Originally Posted by 2B
I couldn't believe how much he paid for almost nothing. He had the most basic of returns. He had a couple pensions, small amount of interest, a few dividends, charity and property tax deductions just barely enough to itemize. It took me 15 minutes to put all of his stuff into TaxCut and that included having to put in their medical bills.
I could see hiring a CPA if you've got more involved taxes and can use some of the more exotic wrinkles in the tax code. His biggest decision came down to whether it was worth itemizing deductions.
I totally agree. It probably took more time to get the records together than for the CPA (or more likely, his secretary) to enter them into the software. Besides, when you do the taxes yourself, it is possible to estimate your tax liability "on the fly" throughout the year. I built my own tax estimation spreadsheet in Lotus 1-2-3, which I continually update throughout the year, paying close attention to bracket thresholds, etc. My spreadsheet has always agreed with TaxCut to within a dollar or two (probably round-off). One of the benefits of not having a pension and living off portfolio income is the ability to control your tax liability very tightly.