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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-10-2007, 09:46 PM   #21
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

Turbotax. I used a CPA a couple of years ago when I sold some property with a partner. But over the years I mostly use Turbotax. Before the computer I just figured them out the long way.
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-10-2007, 09:55 PM   #22
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

I did 'em for my first few years of work with help from my dad. After college, I took 'em to a CPA. He charged $60 to file my 2001 return and my wifes. I think it was a 1040A or 1040EZ, and might've included e-file in that price.

When I realized that he didn't have any magic tricks to lower my taxes up his sleeve AND he screwed up, or I did, by not pointing out that my wife was still getting withholding from another state... I gave 'em the ax.

I've done 'em with TaxCut/TurboTax since.

-CC
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-10-2007, 09:59 PM   #23
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

Oh, boy another annual thread that CFB loves.....I bet he will be the first done again.... ...I do my own (no big things going on) and read enough every year to see if anything is new....I think it saves me in the long run for planning purposes...
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-10-2007, 10:16 PM   #24
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

I did my own taxes till the year I moved from the US to Canada. I spent a whole weekend doing the two returns I needed to do, and figured out that either (a) I owed $500 or (b) I owed $4000. So I paid $25 to a CGA, who got me a refund of $4000.

After that I have always used a professional. Now, my tax situation is fairly complex as I have a couple of companies. But after I RE, when things will be more simple, I do plan to do it myself.
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-10-2007, 10:17 PM   #25
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

If my wifes w2's were in, i'd be almost done! And as it is i've already keyed in her #'s from her final pay stub...just waiting for the official word, which inevitably is different from the stub...why that is...I have no idea... :P

Turbotax online for free via vanguard.

Knowing the ins and outs of what you're paying in taxes helps you minimize the bite on april 15th. Having someone explain to me then what I should have been doing all year to make things better doesnt seem as helpful.
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-10-2007, 10:20 PM   #26
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

I do my own taxes using Turbo Tax and file electronically. If I have any questions, I go to a tax expert (my sister).
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-10-2007, 10:53 PM   #27
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz4cash
What was the work experience like?
The first year was great only one office and got to work with other people. 2nd year they wanted me to anchor their 2nd store and that sucked. Mostly alone with no support so that was it for me.
[/quote]

Quote:
I took one of those tax prep courses also which I paid for and was offered a job. I was surprised how "methodical" the tax prep process was.......I was more interested in the logic of the system and how to minimize my own liability, but there was little time for discussion as instructor was focused on completing the return quickly and very busy explaining terminology, etc that was already familiar to me.
I took the extended course that lasted 3.5 months two days/nights a week with a 6 inch textbook. Good course. Depends on the teacher however.
[/quote]

Quote:
I declined the job offer as I was told by many that you could not make much money the 1st two years until you built up a client base....at that point many preparers take thier clients and go on thier own. I am potentially interested in working for a neighbor that has a growing franchise with the #2 chain.
Don't expect to make much money. Depending upon your hours expect to be bored or work hard (depending on traffic flow) and make 2K to 5K tops for the season unless you work in a low income area. You must sign a non-compete form that says you will not contact your customers for 2 years after you leave.
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-10-2007, 11:09 PM   #28
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

Do my own and my Mother's using TurboTax.
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-10-2007, 11:54 PM   #29
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

Been using Tax Cut ... I used a tax guy the years I sold/bought houses (especially the year I had to rent out a house I couldn't sell). But tax life's been a bit less complicated these past few years.
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-11-2007, 12:17 AM   #30
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

We've always done our own. Back in the day when we didn't have much, it was fairly straightforward. Now that things are more complex, TurboTax has come to the rescue.

I'm on the same page with those who've said they are either:
A) Too cheap to pay someone else
B) Eager to understand the nuances of the tax laws thru iterative TurboTax runs
C) Of the opinion that getting all the pertinent info together is 90% of the task
D) Ultimately a control freak when it comes to personal finances

This past year we had a significant capital gain on some property that we sold, so we used a tax accountant (a friend who charged us a very reasonable hourly rate)to ensure we paid enough (but not too much!) in our quarterlies to avoid a fine - but I still intend to use TurboTax to actually do the taxes.... I'm already gulping at the size of the check I will be handing over to our friends at the IRS!!!!
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-11-2007, 12:26 AM   #31
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

I do my own using Turbo Tax. I've done my own for 30 years but have only used Turbo Tax for about the last 15 or so. I don't find it that difficult to figure out tax laws and tax forms. The exercise of doing my taxes each year also teaches me something about optimizing my expenditures for tax reduction.

I don't see how a tax preparer could possibly do as much for me as I can do for myself. By knowing how the tax forms work, I can make sure my spending and receipts lead me to get the most for my money. If I wait until the end of the year and dump a bunch of receipts on a tax preparer, then all they can do is try to piece them together into as good a picture as they can make.
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-11-2007, 03:11 AM   #32
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

I have always done my own, for 30 years or so. I compile a spreadsheet
for each year, doing all the figuring from there. I would never trust a CPA
or Turbotax. The most complicated parts of mine are the multicategory REIT
dividends and capital gains, nothing too complex.
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-11-2007, 04:39 AM   #33
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

Have done my own for the last 36 years by hand. Had a lady CPA and a buddy who is a CPA check them out 3 times through the years and I was always spot-on. 25 years ago the paper printed this full-page cartoon of a guy pulling his hair out at 4:am with forms strewn all over the place, and every year I diligently tape it to the wall. It reminds me of when I had 2 of my daughters attending the University of New Mexico and working, and I was doing 7 tax returns in the late evenings after working 12 hours. I was that guy. Could never get over the fact that if I paid someone and it was screwed up, the I.R.S. would come after me.
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-11-2007, 06:15 AM   #34
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

I've done my own since I was about 18 until I ended up being a partner in this company. I could probably do them on my own but since he does it for the 4 of us no charge I figure he can handle it. I check over what he does, even checked it in Turbo tax the first year. He's a good tax/company CPA and does his best to minimize our tax hit.

I did my sisters for her last year with Turbo Tax, I did it wrong and she is getting a nice little refund check because of it. Turbo Tax seemed to have a hard time with someone that lives in NH but works for a company in MA. I remember doing it over 3 times and it still gave me the same numbers so now I don't trust it for issues like that.
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-11-2007, 06:36 AM   #35
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

I used to do ours myself with TurboTax every year. This year will be using a CPA due to having a rental property for the first time, plus living in several states.
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-11-2007, 06:39 AM   #36
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

As I approached ER it was obvious that I would have to disengage my CPA services and start doing my own taxes again... and the kids. Sticky wicket here is that I still keep my S corp open to handle residuals.

So 2 years ago I took my prior year's CPA-prepared returns (S Corp, 1040, and state) and "force-fit" them into the prior year's TurboTax Business and TurboTax Deluxe programs. You can buy back issues of TT on eBay cheaply.

Using the 2004 returns for practice, at my own pace with the aforementioned 2004 eBay TT program I was able to get my stuff onto TT without the stress of deadlines. The depreciation schedules were :P So when 2005 rolled around all I had to do was let the program migrate the old returns forward and I was all set.

Any masochist can do this.


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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-11-2007, 09:03 AM   #37
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

I've used CPA's when necessary otherwise Turbotax .
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-11-2007, 09:10 AM   #38
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUM
Any masochist can do this.
That sounds like a great career motto!
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-11-2007, 09:23 AM   #39
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

I have also found TurboTax extremely valuable in estimating what my taxes would be after retirement. I simply entered some hypothetical numbers into the program and it gave me a close idea of what to expect in federal and state income taxes. Like many others on this board, I've always done my own tax preparation, but TurboTax makes it a million times easier.
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Re: Who does their own taxes?
Old 01-11-2007, 09:37 AM   #40
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Re: Who does their own taxes?

I do my own by hand. It's the best way for me to keep track of all the tax law changes and how I can save the most in taxes. I have fairly easy tax forms, no itemized deductions (yet), and a simple schedule D every once in a while.

I studied tax/accounting/business a lot during law school, so the ins and outs of basic tax prep are pretty easy for me to understand. I also did two seasons as a tax preparer in the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program where all my clients spoke Spanish and many were "nondocumented" immigrants or some other type of non-citizen resident/visa holder (this aspect greatly complicated otherwise simple tax returns). The VITA program also included a good training course on tax prep.

I also complete tax returns for various family members who have simple returns.
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