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Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-15-2007, 07:36 PM   #1
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Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

From a completely voluntary survey:

"People with $75,000 to $100,000 in annual income were most likely (45%) to say they pay too much in taxes, followed by those making more than $100,000 (43%). Just 3% said they pay too little.
"About 84% of Americans said they use online tools, tax software or hire a professional to prepare their returns. Only 13% said they prepare their taxes by hand on paper.
"Still, the Internal Revenue Service said Americans spend about 1.6 billion hours preparing taxes each year."

Other survey data
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-15-2007, 07:50 PM   #2
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

Our taxes aren't done yet. :P
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-15-2007, 07:59 PM   #3
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...


I just finished calculating the division between ordinary income, long term gains, and short term gains on 7 different blocks of ESPP stock. Next, I am going to calculate the basis on a muni bond fund that I foolishly didn't use average cost basis on for several years and that I reinvested dividends in monthly. Oh, the mistakes of youth! I sold the remaining shares in 2006 for only one reason -- to avoid ever having to calculate the tax basis on this fund again.

OK, break over -- I'm going back in!

Kramer
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-15-2007, 08:17 PM   #4
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

Quote:
Just 3% said they pay too little.
... ever met one of these folks? ... nothing to prevent them from making an additional donation
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-15-2007, 08:19 PM   #5
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

Sent in our requests for extension yesterday. I'm done until October.
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-15-2007, 10:42 PM   #6
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

Finished!

What a relief! I grabbed the vaious envelopes of tax crap, my live trap with a possum I've been trying to catch for days and who finally fell to the temptation of peanut butter, and headed off........ Dropped the envelopes at the post office, the possum at the forest preserves and picked up carry-out Chinese and two bottles of Chardonnay.

Now....... it's Sunday evening listening to a John Prine CD, getting reacquainted with chopsticks, drinking Chardonnay and just being glad that my young bride and I are RE and can sleep in tomorrow morning!

Taxes done, that's good. RE, that's good. Life is good!
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-15-2007, 11:32 PM   #7
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

Had ours done last weekend and am glad to say I was relieved to get them done. Of course it wasn't too relieving when I had to post off checks for $7k this week.
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-15-2007, 11:38 PM   #8
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

I did my daughter's taxes yesterday. She found an error. ** **

I did my son's today. (I didn't give him time to check.)

Simple (real simple!) I can do. I pay boneheads to do mine. In re taxes. I am as dumb as a brick. All I can say for myself is that I am smarter than some of the tax preparers I have paid. Wait a minute. I think I just shot myself in the foot. :P
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-15-2007, 11:39 PM   #9
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

Our check to the IRS and state is $6K.
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-15-2007, 11:41 PM   #10
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by d
... ever met one of these folks? ... nothing to prevent them from making an additional donation
It's plausible that they could not afford to pay despite their feeling of not paying enough taxes.
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-16-2007, 02:14 AM   #11
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer
I just finished calculating the division between ordinary income, long term gains, and short term gains on 7 different blocks of ESPP stock. Next, I am going to calculate the basis on a muni bond fund that I foolishly didn't use average cost basis on for several years and that I reinvested dividends in monthly. Oh, the mistakes of youth! I sold the remaining shares in 2006 for only one reason -- to avoid ever having to calculate the tax basis on this fund again.

OK, break over -- I'm going back in!
Oooohh, much sympathies ! I did something similar in my naive youth. Company stock service awards with quarterly reinvested dividends for 10+ years. ESPP stock too. I sold all of it last year and it took four spreadsheets in Excel plus 50+ pages of supporting documentation to cover it all. Ouch !!
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-16-2007, 07:45 AM   #12
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

My accountant still is working on mine. I sure don't like this last minute business. This is the first year that he suggested that we file for an time extension due to working on the step up on my capital gains. This is all so new to me since my husband died, but I am trying to learn as I go. Not fun.
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-16-2007, 10:36 AM   #13
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

Read that we all work for the feds 3 more days this year (until April 29?). Add MA state tax and your into MAY!!

At his rate we'll be into JUNE in 10 years!
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-16-2007, 10:45 AM   #14
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by d
... ever met one of these folks? ... nothing to prevent them from making an additional donation
I would have checked the "I think I paid too little" box based on my 2005 return when I not only paid no tax, but got back $1000 in refundable tax credits because I have a kid. Our earnings that year were a decent amount above the median for the nation. It didn't really make sense that, as a tax policy, someone in my position should be entitled to what basically amounted to welfare even though I had an above the normal income. But as an individual, of course I love free money. Don't hate me, hate the tax code.
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-16-2007, 10:53 AM   #15
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

Quote:
Dropped the envelopes at the post office, the possum at the forest preserves
I was so hoping that you sent the live possum to the IRS and dumped your forms in the forest.
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-16-2007, 11:13 AM   #16
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

Oh, that was too funny!!!
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-16-2007, 11:37 AM   #17
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

If you have a wild hair to have a painless shot at visiting the Federal budget and seeing if it differs from how you wish the money was spent try this. Some ice cream guy's shot at using his American right of free expression. I applaud the fact that he is spending the money and effort to forward his agenda.

http://truemajorityaction.org/oreos/ustack/
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-16-2007, 11:42 AM   #18
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

:P :P :P We got done last week so that we had time to transfer funds and schedule payment via EFTPS.

This is the first time we used Form 1116 for foreign tax credit. What a pain! But at least you can get the fund foreign holdins information on-line. Several years ago it was impossible to get such information on-line.

Audrey
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-16-2007, 11:56 AM   #19
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

I just picked up the copies of the returns from the accountant and filed the Arizona returns. Overpaid estimated taxes so getting about $7000 back. Every time I think about doing these myself, I look at the forms and go cross-eyed. The AMT. The foreign tax credit. The partnership and rental stuff. I know the programs do the figuring, so I should go for it. I think it would help for planning purposes to do the returns myself. First year in a number of years with no AMT though. Yeah! Dropped down to the 28% bracket and paid $39,062 less in taxes this year. I'd like to get the bracket down lower and take advantage of low capital gains rates coming up.
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...
Old 04-16-2007, 12:10 PM   #20
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Re: Still doing your taxes? Take a break and read this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
I just picked up the copies of the returns from the accountant and filed the Arizona returns. Overpaid estimated taxes so getting about $7000 back.
I was kicking myself for being so conservative with our estimated taxes and getting a $2500 refund, almost exactly the size of last January's estimated payment, but you've managed to make me feel better!

Loaning the feds your $7K for three months at about 5% is around $85 interest. Penalties would be a lot higher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Every time I think about doing these myself, I look at the forms and go cross-eyed. The AMT. The foreign tax credit. The partnership and rental stuff. I know the programs do the figuring, so I should go for it. I think it would help for planning purposes to do the returns myself. First year in a number of years with no AMT though. Yeah! Dropped down to the 28% bracket and paid $39,062 less in taxes this year. I'd like to get the bracket down lower and take advantage of low capital gains rates coming up.
Software makes that all a lot easier. I don't think the brand of software matters as much as the "Aha!" moments that crop up when you do your own taxes. CPAs have to be a mile wide and an inch deep, and they make more money doing someone else's taxes than they'd make teaching you about your own and your future planning. Besides they may not have the full picture of your motivations and your interests.

By doing our own taxes we can be an inch wide and a mile deep and then start thinking about why we're doing what we're doing. Every time I do our yardwork I'm looking for ways to reduce the yardwork I'll have to do next time. And every time I do our taxes I'm looking for ways to reduce the taxes & tax work I'll have to do next year...
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