for three states and the feds.
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 03:41 PM   #18
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

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Dantien, I have noticed wide variability in how much accountants charge for returns, not necessarily correlated with expertise and good service. Last year we paid $500 for returns for three states and the feds.
Boy that sounds good!

This is Virchow Krause... nice offices where they have 2 receptionists that jump up to get your coats, get you a beverage, where you are seated in a conference room to await the arrival of the ONE....Up until recently we've gone along with it because she was intimate with the Trust, but I've now seen enough 1041s & K-1s to see that it's not rocket science (though it is close)..they do present the returns in very nice binders.... DW has been reluctant to leave her, but I think after this year I may look for someone else or I may just Turbo it and pay for Audit protection...you see I once was an Accounting major and a Cost Analyst so I find it hard to let go of my own return..its a control thing probably...
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 04:16 PM   #19
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
You're right on the TE funds and munis are good too..

We had to sell a rental house last year to help pay legal bills from the trust being sued, so pushed our income up - not only lost things like most of personal exemptions, medical deductions, Hope, Lifetime education credits, etc, but ended up with a $10k AMT... normally I would have a refund, but will have to write a $50k check to IRS and $22k check to California...just getting over writing over $100k in checks to lawyers...we beat the suit, but people forget how much it costs to defend yourself.... really it's the lawyers that win....
Yeah, we also hit AMT and wrote out checks for approximately the same amount as you for our 2005 taxes. We received a substantial amount of money from a windfall of sorts and immediately turned around and wrote out estimated tax payments. Some folks would think in our situation "wow, I'm rich! I'm rich!!!" but don't realize Uncle Sam and The Terminator from Cali has their hands out on the way to the bank.
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!
Old 02-27-2007, 04:56 PM   #20
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Re: Taxes - Takes Too Much Time - 25 Hours So Far!

I started farming out the tax return prep. years ago when I lived outside the US, had a rental in the US and had to file 5 tax returns plus figure out the tax equalization from US to the non-US site.

Then comes the stock options, AMT credits and debits, rental property expenses, home sales, moving costs and a few other things. I was already working 12 hour days so dropping it off to the CPA firm made a lot of sense to me. I still do but after things settle down and I am ER I may do my own again. Then again....maybe not.
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