View Poll Results: How do you prepare your taxes (Multiple selections are OK)

Voters
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  • By Hand

    9 15.25%
  • Use an Accountant

    18 30.51%
  • Tax Software

    34 57.63%
  • Itemize

    10 16.95%
  • Standard Deduction

    7 11.86%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #1

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    Tax Season - Let's get prepared

    Well, it snuck up on us again - Tax Season! I thought we should have a thread to share tips and advice on getting ready.

    This is the time of year when a lot of families research consolidation loans, refinance their mortgage, consult an accountant, or purchase a copy of tax software like Tax Cut or TurboTax.


    Do you:
    • Use an Accountant, Tax Software (which one and why), or file by hand?
    • Itemize or take the standard deduction?
    • Give to charity during the year and deduct at tax time?
    • Evaluate your financial position and make changes for the coming year?

    What tips, questions, or other tax comments do you have? Perhaps we can help each other enough that we aren't all running to the post office at the last minute on tax day!

    -Dusty
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  2. #2

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    Re: Tax Season - Let's get prepared

    aw yes, tax season
    I love it, make sure I have the sam account I have used for 20 years. do the short form, I do not count my contributions or such, there what I give, I never tax on them, but I do get a lot back, and pay off my credit cards. last year I paid and cut up 3, this year will do my last 3. I feel free already just talking about it

  3. #3

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    Re: Tax Season - Let's get prepared

    I do my taxes as soon as I get my stuff from work. Its all out of the way early and Im happy!
    "I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. "Groucho Marx

  4. #4

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    Re: Tax Season - Let's get prepared

    I've never used an accountant but am thinking about using one this year. I've used Turbo Tax and Tax Cut in the past. I can't really recall which one is best. But the Tax Cut (from H&R Block) seems to be cheaper at the stores. And then there are the endless versions of the programs: Basic, Deluxe, Small Business, Deduction Pro, blah blah blah.

    I really SHOULD itemize, but never have before. It is so much work. You need records for that. I don't keep anything. Every year, I vow to start using Quicken or Microsoft Money to track my spending during the year to make my taxes easier, and every year, I don't do it

    I HATE tax season. I'm always at such a loss for what to do and how to do it.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Tax Season - Let's get prepared

    I file online- I have never itemized. As a single parent the deductions have always been better that way.

    Last year though- I bought a house. I think I am going to file as normal and give the deductions on the house to my fiance. I think it will work out best that way- but we shall see. That will work for 2006- but 2007 and onward, who knows?

    I file as soon as I have all the forms- I enjoy the process.

  6. #6

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    Re: Tax Season - Let's get prepared

    I'm gathering receipts like a mad woman....they're all over the places.

    We use TurboTax Premiere for both federal and state. We have to use that one because we own a rental house, as well as this one. It breaks it all down for us, since it's a "income property." (ha!)

    Our returns have been phenomenal. One year it caught a $1200 discrepancy from the previous year that we used TaxCut. We filed for the $1200 and got it within weeks, in addition to the current year's returns.

    We've been using TurboTax for 7 or 8 years now!

    Except the year we used TaxCut.

    We e-file and have our money deposited straight into our checking account.

  7. #7

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    Re: Tax Season - Let's get prepared

    I have a folder that I keep on my desk and whenever a tax form (like a 1099) comes in, I put it there.

    I usually use Tax Cut, but have also used Tax Act online. They will usually advise whether I should use the standard deduction or not. This year, I don't have a mortgage interest deduction, so I probably wont itemize.

    If you use the software or an accountant, make sure you understand what you're reporting. You don't want problems later on!


  8. #8

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    Re: Tax Season - Let's get prepared

    hubby does our taxes i have no CLUE how to

    he uses turbo tax

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  9. #9

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    Re: Tax Season - Let's get prepared

    When we lived in Colorado, we were happy using Turbo Tax. Once we moved to California, we found it was too complicated to do the state forms. So now, we have an accountant. He sends us a packet each year, we give him the stuff he needs, he files the taxes for us. A lot easier than going all the way to Whittier to see him.

    Charities: We donate through the year, and our tax guy crunches the numbers for us.

    I must say, we learned a lot when we finally made the move to going to an accountant. He has helped us save money on both our paychecks and our tax returns.
    We have itemized since we started owning a house. It ends up saving us money in the long run.

    We evaluate our financial position at the first of the year and try to make spending habit changes. So far, we are doing well. But I say that every January.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Tax Season - Let's get prepared

    i've used Turbo Tax for the last few years, but i think this year i'm goign to make the move to an accountant/tax person becuase we sold our old house and i'm not quite sure how to file that sort of stuff.

    being a married couple with no deductions (no kids, no mortgage (thank you paid off house gods), no nothin;p) we always take the standard deduction, and we almost always end up paying a little bit, but this year i started having them take an extra 50$ out of each paycheck to offset that, so i'm hoping to get a little bit back this year.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Tax Season - Let's get prepared

    We also use a tax guy. We sit with him for 40 minutes, he quizzes us on things, goes through our paperwork and gives us an estimate right on the spot. Then I go back a week later and pick up the official return. It's much easier for us and he knows the questions to ask as far as things that can be written off- child care, HOA dues, car registration, union dues for work... I like having someone else's signature on the bottom of the page. Makes me feel better.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Tax Season - Let's get prepared

    I use a tax guy.... all the way in Burbank. I used to do a mix of doing my own and having a tax guy - and this guy has been way better (he used to work for the IRS).

    It is now at the point that I can call him, talk him through the year and then send him all my stuff. (I keep file in my desk that I toss receipts, etc in throughout the year). He sends it back (and calls me if he has questions) and then I sign and send it in. I have found using him that I was missing a lot of deductions I should have been taking...

  13. #13

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    Re: Tax Season - Let's get prepared

    I do need to be better at keeping reciepts. Especially now that every office supply or book I ever buy can be considered a business expense.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Tax Season - Let's get prepared

    I have been using TurboTax for years, before I used TurboTax, I used MacInTax (MacInTax sold to intuit, became the Mac version of TurboTax).

    I've been donig my own taxes for at least 35 years. Several times when there were very complicated elements I would have a Tax Prof. do them.

    I've been doing my own taxes with Tax SW since at least 1992. I get Tax consult help when I need it, and I make phone calls to IRS to get clarificaton on other items, but in the end I do the work myself. Before that I did it on paper. My language has gotten much cleaner at Tax Time since I started using Tax SW. Math and placement of informaiton all taken care of, so I don't use the language I was using when I found I put some info on the wrong space, or the worng page and then had to discard the page and start over.

    Several years ago IRS helped me discover an item I did not claim, that I should have claimed and as a result filed a 1040X and got money back. Sometimes the IRS can help you!

    I always itemize deductions, (home owner) to maximize my deductions.

    For tax preperation, I start a file (well two files) as soon as I start receiving info for any tax year. One file in computer, one file in file cabinet with any info I need for next years taxes. This year, I will grab the 2006 paper file, and the 2006 file on computer and start up TurboTax. Fill out both Fed and State and eFile. BTW: I've been efile'ing in all the forms available, since they were made available, and it has gotten easier over the years.

    To make taxes easier:

    1. Do them early... Procrastination leads to frustration.

    2. Only claim what you are legally allowed, fudging leads to constantly watching your mailbox for an audit alert. Audits can happen several years after the fact, and I've heard of people who when audited for one year, wound up getting audited for several years. If you get audited and you did them legally, you should have no problems.

    3. When in doubt, call the IRS, they have all the answers, make sure to somehow document the call, the question and response.

    4. Use Tax SW (or a Tax professional)

    5. Use the eFile and direct deposit.

    This is how I sleep during Tax Season!

    Just MHO, YMMV,

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  15. #15

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    Re: Tax Season - Let's get prepared

    My hubby's best friend is an accountant - thank heavens!!! We keep track of everything on quick books at home, then just take over a back up CD and he does the rest. Which is great, because my husband's company is incorporated and he has to do quarterlies and payroll and all that stuff. We'd never be able to figure it all out.

    We just did our 2006 taxes - and still owed $1500 - it sucks.

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