What tax preparer/service do you use? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-08-2013, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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In the past I have used TurboTax and TaxAct.  They were both very good and reasonably priced.  They were able to handle all of my special issues without paying for the most advanced version.  Sometimes, I will do my Federal online and then do the state myself because it is simple.  If I am expecting a big return, I will do it all online because I won't mind spending the money to do it faster.

My friends use H&R Block.  They were married in CA while same-sex marriage was legal so they have to file their state and federal taxes differently, and it is very complicated and thus, more expensive. 

How do you do your taxes?  Online, at a company like H&R Block, with a tax attorney, or do you do them yourself?

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#2 of 9 Old 01-08-2013, 05:23 PM
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I use turbo tax but have to get the more expensive version because we own rental property. I think we usually get 1 state for free with that but I also submit a return for the state that our rental property is in so I have to purchase that as well. One year I thought that paying as much as I do for turbo tax, I might as well go to H & R Block. What a mistake that was. We ended up paying over $400 because of our "complicated " tax situation. Our refund was pretty much the same as always less the $400 I paid. The next year I went back to turbo tax. I've been using their products for years and feel that it catches the deductions and credits we're eligible for.
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#3 of 9 Old 01-08-2013, 05:39 PM
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I love TurboTax. I use the online version. I feel it does a great job of explaining things, and prompting you to get everything entered and double checking for used errors. My husband is a corporate tax lawyer and he is good with it too (though he also prefers to read the IRS code). Really if you go to most pop up tax places, you are using pretty much the same software, but someone else does the typing.

You don't pay until the end online, so nothing to loose by trying it first and if it is too complicated going to a proper accountant or tax attorney.

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#4 of 9 Old 01-09-2013, 05:28 AM
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I do ours online with H&R Block, I've never done it any other way.

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#5 of 9 Old 01-09-2013, 07:19 AM
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I live in texas and one of the FEW benefits to that is there is no state income tax. I only have to file federal.

I use TT as well, even when I was able to deduct home office (last er...4 years?) the basic suited my needs. Even this year my taxes won't be too complicated.

I have two W2s from switching jobs (first week of may)

I still had home office for 5 months of the year, so not sure if I can do that....i know it says...

I claim my younger son

I claim child care for both kids (it's finally working its way down to cap. 6K for both I believe. I'm paying 12, have paid 18/yr. thanks for that!)


I think thats about it. and if memory serves the standard deduction was still above my home office claim....sooo...


I'm wondering what will happen this year with my salary situation. I was er... 57K/yr salary and my ins was free, and I usually got around a 3-4K yearly bonus.

My new job is 82K a year, I pay for ins (and I added the kids for the 1st of the year for dental and vision due to ex drama. ugh) and no bonus.

both companies I was doing a 401K

and my savings was OK last year, but my current savings is around 45K.....so i actually have to claim that now. hahaha.


I found out that my company (i always did single, so I don't think i'd have changed it? dunno) previous had me down as like 2 for deductions on my forms, when I filled out paperwork for this job I went back to single/0 again.


I'm hoping this means despite raise, I will still get same # back...perhaps more. not sig less. anyway...


I like fact TT saves all my info so I don't have to retype. I'm a hell of a good typer, but nobody wants to work harder :)

this way I don't have to remember (or get) my tax ID from daycare, kids SSNs, and so on.

ex's parents would give us their copy every year when they had used it, and we were super broke. And its fairly cheap which is nice :)

my sister's ex BF (they worked together at an ethanol plant) worked at H+R during tax time and he seemed a pretty decent guy. Not sure if thats exactally a thumbs up, but I would have him do my taxes if I lived locally...

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#6 of 9 Old 01-10-2013, 11:23 AM
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I've been using a CPA for the past several years but this year she is having significant health issues so she won't be available.  Our return is pretty straightforward, just with a  Schedule C for my small (micro) business.  I'm thinking about trying TurboTax again this year, we've used it in the past.  

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#7 of 9 Old 01-11-2013, 04:37 AM
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I do them myself using online Turbo Tax. About 7 years ago, I tested out Tax Act and Turbotax - I was able to enter everything in to both programs (as you dont pay until you submit); I recall they were similar and both ok (I was using both to make sure I didn't mess up anything/account for all my entries/a QA of sorts and also to see which one I preferred); for some reason I chose Turbo. And I have stuck with them. For 5 of those years I was filing a schedule C / LLC owner and I was able to walk my way through the program.

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#8 of 9 Old 01-11-2013, 06:40 AM
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I do mine the old-fashioned way... pencil & paper. I read over all the tax booklets/codes/changes etc. I've never done it any other way because I've never had enough money to pay someone to do it and we rarely receive a refund or owe much, because we change our withholding to keep up with things (though this year may be different...) I know you can free file for federal taxes but then I'd still have to do paper taxes by hand anyway for state (2 states) so it's just easier to do it all by hand, and I don't really trust the computerized program anyway (or at least, I don't trust myself to use it correctly! lol)

What annoys me more than anything else is that every year I want to get my taxes done by the end of January and every year my (former) employer waits 'til the very last minute to send W-2's (and there are always multiple W-2's for the same job because they're weird like that) so by the time I get them I am swamped with personal stuff for Feb. & Mar. and then I'm standing in line at the post office on April 17... Well I guess the good thing about losing that job is I won't have to wait in 2014!

One thing I discovered a few year back is that if you run into something strange, places like H&R block will answer questions over the phone for free. Obviously I wouldn't want to take up tons of their time but it's good to be able to call & check in about something quick if I'm a bit unsure. I've also used the computer programs to run numbers quickly and make sure I'm on track. Some day I'm going to drag myself out of the stone age and stop doing them by hand I guess, but I sort of enjoy it, in a weird way. hide.gif

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#9 of 9 Old 01-11-2013, 06:48 AM
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I use the H & R Block program (not the office), simply because it's less expensive. We have a pretty straight forward return - house, 2 jobs, 3 kids (one over 17 for 2012; 2 over 17 for 2013), this year we will have college expences for the first time.....
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