Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-07-2013, 01:07 PM   #61
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabieta View Post
Thanks for the great recommendation! I am a volunteer tax preparer, and work with a great team of volunteers. We tend to ignore the limits, as our team has several retired CPAs (even ignore the income limits as long as we can handle the workload!)
+1, I volunteered a couple of years and there were no limits on income or complexity, except military and foreign income, for which we were not trained.

I did feel a little resentment towards one guy though, even though he was a very educated and well mannered individual. He was a retired university Professor who had worked at Nasa and taught rocketry at a London university. His income was very high and he had a lot of stock trades etc to enter. Ours was a very busy center and some days we had to turn folks away, asking them to return the next time (there were 8 of us actually doing the returns 2 mornings a week).
__________________

__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-19-2013, 02:43 PM   #62
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,158
Just downloaded my copy of H&R Block at Home and learned a trick that saved me a little money. If you go directly to the H&R Block website, the "Deluxe" download (which includes one state) costs $44.95. However, if you go to this site H&R Block At Home Coupon codes (1 available) - UltimateCoupons

it costs only $38.21 (a 15% discount). The other H&R Block products are similarly discounted going through this coupon site.
__________________

__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 03:06 PM   #63
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
Just downloaded my copy of H&R Block at Home and learned a trick that saved me a little money. If you go directly to the H&R Block website, the "Deluxe" download (which includes one state) costs $44.95. However, if you go to this site H&R Block At Home Coupon codes (1 available) - UltimateCoupons

it costs only $38.21 (a 15% discount). The other H&R Block products are similarly discounted going through this coupon site.
Amazon price for deluxe + state $27.95 pc/mac download or retail box shipped to you. If you wait closer to tax deadline, in past years, they put it on deal of the day or lightning deal as low as $19.

Amazon.com: H&R Block At Home Deluxe + State 2012 [Download]: Software
__________________
Dimsumkid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 04:17 PM   #64
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,820
Quote:
Originally Posted by arky View Post
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 !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakedog View Post
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.
I've recently switched to the fillable forms on the IRS website.

But, I do all the math in my own Excel spreadsheet. I like understanding exactly how things go together - e.g. if I want to do a Roth conversion, how much room do I have in this tax bracket?

I then go over to the free Turbo Tax or TaxAct sites and walk through the "interview" and enter my data to see if I've missed something new. They have caught a couple things, so it's worth the extra time.
__________________
Independent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 04:38 PM   #65
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,820
From the recent report of the Taxpayer Advocate:

Quote:
13. The IRS Has Failed to Make Free Return Preparation and Free Electronic Filing
Available to All Individual Taxpayers
Problem
The IRS has not developed a comprehensive plan to give all individual taxpayers the option
to prepare and e-file their returns for free, despite the existing array of return filing options
currently available to “eligible” taxpayers.
Quote:
Recommendations
Develop a government-provided electronic version of the Form 1040 with computational
capability that allows taxpayers to e-file all 1040 series forms and schedules, with links to
forms, instructions, related worksheets, and publications; develop a portal to a governmentcontrolled
database from which taxpayers can import third party data
I'm not sure why we should have to pay anyone for tax form completion software. In today's world, that's kind of the equivalent of paying for paper forms.

http://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/...ve-Summary.pdf

Note, the other parts of the report may also be interesting to some people here.
__________________
Independent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 04:45 PM   #66
Full time employment: Posting here.
Lakedog's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Independent View Post
I've recently switched to the fillable forms on the IRS website.

But, I do all the math in my own Excel spreadsheet. I like understanding exactly how things go together - e.g. if I want to do a Roth conversion, how much room do I have in this tax bracket?
Same here with Excel. I have a spreadsheet that I have used for years and just update it with any tax code changes. I like being able to know at any point during the year where my fed taxes stand. With the spreadsheet, I can easily have my taxes done before I could answer all of the tax software questions.
__________________
Lakedog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 05:03 PM   #67
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimsumkid View Post
Amazon price for deluxe + state $27.95 pc/mac download or retail box shipped to you. If you wait closer to tax deadline, in past years, they put it on deal of the day or lightning deal as low as $19.

Amazon.com: H&R Block At Home Deluxe + State 2012 [Download]: Software
Dohh! I should have looked there.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 10:35 PM   #68
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,936
Quote:
Originally Posted by fh2000 View Post

This year, my eldest went to college. We sold one of her funds with a capital loss. I think I will try to include hers in ours and offset my other capital gains.
according to this Reporting Your Child's Income on Your Return
this may not be possible

"Probably the key point here is that the election isn't available if your child has capital gains or losses, other than capital gain distributions. Many people wonder if they can use this rule to move a child's capital losses to the parents' return, but this isn't possible. (Click here for more on capital losses of minors.)
__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 04:05 AM   #69
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by Independent View Post
I'm not sure why we should have to pay anyone for tax form completion software. In today's world, that's kind of the equivalent of paying for paper forms.
I think any official government software for this purpose would be just as "helpful" as the government guides presently published. The commercial companies have every incentive to make the software very user-friendly and they've done a good job. I'm cheap, but happily part with the money for TurboTax.

What I do resent is having to pay for e-filing (fees are still charged for e-filing some federal and state returns). If the government is trying to encourage e-filing, and if it's much cheaper for them to process these returns (as they claim) then why isn't it free for all taxpayers to e-file? As I understand it, the answer is that government has an agreement that they will not press for universal free e-filing (preserving a line of business for these companies) if the companies agreed to provide free e-filing for low-income taxpayers.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 06:52 AM   #70
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,878
If I was getting a refund I might pay for the efile, but since I have to send in a check, I just send the paper as well. I'd like to pay by CC ( to get the cash back rewards ), but they use a third party that charges a fee for that.
__________________
rbmrtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 07:04 AM   #71
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,531
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
If I was getting a refund I might pay for the efile, but since I have to send in a check, I just send the paper as well. I'd like to pay by CC ( to get the cash back rewards ), but they use a third party that charges a fee for that.
Well, actually, it's just that the federal government, states and municipalities aren't willing to pay the fees to the credit card companies for customers using their credit, so they charge customers the fees up front.

A lot of us use the EFTPS - electronic federal tax payment system - that way you don't have to deal with mailing paper checks either.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 07:34 AM   #72
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,878
Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Well, actually, it's just that the federal government, states and municipalities aren't willing to pay the fees to the credit card companies for customers using their credit, so they charge customers the fees up front.

A lot of us use the EFTPS - electronic federal tax payment system - that way you don't have to deal with mailing paper checks either.
My state and county take CC with no fee. The EFTPS is for checks, to pay by CC they charge a fee.
__________________
rbmrtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 09:01 AM   #73
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Gotadimple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,764
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
My state and county take CC with no fee. The EFTPS is for checks, to pay by CC they charge a fee.
Agree. They pass the fee they would normally pay to the CC company to you. The CC takes the fee and rebates it to its customers by giving them points that can be used as cash.

It's kind of a left pocket, right pocket deal.

-- Rita
__________________
Only got A dimple, would have preferred 2!
Gotadimple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 09:20 AM   #74
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,531
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
My state and county take CC with no fee. The EFTPS is for checks, to pay by CC they charge a fee.
Whew! Mine sure doesn't! They wanted $2.50 per $100 to pay our property taxes with a credit card! (2.5%)

I say you have a great deal with your state and county if you can pay with a rewards credit card and with no fees, and your tax paying buddies paying by cash or check are getting the shaft. That credit card fee has to come from somewhere.

Yes, EFTPS uses electronic funds transfer - i.e. debit a checking account.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 09:28 AM   #75
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,531
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotadimple View Post
Agree. They pass the fee they would normally pay to the CC company to you. The CC takes the fee and rebates it to its customers by giving them points that can be used as cash.

It's kind of a left pocket, right pocket deal.

-- Rita
Not quite. The county and state are paying the credit card company a fee - it might be like 3% of the tax receipts - 3% that doesn't make it to the county/state coffers. If it's a rewards credit card, the credit card company rebates part of that fee back to you, so it becomes a discount on your taxes. Definitely a sweet deal - but realize that it's the county and state that are paying you that discount, not the credit card company.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 09:28 AM   #76
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,820
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
I think any official government software for this purpose would be just as "helpful" as the government guides presently published. The commercial companies have every incentive to make the software very user-friendly and they've done a good job. I'm cheap, but happily part with the money for TurboTax.

What I do resent is having to pay for e-filing (fees are still charged for e-filing some federal and state returns). If the government is trying to encourage e-filing, and if it's much cheaper for them to process these returns (as they claim) then why isn't it free for all taxpayers to e-file? As I understand it, the answer is that government has an agreement that they will not press for universal free e-filing (preserving a line of business for these companies) if the companies agreed to provide free e-filing for low-income taxpayers.
I agree with the comment on e-filing. It looks like a hidden income transfer scheme to me.

I wasn't suggesting that the IRS could eliminate all private tax preparation or software. But, lots of returns are simple enough that they should be doable. Just adding the obvious math and a couple simple links to the current fillable forms would probably eliminate lots of errors. It's as if some portion of the gov't refused to use telephones.

Of course, this would be moot if we took the #1 recommendation of the Taxpayer Advocate:

Quote:
THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ISSUES FACING TAX PAYERS AND THE IRS TODAY
1. The Complexity of the Tax Code
Problem
The most serious problem facing taxpayers — and the IRS — is the complexity of the
Internal Revenue Code.
Analysis
A TAS analysis of IRS data shows that taxpayers and businesses spend 6.1 billion hours
a year complying with tax-filing requirements. To place this number in context, it would
require more than three million full-time employees to work 6.1 billion hours, making “tax
compliance” one of the largest industries in the United States. ...
But I'm even boring myself with that comment.
__________________
Independent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 09:34 AM   #77
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 241
[QUOTE=Independent;1273449]I agree with the comment on e-filing. It looks like a hidden income transfer scheme to me.

+1

Seems like we are doing IRS a favor by e-filing.
__________________
MDJO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 09:38 AM   #78
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
photoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,301
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
What I do resent is having to pay for e-filing (fees are still charged for e-filing some federal and state returns). If the government is trying to encourage e-filing, and if it's much cheaper for them to process these returns (as they claim) then why isn't it free for all taxpayers to e-file? As I understand it, the answer is that government has an agreement that they will not press for universal free e-filing (preserving a line of business for these companies) if the companies agreed to provide free e-filing for low-income taxpayers.
AFIAK it's not the government charging for e-filing but the commercial companies who produced the tax software. I guess anyone is free to write their own software for tax prep and let people e-file for free.

From the IRS website:
Quote:
Q. Is there a fee for IRS e-file?
A. The IRS does not charge a fee for electronic filing. Some Authorized IRS e-file Providers (EROs) charge a fee for providing this service to their clients while others may offer it free of charge. However, this fee cannot be based on any figure from the tax return. Fees vary depending upon the tax professional you choose and the specific services you request.
__________________
photoguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 09:48 AM   #79
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,531
[QUOTE=MDJO;1273452]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Independent View Post
I agree with the comment on e-filing. It looks like a hidden income transfer scheme to me.

+1

Seems like we are doing IRS a favor by e-filing.
The hidden transfer is to the tax software companies.

But many of them offer an e-file "rebate" when you buy their software.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 10:30 AM   #80
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,878
Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post

I say you have a great deal with your state and county if you can pay with a rewards credit card and with no fees, and your tax paying buddies paying by cash or check are getting the shaft. That credit card fee has to come from somewhere.
I thought so. Only thing is you have to go in person to the tax collectors office. I just paid mine so I checked the receipt again, no charge for CC. Strange thing, they have an online payment via third party processor and they charge a 3% fee... go figure
__________________

__________________
rbmrtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:51 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.