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#1 of 21 Old 02-12-2010, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Time for our annual Turbo tax time talk....say that five times in a row....


We used the online version last week and filed fed. The state would cost us an additional $36 to file. So we went to our state website and used their free version.

One thing I noticed:

The top calculator said we owed $5 to the state according to their calculations. When we went to the state website, we started filling out the worksheet and found out we get an additional credit for property taxes. Do we ended up getting $300 back for the state. Glad we did that!

Last year, we had issues with that incentive we all got to go spend and turbo screwed that up along with a few other things.

This year, our work was accepted right away and we should get our refund or as I refer to the "interest free loan to the govt" next week.

Care to share?

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#2 of 21 Old 02-12-2010, 12:49 PM
 
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I used turbo tax this year and it was easy as pie. I don't have any other years experience to compare it to because the last time I did taxes I had to get the forms at the library and there was no online The return that we got is about the same that we get every year and it was direct deposited in less than a week from when I sent it.
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#3 of 21 Old 02-15-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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I've used Turbotax for a few years, and I've been happy with it. Our taxes are pretty straightforward, and I am pretty sure I could do them on paper, but on-line is easier (especially when it imports all our info from last year).

But I usually don't use it for my state return. I ran the state numbers through Turbotax this year, and it came out exactly even. That just didn't seem possible to me, so I printed off the state form and did it by hand. It was close to even - I ended up with a refund of $38 - but it certainly wasn't exactly 0.

Our state tax form is not quite a full page, so it's pretty simple to do by myself.

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#4 of 21 Old 02-15-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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We used turbo tax. I've always just taken ours to H & R Block. I'm scared to death that I've done something wrong !!! But it was pretty straight forward, so I guess we'll see. We got a refund from federal and owe state, which is pretty much par for the course.
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#5 of 21 Old 02-15-2010, 07:05 PM
 
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We did ours w/TT the last several years. I used TaxAct one year, too, but like TT better. We have several deductions, and are always low risk for audit. We filed on the 31st of Jan. and got our refund of $1500 direct deposited on Feb. 12, right when they said we would. Very much hoping to not get as much back next year. Dh is going to adjust his w/holdings *again* to see if we can finally get it right, lol. So far he's up to 13 and we still got a refund.

ETA: we don't have state taxes in TX.

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#6 of 21 Old 02-16-2010, 10:30 AM
 
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\So far he's up to 13 and we still got a refund.

.
If this helps your planning, know that some credits like child care and child tax credit are "non-wasting". That means even if you owe $0 federal taxes, you will still get $ back for those credits. So if you are in a certain income level or have a certain amount of deductions plus kids, you will always get $ back because they are refunding $ you never paid in. So you may never get it perfect.

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#7 of 21 Old 02-16-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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If this helps your planning, know that some credits like child care and child tax credit are "non-wasting". That means even if you owe $0 federal taxes, you will still get $ back for those credits. So if you are in a certain income level or have a certain amount of deductions plus kids, you will always get $ back because they are refunding $ you never paid in. So you may never get it perfect.
Oh, I know. We don't qualify for EIC, have 3 qualifying kiddos, and we own a home, so will always have mortgage interest and property taxes and we have a small farm that we claim a loss on each year. I think once we get it where he doesn't have anything taken out (he already only has a bit over $400 taken out each year) at all, we'll leave it alone. Eventually we'll have to adjust again as his income goes up.

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#8 of 21 Old 02-17-2010, 06:16 AM
 
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I've used Turbo Tax since we got married, with the exception of last year when I tried another big name one because they were offering it free to military families. I hated it and so I'm back to Turbo Tax this year, just going directly to their website and paying for the service.

We owe federal as of right now, so I've got to rerun some numbers because I'm not sure if it's right. We did jump tax brackets, but we also had a baby so I'm hoping I'm just leaving out something. We try to get as close to zero as possible because we don't like the interest free loan idea (not when we're the ones lending ).

Our state is also free to file, but I may just pay to e-file. It costs money, but sometimes it's worth the convenience.

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#9 of 21 Old 02-17-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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I used Turbo Tax last night and e-filed our federal return (free). It was accepted this morning. DH's income went down in 2009 (salary cuts across his company) and we ended up with a much higher refund than in 2008 (and than we'd like). We had the feds perfect in 2008...less than a $40 refund.

I used Turbo Tax to do our state taxes, also, but we owe the state. I don't want to pay to e-file AND pay the state. In 2008, we paid to e-file because we were getting a refund and our state was (still is) broke and I wanted to get our refund before they ran out of money. It was only a couple hundred dollars, but I'd rather have it than them.

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#10 of 21 Old 02-17-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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We use Turbo Tax, and love how simple it is. I am confused as to why the federal government wants 1500 dollars from us, though. I mean, we made a LOT more this year than previous years (probably 3x as much), but we only changed our exemptions from 0 to 1. I don't get it. I would think that claiming 1 would have been about right for us. So our nice 8k new home buyers credit is really only a 6500 dollar credit. I'm glad that we at least had that as a cushion, though, instead of actually having to pay. But should we go back down to claiming 0?

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#11 of 21 Old 02-17-2010, 09:12 PM
 
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Some people have brought this up- why is it not a good thing to get a refund? Right now we have a huge federal refund coming to us.. Well, I think it's huge anyway..
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#12 of 21 Old 02-17-2010, 09:43 PM
 
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Some people have brought this up- why is it not a good thing to get a refund? Right now we have a huge federal refund coming to us.. Well, I think it's huge anyway..
People would rather adjust their withholding so that the money they ultimately have refunded to them is available to them to spend throughout the year in their paycheck. Once you have a couple of kids and own your home, unless you are making $$$ you may not owe much at all federal. State is another ballgame. People refer to refunds as an "interest free loan to the gov't" since your taxes aren't due until April 15 of any given year, but the gov't starts taking them out of your paycheck on Jan 1 of the preceeding year. So if the money that's being withheld is money you won't actually owe - why have the gov't get it for 16 mos? On the other hand, some people get large refunds due to child and EI credits which they get without having paid in any/much at all. That you can't do anything about except be grateful when you get the "refund" (see my post above).

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#13 of 21 Old 02-17-2010, 10:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rhiOrion View Post
We use Turbo Tax, and love how simple it is. I am confused as to why the federal government wants 1500 dollars from us, though. I mean, we made a LOT more this year than previous years (probably 3x as much), but we only changed our exemptions from 0 to 1. I don't get it. I would think that claiming 1 would have been about right for us. So our nice 8k new home buyers credit is really only a 6500 dollar credit. I'm glad that we at least had that as a cushion, though, instead of actually having to pay. But should we go back down to claiming 0?
I would, or even have an extra few bucks w/held each payperiod.


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Some people have brought this up- why is it not a good thing to get a refund? Right now we have a huge federal refund coming to us.. Well, I think it's huge anyway..
Because it's not the government's money, that's why. It's OUR money, and by golly we could use it during the year! They wouldn't loan us $ interest free all year, so why should we do that for them? If you are getting a "huge federal refund", you have 2 choices: either let the gov't use that same amount all year for free and then have a big chunk all at once each year, or change your w/holding so that you get more of YOUR $ in your pocket throughout the year.

Also, for those who may not realize it, if you qualify for EIC, and could use that $ during the year to help pay the bills, you can get an EIC advance in your paycheck. I know a family who struggles and struggles all year long to pay the bills, yet they won't check that little box and change their w/holdings so that they have more $ on a regular basis. I just don't get it.

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#14 of 21 Old 02-17-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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Some people have brought this up- why is it not a good thing to get a refund? Right now we have a huge federal refund coming to us.. Well, I think it's huge anyway..
I manage my money better than the government does. :nana

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#15 of 21 Old 02-18-2010, 09:16 AM
 
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How do you withhold extra-is it a form or something? We have our exemptions at zero and still owe money (we jumped a tax bracket though so that's why), so I think this would be a good idea for us to do next year.

I take back my word on saying that I will just pay to file state. I checked our state's department of revenue site to look up a code and they are offering FREE e-filing, no income restrictions! So as long as it's pretty straightforward, that's what I'll be doing.

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#16 of 21 Old 02-18-2010, 01:03 PM
 
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How do you withhold extra-is it a form or something? We have our exemptions at zero and still owe money (we jumped a tax bracket though so that's why), so I think this would be a good idea for us to do next year.
I believe you do it on the same place you put down your w/holdings....Honestly it's been years and years since I've filled something like that out, lol. Just ask the HR or payroll person at your/your dh's job.

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#17 of 21 Old 02-18-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rhiOrion View Post
We use Turbo Tax, and love how simple it is. I am confused as to why the federal government wants 1500 dollars from us, though. I mean, we made a LOT more this year than previous years (probably 3x as much), but we only changed our exemptions from 0 to 1. I don't get it. I would think that claiming 1 would have been about right for us. So our nice 8k new home buyers credit is really only a 6500 dollar credit. I'm glad that we at least had that as a cushion, though, instead of actually having to pay. But should we go back down to claiming 0?
If your income has increase that much you have probably gone up a tax bracket and that means that your total income is taxed more than it was previously. I probably would not change your withholding because I see in your siggy that you are pregnant so you will receive a child tax credit of $1k next year. Also, you will be able to deduct the interest you are paying on your home. You might consider saving $500 over the year in a personal account so if you do owe you have it tucked away. This is all assuming your income will be about the same amount next year.
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#18 of 21 Old 02-18-2010, 09:18 PM
 
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It takes awhile to get the tax withholdings as close to "zero" as possible. Laws change, incomes change, life changes (children, qualifying interest deductions, etc)....

When did you buy your home in 2009? If it was late in the year, then your interest for a full year in 2010 could make a big difference (in your favor).

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#19 of 21 Old 02-18-2010, 09:37 PM
 
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whoops!
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#20 of 21 Old 04-07-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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Double post
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#21 of 21 Old 04-07-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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Update on our Turbo experience...
We have used Turbo for years and have been very happy. We live in a state w/out state income tax so we only file federal.

This year Turbo made a mistake and told us we were getting $835 MORE then what we actually got. Their software made a mistake with our Energy Credit. Because our tax liability is 0 we are not eligible for the credit. Turbo didn't catch that little detail. Turbo's customer service has been a nightmare in trying to collect on their "satisfaction guarantee."

For what it is worth, before I filed I ran everything through Turbo and TaxAct and both reported we were getting the same amount back. Not sure if there is better online software out there...definitely can't afford an accountant.
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