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View Poll Results: How do you plan to calculate your 2007 taxes?
I bring 'em to a tax preparer/CPA 21 19.09%
I do them myself using paper forms and a pencil 12 10.91%
I use TaxCut software 18 16.36%
I use TurboTax software 45 40.91%
I use Tax Act software 13 11.82%
None of the above 4 3.64%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 110. You may not vote on this poll

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How do you figure your taxes?
Old 01-26-2008, 05:01 PM   #1
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How do you figure your taxes?

I thought it wold be interesting to see the breakdown of how we crunch the numbers

We've probably done this poll already this year, but I couldn't remember or find it.

samclem
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:13 PM   #2
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I"ve used all three. Like TaxCut the best, not as bloated as TT, but the price is right on TaxAct, including the free eFiling.
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:18 PM   #3
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I like to think of my tax return as a work of art. Not just a number crunching exercise. Everything has to feel just right, generate max refunds and fit within the IRS boundaries preventing an audit. Who says creativity and taxes don't mix?
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:21 PM   #4
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:30 PM   #5
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"I do them myself using paper forms and a pencil" first as a practice run, but then I usually (but not always) run TT, TC, or TA to check my work before I eFile. So I voted for the paper & pencil method.

BTW, this will be the first year I won't be able to eFile my state return.......bummer! I have to mail the state 1040 in from now on, because I have to send them my 1099R and a copy of the first page of my Fed 1040, so they'll exempt my pension from state taxes.....which is a good thing!

The good ol' Dumb@ss Governor won't be getting that 3% from me anymore!!! (except on some investment returns)
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:51 PM   #6
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Using Excel and paper and having to reconcile the differences forces me
to understand what is happening. I find that understanding what I am supposing to be doing is often easier than following the mysterious instructions of subtracting line x from line y ,etc because being a robot following the line by line instructions often result in error because I am not careful enough in following instructions.

I use preliminary numbers in Taxwise software to check out the Excel.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:59 AM   #7
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I am using an accountant because our taxes are complex. When DW fully retires (maybe next year) we will switch to Tax Act or TurboTax.
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:14 AM   #8
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The thing I like about Turbo Tax is being able to download all my tax information from Fidelity.(lazy I know) Tax Cut allowed me to do that one year but for some reason they were not set up with Fidelity the next year. Just stuck with TT ever since.
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:14 AM   #9
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just wondering....for those who have their taxes prepared, what does it cost and what special complexity is in that cost? I realize that it varies depending on that complexity.
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:27 AM   #10
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My taxes have been complex for the last couple of years since I have been self employed. Since I have a half a year of self-employment income this year and a half a year of a "regular job", this will be my last year going to the CPA. Next year things become much easier and I'll go back to TurboTax
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
just wondering....for those who have their taxes prepared, what does it cost and what special complexity is in that cost? I realize that it varies depending on that complexity.
The cost would probably be anywhere from $150 to $1,000, depending on the level of complexity. I would say the average person pays about $200 to $400.
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Old 01-28-2008, 11:07 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
just wondering....for those who have their taxes prepared, what does it cost and what special complexity is in that cost? I realize that it varies depending on that complexity.
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Originally Posted by retire@40 View Post
The cost would probably be anywhere from $150 to $1,000, depending on the level of complexity. I would say the average person pays about $200 to $400.
Retire@40 has the costs about right. The complexity that taxes () my capabilities is partnership income in multiple states with con-commitent deductions and quarterlies - PITA. When we switch over to straight pension income and dividends/CGs the tax software will handle everything with ease. I have practiced using my pension and hypothetical withdrawals with TaxCut and Tax Act to see how it works.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:04 PM   #13
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just wondering....for those who have their taxes prepared, what does it cost and what special complexity is in that cost? I realize that it varies depending on that complexity.
When I used to have mine done, my accountant had flat rates. Single was about $65 IIRC, and I think joint was something like $95. No idea what they charge now though. BTW, that was several years ago.
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:27 PM   #14
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When I used to have mine done, my accountant had flat rates. Single was about $65 IIRC, and I think joint was something like $95. No idea what they charge now though. BTW, that was several years ago.
That's like saying broken cars cost $100 to fix and broken trucks cost $200 to fix.

#1 That's WAY too low for a flat rate, even adjusted for inflation from several years ago.

#2 Flat rates make no sense since a tax return can take 15 minutes to prepare or up to a number of days.

The only way I can see someone charging a flat rate is if they only accept returns they can do in a few minutes with no tax advice or followup. Like the ones with a W-2 or two and maybe a couple of interest statements. Pump away.
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:22 PM   #15
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Four years ago I paid $450.00 for a fairly simple return .
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:27 PM   #16
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The thing I like about Turbo Tax is being able to download all my tax information from Fidelity.(lazy I know) Tax Cut allowed me to do that one year but for some reason they were not set up with Fidelity the next year. Just stuck with TT ever since.
LAZY! That's not lazy! That's SMART.

Accuracy is everything.

Of course I always double check the numbers, but that beats having to enter them!

Our Schedule D goes on, and on, and on........

I would go nuts if I had to enter all those numbers.

As it is, data entry is a piece of cake, because we're able to download numbers both from Fidelity and Oakmark which is pretty much it!

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Old 01-28-2008, 11:16 PM   #17
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That's like saying broken cars cost $100 to fix and broken trucks cost $200 to fix.

#1 That's WAY too low for a flat rate, even adjusted for inflation from several years ago.

#2 Flat rates make no sense since a tax return can take 15 minutes to prepare or up to a number of days.

The only way I can see someone charging a flat rate is if they only accept returns they can do in a few minutes with no tax advice or followup. Like the ones with a W-2 or two and maybe a couple of interest statements. Pump away.
Well, that's what I was paying, and the joint is what my folks were paying when my Dad was still alive. My mother now files single and they charged her $80 last year (I just asked her). Mom said she's calling either this week or next, so we'll find out how much it is this year. Each year when we called to check the cost (without giving identifying information), just asking cost for a single or joint return, we were quoted those numbers and told that was their going rate. They've never asked whether things were simple or complicated.....just quoted as flat rate. Others that we know have called and been quoted the same rates.

I have no idea how other accounting firms handle things, or what they charge (or why), as this is the only one we've ever had dealings with. They were the firm that did the yearly audits for my Mom's employer. She asked them about doing her's and my Dad's taxes and they said they would. So the folks started doing business with them in the 60's, then I started in the 70's.

Part of it may be that their primary business is, for the most part, corporate and governmental accounts.....work for individuals is just a small portion of their business. Or it might be 'cause we live out here in the boonies, a long ways from them high-priced city slickers. I don't know.

BTW, they do give tax advice, too.
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:52 AM   #18
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just wondering....for those who have their taxes prepared, what does it cost and what special complexity is in that cost? I realize that it varies depending on that complexity.
Last year cost me $350 here in NYC. Some complex issues, self employed, etc.
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:51 PM   #19
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I use a CPA, but he's one of my best friends and he does them for free.
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:46 PM   #20
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I lied on the poll, actually I use ink and whiteout. The IRS and state Franchise Tax Board let me know if I make a mistake. Sometimes if I overlook something, I file an amended return. I've been audited twice, once the FTB, said, hey, you filed a Federal but not state return two years ago; I had transposed my SS number. And the other time, I paid a $140.00 penalty. Not sure if I should continue having those people train me but apparently it's less expensive than other methods. Started reading the IRS 1040 book last weekend and (seriously) I enjoy it.
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