41 answers

Do You Do Your Own Taxes?

Do you do your own or go somewhere? My husband and I have always gone to H&R Block, but I can't stomach paying over $200 for 30 minutes of work! I did ours last year with my dad sitting beside me, and it was simple! I started ours again this year, and I like that I can see how much I am getting back and what we should change for next year. So I'm just curious what more people do?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I wish I could do my taxes myself. But, with numbers and formulas, even if it's a program it still confuses me.

For the last several years, I've used a certain CPA, but shes more expensive the more you have. And now w/ a house and a child it's to expensive for me.

I'm switching this year, to a different CPA who is cheaper and who will look for more tax benefits for me. My daycare provider uses him and hes a good friend of theirs. It's a flat fee of 85$ and I can definately afford that!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

i always did ours and was happy with the results - i used turbotax.com. i also refused to pay $200. ridiculous! BUT then a friend recommended a husband/wife cpa team who did it out of their house for $50 a pop. he almost doubled our tax return. i will never do ours again! no matter what the websites claim, they can't explain ALL the tax laws and loopholes to you. he was amazing. i would recommend asking around your friends and family. good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

We did our own taxes until the "special" situations piled up: House, baby, school loan...Ever since then, we have had our taxes done by a local provider. We do not use the big box places like H&R. I just feel like you are an insignificant number to them. 10 yrs ago, we got charged about $90 and last year it was $120-something. I kinda cringe when I hafta write that check but I remind myself I am buying not just my tax filing but peace of mind.

Two years ago, we got a letter from the IRS saying we had not filed $76,000 worth of income and owed the IRS $35,000. Yikes! Of course, there was no way we forgot about such a large sum so we contacted our tax guy and he looked over the letter and helped us craft our response. The IRS followed up by quickly dropping us from the case and moving on to the company that had incorrectly filed a contract employee's earnings under my DH's SSN. I smelled a smidgen of identify theft there but the point is, after 10 yrs of watching how simple our tax filing is, we COULD do it ourselves but boy were we glad we didn't!

2 moms found this helpful

When all is said and done, it's still the taxpayer's responsibility to make sure he/she pays all that's due and that he receives all credits available to her/him.
IF you include all your income, (and you'd be surprised at what the IRS considers income), and it's all entered correctly, it's virtually impossible for you or a paid preparer to make a calculation error. That being said, if you go to a paid preparer and they enter numbers incorrectly, (transpose numbers, get the Social Securites numbers wrong, enter the right number on the wrong line) the penalties and interest are the responsibility of the paid preparer. That should be stated in any contract you would sign for services. If you enter the numbers incorrectly, the penalties and interest are on your shoulders. With a paid preparer there should be 3 reviews BEFORE it is ever sent to the IRS. Those reviews would be performed by the preparer him or herself, the CPA that owns the preperation service, and then the corporate office of the preperation service. If the tax prep service does not offer these services, you are not getting value for your dollars spent on preperation.
There are certain entries that can alert the IRS to chose your return for an audit. If that should happen, you'd better be extremely certain of exactly why you entered what you did and be able to prove with documentation the validity of your numbers. Paid preparers are educated in this and are REQUIRED by the IRS to answer what are called "Due Diligence" questions, concerning these issues.
When using a paid preparer that is open year round, you always have access to your tax return, and all the forms that go with it, (there is a 5-page form that is just for the EIC credit, a 2-page form for the child tax credit, etc, nothing is simple with the IRS). Let's face it, for a variety of reasons, many of our filing systems are...um...lacking....
There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing your own tax prep and most of us are intelligent enough to do so if we just study up a bit. Just make sure you have all the documentation to back up whatever you claim so that if you get audited, all will be well.
In response to the mom who said you could take your return to have Liberty go over it for free, that's true....but that will only include making sure your numbers are correct. It will not include questions that would otherwise be asked if they were actually preparing your return. There would be no guarantee that you were using the most advantageous filing status or had claimed all the credits you were entitled to. That would be like going to a dr or attorney for a consultation and expecting their educated advice for free.
In the county I live in the county offices will prepare your state return for free.

1 mom found this helpful

We paid someone to do ours years ago and he ended up being a crook that was wanted in 4 states. It ended up costing us thousands of dollars. For years we've done our own taxes using Tax Cut or TurboTax. Now we know we're doing our taxes correctly (and legally).

1 mom found this helpful

We use Turbo Tax and love it! It is so much better than spending the money to have them done! Word to the wise, Liberty Tax will go over the tax claim before you actually file to make sure it is right. Just print it off and take it to them to go over! Where I live, there is no charge for this. I'm not sure if you have a Liberty Tax where you live, but maybe H&R Block does the same. It is worth a call to them to at least ask the question. I hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

I have a degree in accounting but am not a CPA. I've been doing my own taxes and those of my mom and grandpa for years, first by hand and then using tax software. I started with Kiplinger's TaxCut primarily because it's cheaper than TurboTax, and I've never been disappointed. However, the tax code is complex, changes constantly, and if you have any kind of complications (rental property, self employed, sold a house, own stocks and bonds that you've sold, joint custody of child, etc.) I would go to a paid preparer first. Get them to do a set of your taxes one year, and then you can use their documents as a guide for doing them yourself next year. I would caution you about using the H&R Block and Liberty type services. I'm on the PTA board at my son's school and we used our local H&R Block. They actually made mistakes on our PTA returns that could have cost us big time. This year we paid $750 to have them straightened out. The primary reason for mistakes is that, although they use tax software just like you can buy, the folks filling out the forms are just like you, not a tax professional/CPA. They get some training, but typically do not study accounting and tax law and are almost never CPAs. Best bet is to spend the cash to have an independent CPA (or a CPA firm) do them one year, and then copy what they did the next year using tax software. If your situation changes from year to year, be extra careful, or go back to them periodically for a "refresher" set of returns to copy. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I went to H&R block once, and a personal tax guy once. All they do is enter the information into a computer program. Well I can do that!
So for the last 8 years or so I've been doing it myself through www.taxact.com. Very easy and can be Free depending on your needs. Even if you need the deluxe addition like me its less then $20 and I always get my refund deposited into my account in 10 days! No need for H&R's expensive loan!

1 mom found this helpful

we use turbo tax and I work for a CPA, so if something is weird, she takes a look at it for me.

1 mom found this helpful

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