I've never done my taxes myself so I was just looking for a little advice from you more experienced mamas out there. What are sites you would recommend for a decent price to do your taxes on?
Doing Taxes Online
We buy the Turbo Tax software. We don't qualify for the free file, but it's only $30 or so to file both state & federal. It's super-easy to understand and input everything. I used H&R Block's Tax Cut one year and didn't like its set-up at all. You couldn't skip & come back. For example, I didn't have my son's social security card on me when I was entering things, and I had to close the program until I got home and got it out because it wouldn't allow me to continue.
I use Turbo Tax software. We cannot file free or I would!
Turbo Tax is easy (asks you questions all along the way; hard to miss something important); it imports last year's info (won't matter your first year, but saves time subsequently); and the cost of the software is tax-deductible for us (we itemize deductions).
I have personally used either www.turbotax.com or www.taxact.com prior to becoming an accountant. I've also heard good things about www.fileyourtaxes.com. Almost all online tax filing systems will remember your information from prior years, so you will save time by using the same service.
I use tax slayer and have for 5 years. I also "free filed" and got charged $10. And then my return got rejected because they dont bother to tell you BEFORE you submit that some of the forms arent ready for e-file yet...grrr. I ended up submitting it 2 more times before they told me that the e-file forms wouldnt be done til mid feb.
I usually file my taxes as soon as I get in all my papers. Usually before the end of Jan or the first week in Feb... Last year I had filed them by this time because we got all our papers in really early. This year I'm still waiting for papers from our health insurance company before I can file them, I'm hoping they come in any day now... I think most companies have to have the papers mailed out by the end of Jan, so I would assume if you can get information online it should have to be available by Jan 31st also. I wonder if some things depend on your last name too.. My MIL got a tax paper from the state weeks ago but her last name begins with B, ours came like 2 weeks later I think because we're K, maybe if you're at the end of the alphabet it takes a little bit longer to get some of your paperwork? Some things wouldn't matter what letter, my DH's W2's come in the same day as everyone else in his company (under 100 employees) though.
I was bummed because when I filled out all our stuff on Turbo Tax it told me that I can't file our Federal taxes till Feb 14th because I itemize our deductions and something about changes in tax laws late in the year and the IRS not being prepared for people with itemized deductions.. That sucks because I try to file by Feb 1st so we get our rebate by the 14th :(
Interesting thought about first letter of last name and mailing. Our last name begins with an R. We have most things now. However, our IRA company is slow. DH's arrived Monday or Tuesday, but mine still hasn't arrived. We're missing a few other random things. I heard that the tax law changes have held up quite a few things this year.
I've only filed in January once and I guessed on some line items because I was highly motivated to get our taxes done early. It was the year CA was handing out IOUs instead of refund checks. My fast filing got us a real refund! I've got our federal tax due and tax withheld matched up very well (very low refund), but the state is such a wild card...constantly changing every year....ranging from owing a couple thousand to getting back nearly three thousand and everything in between -- all with the same withholding claim.
My husband's information was posted online last Thursday (we got the actual paper on Saturday). He already had our other information entered in Turbo Tax.