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I Actually Enjoy Doing My Tax Returns…
Old 01-25-2023, 08:37 AM   #1
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I Actually Enjoy Doing My Tax Returns…

To my surprise our Vanguard consolidated statement dropped yesterday (earlier than last year) and I already had a couple other tax docs, so I spent several hours doing my Fed and state returns yesterday. Looks like everything is in order, but I’ll have to wait for a couple forms to be finalized in TT and a couple more docs (that I already know the $ for) before I can actually file. I’m pretty sure my return is middle in terms of complexity with (partially non deductible) IRA distributions/Roth conversions, dividends, interest, government obligations, ST/LTCG from MF sales, foreign taxes paid w carryovers, etc. Ended up with very small refunds on Fed and state, as planned, and I’ll apply them to 2023 taxes. And no penalties.

Don’t know why, but I enjoy the challenge of tax planning during the year (using Excel), and then confirming what I’ve planned by completing the returns. I developed a spreadsheet to calculate quarterly estimated taxes once I had no withholding, didn't see a reasonable alternative. I get a lot closer knowing what our investments are doing throughout the year than TT's rear view mirror 1040-ES predictions for the next year. Maybe I’m the only one

I considered a poll, but didn’t want to risk being a total outlier…
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Old 01-25-2023, 08:42 AM   #2
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You're not the only one; I enjoy doing it, too. I was an enginerd so maybe I just like doing spreadsheets? I can't hold a candle to DB, though, who was an accountant. He already filed his and was disappointed he could have filed a day earlier when IRS opened things up. I thought about cautioning him about potential TT updates but it was too late anyway. He also does the taxes for relatives (all very simple returns) so he can use his other four TT electronic filings.
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Old 01-25-2023, 08:46 AM   #3
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I won’t say I enjoy it, but I sure don’t mind it and I certainly wouldn’t pay someone to do it. I think it’s important to do your own. No one knows you like you and it’s good to understand the areas of the tax code that impact you.
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Old 01-25-2023, 08:48 AM   #4
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I enjoy it too.

I did my own corporate return for the first couple of years but messed it up in different ways in both years. That resulted in letters from the IRS and apparently overpaying. I've had a couple of accountants do them since then, and they do our personal return for 'free' after they do my business one.

I'm actually looking forward to the day I'll be doing our personal ones again. In the meantime, I keep my hand in doing my FIL's. I even got into TT's 'race' gamification this year and got done in 30 mins!
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Old 01-25-2023, 08:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jerry1 View Post
I won’t say I enjoy it, but I sure don’t mind it and I certainly wouldn’t pay someone to do it. I think it’s important to do your own. No one knows you like you and it’s good to understand the areas of the tax code that impact you.
+1 (Oh and I don't enjoy it but I don't hate it either.)
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Old 01-25-2023, 09:03 AM   #6
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I enjoy having completed my taxes (once I have done so), and knowing that I don't have to do taxes again until the next year.

Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities. - - H. Melville, 1851.

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Old 01-25-2023, 09:09 AM   #7
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I am entering our information in both FreeTaxUSA and TaxAct for 2022.

We sold out of a partnership, so I no longer have a complicated K-1 to enter for 2022.

So far, FreeTaxUSA is proving to be a better value, but I'm only about 1/2 way entering everything.

I don't mind doing it. I know our information and I go through everything a couple times.

One year I had a professional do our taxes. It was $500 and I still ended up doing a lot of up front work and then back end verification. I caught omissions and errors. For $500+ I will do it myself.
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Old 01-25-2023, 09:10 AM   #8
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For years I have used a spreadsheet to track fed/state taxes throughout the year. I guess I do somewhat enjoy the process and seeing how close my numbers come to the actuals at tax time -- very rarely am I off by more than a few $. The spreadsheet is also useful for withholding since I can easily adjust via my fed pension as needed. I still do my taxes using downloaded forms (then print/mail) so do have to keep up with tax code changes.
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Old 01-25-2023, 09:10 AM   #9
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I am a numbers nerd, so I enjoy tracking what my taxes might be over the year with Excel and other tax estimators on the web. I get H&R Block for the tax year as soon as the good deals occur in November. I have already "completed" our taxes using estimates for the various tax forms based on my Quicken data; as the actual forms come in I update and see how things change. To quote my baseball hero Chico Escuela, the process has been bery, bery good to me .
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Old 01-25-2023, 09:13 AM   #10
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I'm jealous of each and every one of you. I guess that's a compliment.
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Old 01-25-2023, 09:17 AM   #11
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OP - Me too.
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Old 01-25-2023, 09:19 AM   #12
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I don't mind doing my and DH's taxes but this year I have taken over my 90 year old mother's finances and it is a mess. I have already spent hours on her info. I should have taken over her finances years ago.
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Old 01-25-2023, 09:22 AM   #13
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Not particularly. I do the income tracking and estimated taxes during the year via spreadsheets and Quicken, and DH does the annual return and uses Turbotax. I make sure he has all the 1099s etc. since I track the accounts and help review the return.

I will have already done a fairly careful estimate of taxes owed as I manage the cash flow and set aside funds in January for taxes to be paid during the year. This helps a lot with reviewing what TurboTax generates. I guess I’m always interested in seeing how close I was and exploring any discrepancies.
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Old 01-25-2023, 09:22 AM   #14
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I always liked doing this. Back in the day it took some time to track business records, and complete the returns.

Since 2005 I've completed or prepped about 400 returns. Damn, no two are ever the same! Many challenges to say the least.

I'm down to one now.
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:05 AM   #15
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I've been doing my own tax returns since the early seventies. Back then it was a pot of coffee, calculator, pencil and paper and a bowl of cigarettes. Probably spent most of a Saturday morning doing the regular 1040 and along with a schedule A. When software first came out I used Turbo tax and really liked it but since then have migrated to the HRB platform, which more than suits my needs. After I retired in 2005 I did work for HRBlock for five years and then as a volunteer for the VITA program. I figured I have done about 2000+ returns of all kinds through those years. I alway looked at doing a return as kind of like putting a puzzle together and then when I would review the final 1040 to make sure all of the piece fit where they were suppose to. Got my VGD form yesterday and did a first pass on the 2022 tax, took less than an hour and I hand entered all of the info. I like to either get back a few hundred or pay a few hundred and have been pretty much able to hit the mark consistently the last fifteen years or so. Now I will procrastinate until sometime in April and E-file. (Actually it isn't unusual to get an amended 1099 between now and April 15th and doing an amended return is a PIA.)
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:09 AM   #16
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I also enjoy doing my taxes, and I am particularly pleased when I come within a few bucks of what I calculated they would be last January.
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:25 AM   #17
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Yeah, both a PITA and an interesting process. I enjoy getting it done and seeing (usually) that I got withholding mostly right.
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:29 AM   #18
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I don’t mind them except for the K1 from the MLP I worked for. I thought I was done with them and then got a nice surprise last March when they vested some remaining units It had been unclear whether I would receive them as the initial grant and the early retirement agreement had different info. So a few more dollars in the bank, but I’m good with that. I get most everything done as quickly as possible then finish in March when I get the K1. Next year I’ll be done at end of January or beginning of Feb. My engineer side for whatever reason likes doing them.
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:31 AM   #19
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Not in the least. I do work at getting together all the appropriate documentation for the accountant, making lists with explanations (of estimate taxes, any changes from last year or specific forms I think necessary, i.e. this year I will be bringing the 60 day rollover to his attention), and checking against last year's returns. He is provided with all proofs attached, in order of as listed; income is separated from deductions.

I did some consolidating this year, but that should be reflected next year. Conversely, I opened up a Treasury Direct account (had taxes withheld from that) and a Fidelity account - which was started with a little opening bonus to see their bond platform, but grew due to ability to walk in with check for the 60 day rollover.

My "guess" is usually pretty close.
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:54 AM   #20
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I loathe doing my taxes. It's probably one of my most hated chores each year.

Why? Well, I can't stomach the thought of making even a small mistake and having to pay any sort of penalty, so I spend hours (upon hours, upon hours) checking and re-checking (and re-checking) all my numbers. Also, navigating the labyrinth of all the elaborately worded rules, limitations, deductions, credits, exceptions, penalties, and worksheets makes me angry at all the people in gov't (IRS, Congress, lobbyists) who have contributed to this monstrous tax code that places such a time-consuming burden on everyone here in the U.S. Our tax filing process is by far the most complicated and burdensome of any other first-world country, and early April is a harsh reminder of that fact every year for me.
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