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-   -   Do you prepare your own tax return? (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/do-you-prepare-your-own-tax-return-100039.html)

cbo111 09-25-2019 06:13 PM

Do you prepare your own tax return?
 
I used to have a CPA that did my taxes every year. Then one year he said, "hey buddy, I am retiring and moving to Nevada. Nice knowing your and handling your taxes!
Every year since, I have done my own tax prep. Turns out its not too complicated using turbo or the like. DW says I didn't find a new CPA because I was afraid of getting dumped again. Maybe some truth in that.
I have the standard assortment of finances (pension, 401k, VG account, house with no mortgage, etc. So, pretty simple stuff. I am left wondering how many of your fine leisure-world folks have CPA's or do your own taxes? And why? I looked to see if this was discussed using the crack search function, to no avail.

Dtail 09-25-2019 06:17 PM

Currently using a CPA for parents' trust/regular returns plus brothers' trust/regular returns, so threw our returns in there too, although not complex.
Probably will take it back in the next few years.

Souschef 09-25-2019 06:19 PM

I have used Turbotax for years. When I had my rental, I used Premier, but now I use Deluxe.
I love the fact it takes last years info and copies into the next year. All my income is reported on a 1099 of some sort, and with the new standard deduction it makes tax preparation simple..

pb4uski 09-25-2019 06:21 PM

I was a CPA but not a tax practitioner.... my career was in corporate financial reporting... I prepare a handful of returns these days... us, Mom, DS, DD & DSIL, aunt, friend.... all are pretty straight forward... a couple real estate rental properties but not sole proprietorships. I use TT.

pjigar 09-25-2019 06:22 PM

I have been filing taxes on my own since I started paying taxes over 20 years ago. Paper return and all! Its piece of cake with modern tax softwares.

RetireBy90 09-25-2019 06:29 PM

Iíve always done my own taxes, DW says cause Iím cheap. Used to say it was a chance to go through our finances like a safety check. Now Iím into them each quarter so that doesnít fly any more. Guess it is a trait where I donít pay someone to do something I can do myself.

With a simple return why pay a CPA ? I really would like to know. Iíve been wrong before. :greetings10:

Senator 09-25-2019 06:43 PM

I use Turbotax for my personal and corporate taxes. I use quicken to account for income and expenses.

I meet with a tax guy at least every year to ask questions and evaluate my strategy. I also take a tax class, this year was an 8-hour class. Lots of questions I got answered.

Most tax people are just data entry people anyway.

Midpack 09-25-2019 06:43 PM

I’ve always done my own, manually when I was young and stupid, but I’ve used TurboTax for 15-20 years IIRC. Like most, my tax situation is a little (not a lot) more complex now than years ago so TT saves me lots of time, and it’s handy for projecting this years taxes most years too (unless there’s a radical change in IRS rules). I buy TT at Costco at a good discount every Feb or thereabouts.

SnowballCamper 09-25-2019 06:43 PM

I always did my own, but all my income has come with an end of year tax form. Then DW had me use TurboTax for a while. This was ok until they decided to increase their price during tax season (a couple years ago I think). I’m back to manual forms and snail mail.

HI Bill 09-25-2019 06:48 PM

I've been doing my own since 1985. Used Turbo Tax for most of that time. I hate tracking carryover losses, and TurboTax keeps track of these. I never auto-renew TT, as they do jack up the price over what you can buy a new version of in the big box warehouse stores.

I've only had a few problems with TT, where I have to override it's default actions to obtain the correct result.

RobbieB 09-25-2019 06:48 PM

TurboTax. I don't care how much it costs.

lemming 09-25-2019 07:00 PM

I saw a message today that there is an issue with the 2018 Turbotax calculation of schedule D and also a link to IRS memo that says they had a problem on their side for investment expenses. Not sure if that is the same issue. IRS said it is going to examine and recalculate things and let people know what the changes are without filing an amendment.https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/error...heet-form-1040
IRS: The 2018 Schedule D Tax Worksheet in the Instructions for Schedule D (Form 1040) contained an error. The tax calculation did not work correctly with the new TCJA regular tax rates and brackets for certain Schedule D filers who had 28% rate gain (taxed at a maximum rate of 28%) reported on line 18 of Schedule D or unrecaptured section 1250 gain (taxed at a maximum rate of 25%) reported on line 19 of Schedule D. The corrected worksheet is at the end of the updated instructions at the link above. If you downloaded those instructions before May 16, 2019, you should download them again. All returns filed after May 15 should reflect the new calculation;

swakyaby 09-25-2019 07:18 PM

I used to have a CPA prepare my taxes for 22 years. At first, it was because I was self-employed and had no experience preparing my own tax returns. After 10 years, I moved to another town 90 minutes away and became an employee receiving a W-2. I still kept returning each tax season to my CPA for a 1 hour face-to-face despite the ever-increasing tax prep fee and the extra travel simply because he knew my finances from the beginning of my career. But I did once question why the fee was higher even though my tax prep was much simpler. He explained that I was not simply paying for tax preparation but also year round tax advice. He said if I was planning to buy or sell a property to call him first. If I was to buy or sell any investment to call him first etc. Okay, sounds reasonable.

The first year after I retired (last year), I called his office to ask him about Roth IRA conversions. He did not return my call, or an email, or a second reminder call. So I decided to try TurboTax. Turns out Fidelity paid for TurboTax Premier for me. But I also opted to pay for the optional CPA Live Assistance for $100 since I was unfamiliar with tax forms and Turbotax's software. When I had basic questions on how do I fill out something, I was initially connected to a TurboTax employee who patiently walked me through the forms. But when I had a questions about Roth IRA conversions that required actual tax knowledge, they connected me to a CPA who I could see live on-screen. My 2018 tax return had one residual paycheck, an inherited IRA RMD, capital gains, dividends, interest, HSA contributions, and a nondeductible IRA. I learned a lot and was glad I took the plunge and did my own taxes for the first time.

kgtest 09-25-2019 07:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cbo111 (Post 2302395)
I used to have a CPA that did my taxes every year. Then one year he said, "hey buddy, I am retiring and moving to Nevada. Nice knowing your and handling your taxes!
Every year since, I have done my own tax prep. Turns out its not too complicated using turbo or the like. DW says I didn't find a new CPA because I was afraid of getting dumped again. Maybe some truth in that.
I have the standard assortment of finances (pension, 401k, VG account, house with no mortgage, etc. So, pretty simple stuff. I am left wondering how many of your fine leisure-world folks have CPA's or do your own taxes? And why? I looked to see if this was discussed using the crack search function, to no avail.

Yes I do my own. At one point when I was running a few businesses they were over 100 pages. I've done my own ever since I started paying income tax. I remember the first time I did them. The ole man was doing his taxes at the dining table and I ask...what are you doing? He says I am doing my taxes...and I was like What are taxes? LOL! He said, well you need to get on your bicycle and head up to the Library and get yourself the Tax Worksheets. I went up to the library on my bike...and I had no clue which worksheet to get so I grabbed the 1040 SE, the 1040, the S- Corp, and a few others...I basically grabbed one of everything and brought it home. That was back in 1995/96 when all we could do was file paper copies, there was no TurboTax back then. Been doing them ever since.

lemming 09-25-2019 07:32 PM

I do my own taxes using Turbotax ,although I used Taxact one year. I have come to hate the online program and only use the cd (actually just a download) program so I can see the forms. This last year I have to say-the schedules make no sense but it all worked out in the end. If you have rental property or even a home office that you depreciate I would absolutely not use the online version. You need those schedules from year to year..

samclem 09-25-2019 07:34 PM

I've done our taxes for a couple of decades, and I do the taxes for my MIL. I use H&R Block/aka "Taxcut" on the CD, and it works fine.
Doing my own taxes has not only saved me the cost of paying someone to do them, but has also helped me understand how the tax code, and calculations, work. It's easy to do "what ifs" to see how various changes impact the tax owed.
I suspect many folks who just bring receipts in a box to a tax service are probably missing a lot of opportunities tor educe their taxes. There are plenty of people who believe they are saving on taxes by owning a home (and having deductible interest) despite the fact that all their deductions are less than the standard deduction anyway.

Kwirk 09-25-2019 07:40 PM

I've always done my own. I've used software for many years. I'm not sure doing my own has always been a good idea but I'm cheap.

travelover 09-25-2019 07:44 PM

I've never paid to have it done, especially since tax software became so good and cheap. I do my MIL's taxes, too.

GrayHare 09-25-2019 08:00 PM

Keeping and gathering all the records is most of the work, so why I should pay a CPA to do the easier part? Besides saving the fee, far more valuable is that I learn what impacts what on the tax forms.

38Chevy454 09-25-2019 08:02 PM

I have always done my own. Using a giant paperback guide book that I bought each year to help before TurboTax. Used TT for each year since it has been available. Even with rentals, home-based business, and investments, TT makes it pretty easy. Only issue with TT is you have to have a basic understanding of taxes and what info is needed. The TT program is only as good as the information you enter. That is where the tax knowledge helps make TT work better.


I have and currently still do trust returns manually, since I won't pay the high price for the required TT that does trust returns. Personal taxes use TT.


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