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Old 01-06-2013, 04:12 PM   #41
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However.....this year 2013 I was thinking of investing in MLPs which produce a monster document called a K-1. Which software package does a better job handling K-1s?
TT has handled my K-1's from a trust with no problem. Just fill in the blanks. MLP K-1's may be a slightly different animal, but I've heard TT takes them in stride as well. My MLP's are in my IRA, whether that is smart or dumb remains to be seen.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:44 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Dimsumkid View Post
Fidelity only gives you TT at a $20 discount, I know in a prior post, someone was able to do a specific request to get the cost reimbursed, I haven't tried this yet. I use TT Deluxe online (extra $20 to get the disc) by having a State Farm account. All I had to do was open an account w/$100 in it. Also heard you can open a credit card or just have an account (Insurance) of some type with them and you can get it free. I also get TT State free since I live in IL, not sure it applies to others. This will be my second year doing it this way, used to buy HR Block Deluxe and TT Deluxe in past years.
Thanks for the tip. We have our homeowners and autos insured with State Farm so I'll give my agent a call.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:07 PM   #43
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Thanks for the tip. We have our homeowners and autos insured with State Farm so I'll give my agent a call.
You're welcome. Why wait to call, if you have your account info handy you can register and get in now. Here's the link:

https://online2.statefarm.com/SSOLog...s/login.xhtml?
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:26 PM   #44
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Given the OP's question, I would vote for tax software, but I'm curious, am I in a very small minority that sits down with the blank forms and fills them out manually ? I think I already know the answer !
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:32 PM   #45
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... am I in a very small minority that sits down with the blank forms and fills them out manually ?
I expect that's the case.

I did it that way for years until inexpensive (often free) tax prep software showed up. I find going the computer route much easier, faster, more likely to point out missed opportunities for deductions/credits, and less prone to math errors (see my sig line).
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:32 PM   #46
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Given the OP's question, I would vote for tax software, but I'm curious, am I in a very small minority that sits down with the blank forms and fills them out manually ? I think I already know the answer !
I have always done mine manually as well. The last couple of years I have used the fillable forms from the IRS website. I save them to my PC, print copies, and mail to the IRS.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:04 PM   #47
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For U.S. taxpayers, it's that time of year again - planning to pay Uncle Sam.

I've used TurboTax Deluxe for several years and am content with its straightforwardness and simplicity. I think it fairly identifies all my potential deductions so I don't feel I'm getting screwed. I don't have the most complicated portfolio, but am currently employed and have typical deductions.

Just wondering if I'm a chump. Do you guys use retail tax prep software or do you hire tax preparers to get you the biggest refund possible?
We use TT Deluxe online, discounted a few bucks through Fido. Nice feature is the auto-import of taxable data from your Fido acct. Vault is another nice feature, where TT auto-fills personal data from last year's return (also makes the TT product a bit more 'sticky').

We may haz 2 uPgrayd to TT Premier this year to handle a rental property...
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:07 PM   #48
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You're welcome. Why wait to call, if you have your account info handy you can register and get in now. Here's the link:

https://online2.statefarm.com/SSOLog...s/login.xhtml?
NICE! Thanks.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:07 PM   #49
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One more vote for doing yourself via turbo tax. My mom got tired of paying her accountant $300-$400 to do her fairly simple returns and now I do hers. Which I have to admit is pain in the butt at times cause her memory is failing.
So at some point I am sure I'll need to switch to a professional

But in the meantime knowing where the loopholes sure helps for future tax planning. One example years ago I noticed in TT a question about cashing in saving bonds. I explored further and found out that you don't have to pay taxes on saving bonds if you used them to pay for education. I filed away that piece of trivia, and when I signed up for a online course, I cashed my saving bonds in that year. Saved me about a $1,000.

Very few CPAs would ask people about that on a proactive basis.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:09 PM   #50
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TT use to have a start up sound kinda like Do do do do do. Well I worked under a CPA's office and all day long I would hear the jingle go. TT through Vanguard for free for me.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:47 PM   #51
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fh2000 is correct, I just looked at my Costco receipt. $39.99 after the $10 discount.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:41 AM   #52
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Given the OP's question, I would vote for tax software, but I'm curious, am I in a very small minority that sits down with the blank forms and fills them out manually ? I think I already know the answer !
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I have always done mine manually as well. The last couple of years I have used the fillable forms from the IRS website. I save them to my PC, print copies, and mail to the IRS.
OMG! Why don't you just shoot yourself in the head? Wouldn't that be easier and less misery?

At the beginning of my career I prepared personal and corporate income tax returns - at first by hand - and later (late 70s mind you) by filling out forms that were input into a computer program. Today's software is so good there is NFW I would do them by hand. I do use the forms input rather than the Q&A part of the software.

I had to do a state tax return my hand for my great-aunt last year and it was a boring chore. I do my dad's trust return by hand and use the fillable forms from the IRS website but even that is a PITA but is is a very simple return and I'm too cheap to buy the trust return software which is pricey.

With respect to the OP, if your return is routine and no major changes for the tax year, I think software is the way to go - the bonus is that you learn a lot about your finances by doing it yourself compared to relying on a tax preparer. But it is sort of like any other maintenance activity (house, cars, or whatever) - you need to be able to recognize when you are in over your head doing it yourself and seek help if necessary.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:16 AM   #53
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My brother the CPA once told me only chumps hire CPAs. Well, maybe if you have a complicated portfolio, own a business, etc., they're not chumps, but he always said most people who hire CPAs don't really need one. "The IRS makes lots of information freely available to you," he said, and this was in the days before the Internet was available to the general public.

I use H&R Block at Home, and I always get the cheapest version. It handles all I need, including Schedules A, B and D, and imports information from Quicken and downloads 1099s from the 'net. I don't see much point in paying for reference information available for free online, nor do I see paying for a state program when my state's form is trivially simple to complete by hand.

Actually, this year I bought the program in November in order to estimate my tax liability before the end of the year, then they mailed me a free copy that included the state program. Wish I had known they were going to do that and saved myself $15.

It's getting hard to find the most basic version in the bricks and mortar stores near me. I guess they want to sell the more expensive flavors. I also switched from TurboTax several years ago because TT was getting more and more expensive. I find HRB at Home as easy to use as TT was, at least the last time I bought TT.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:31 AM   #54
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i think the chumps reference is a bit harsh in that some people don't have the aptitude or interest in doing it themselves, but I would agree that if you have a typical middle class return that you are much better off doing it yourself and the bonus is that you will focus on your finances and tax situation in the process.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:36 AM   #55
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Do it yourself. We had a CPA (and I agree, I was a chump) for 2 years. We could have spent just a little more time plugging everything into Turbo Tax than we did getting everything together. Then, when we got audited b/c of a blatant error the CPA made, she washed her hands of us.

The moral of the story is, I have across many people who I would deem to be idiots, and many of them are professionals in something. CPA's included.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:48 AM   #56
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"Chump" was simply a reference to the original post in the thread and no offense was intended. I have a wacked sense of humor sometimes.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:17 AM   #57
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Are there any significant differences between Turbo Tax and H&R Block?

I have used H&R Block exclusively for many years, but was wondering if I should change to TT as most folks I know seem to use that and are happy for the most part.

I have a simple return, no salary ( FIRED in 2011 ), no rentals, no self employment, no exotic investments. The biggest section is my Sch D, as I do a fair bit of trading stocks.

However.....this year 2013 I was thinking of investing in MLPs which produce a monster document called a K-1. Which software package does a better job handling K-1s?
I've used the HR Block software for years myself, and am happy with it. Downloaded it again this year, using a link from retailmenot, for significant savings. Can't speak to K-1s.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:42 AM   #58
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We use TT Deluxe online, discounted a few bucks through Fido. Nice feature is the auto-import of taxable data from your Fido acct. Vault is another nice feature, where TT auto-fills personal data from last year's return (also makes the TT product a bit more 'sticky').

We may haz 2 uPgrayd to TT Premier this year to handle a rental property...

You probably did not have to upgrade... the program will do the taxes correctly even on the cheaper versions... just do not have all the questions they ask....
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:24 AM   #59
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Given the OP's question, I would vote for tax software, but I'm curious, am I in a very small minority that sits down with the blank forms and fills them out manually ? I think I already know the answer !
I have a different question: Why?
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:31 AM   #60
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I use TT deluxe now, started using in 1994ish. Have my records going that far back. Keep them secure off the hard drive and on a flash/thumb drive. Always save 2 ways, once the TT20XX format and in the adobe .pdf format image. This way you can always reprint your returns from the pdf file.
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