How did you do your income taxes?

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John151
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How did you do your income taxes?

Post by John151 »

I asked this question last year, and I’ve decided to ask it again: If you’ve done your income taxes, how did you do them? Did you do them by hand? Did you have a paid preparer do them for you? Or did you use computer software, and, if so, which software package did you use?

I calculated my federal and state income taxes using the online versions of both TaxAct and TurboTax, short of actually filing, and the results were precisely the same. TurboTax was more convenient in that it imported my investment information directly from Vanguard. With TaxAct, I had to type in the information myself. But I had only four Vanguard funds with taxable income in 2016, and it took me only twenty minutes or so to enter the information manually.

The major difference was the price. I sold shares of one of my Vanguard funds, so I needed to file a Schedule D. That meant using the online version of TurboTax Premier at a cost of $54.99 for my federal return, and $36.99 for my state return. Total cost: $91.98. TaxAct Plus was much cheaper: $10.50 for my federal return, and $25.00 for my state return. Total cost: $35.50. I went with TaxAct.

That was in late January. Since then, TaxAct has raised its price for TaxAct Plus to $27 for the federal return, and $33 for the state return. Total cost: $60. TurboTax has raised its prices too. For the online version of TurboTax Premier, the price is $79.99 for the federal return, and $39.99 for the state return. Total cost: $119.98. If I were filing today, I’d still go with TaxAct.

Please note that these prices are for the online versions. The prices for the download versions would be different.

Next year I’m going to shop around, taking a look at Credit Karma and FreeTaxUSA as well as TaxAct and TurboTax.
livesoft
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by livesoft »

I will file later in the summer, but I have finished my tax return more or less.

I use HRBlock Deluxe desktop and will get paid by my Amazon bonus rebate to use it. I don't see any reason to have to pay for fully functional desktop software and that includes a state return for me.
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Conch55
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by Conch55 »

TurboTax Deluxe from Sam's Club (49$) including federal e-file and 1 state return, which is not free. I drop off a paper copy of my state form at my local municipal center saving the postage. Works for me.
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Hodor
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by Hodor »

I used Free Fillable Forms online. Was not too difficult at all, and I'm going to go through the forms line by line either way.
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Kosmo
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by Kosmo »

"By hand".

For federal income taxes I use freefilefillableforms.com. They are essentially fillable pdfs that do most of the math. Electronic submission through their website.

For state taxes I use the PA state website online forms.

For my wife's local wage taxes I have to print a form and fill it out by hand and mail it in.
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gasdoc
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by gasdoc »

CPA

Gasdoc
mhalley
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by mhalley »

CPA. The only reason I use mine is that I get a K1 and always have problems with 2 states both wanting to tax me. Otherwise I would use a program.
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22twain
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by 22twain »

I use TurboTax Premier, because I get a discount through my account at T. Rowe Price. Total cost for federal + state was about $50 this year.
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FraggleRock
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by FraggleRock »

I have a guy.
$290 USD
Schedule-C, W2, 1098s
Total time spent by me (including travel time) = 3 hours.
Last edited by FraggleRock on Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
froman118
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by froman118 »

TaxHawk this year for $0. They are running a special for new customers and it seems like normal cost is just $15 for the state e-file. I moved from TaxAct after 6 years of paying about $14.
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bertilak
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by bertilak »

John151 wrote:I asked this question last year, and I’ve decided to ask it again: If you’ve done your income taxes, how did you do them? Did you do them by hand? Did you have a paid preparer do them for you? Or did you use computer software, and, if so, which software package did you use?
I drop of several stacks of stuff for my CPA. He does them.

I used to do mine by myself (Turbo Tax) but as I took on responsibility for several other people's finances It became too much so off I go to a CPA. When I got down to just one person it was too easy to just stick with the CPA. I'm now back up to two people's finances so of course the CPA gets it all.
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JDCarpenter
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by JDCarpenter »

HR Block Deluxe, after spiking my withholding in December to capture all of the 10% rebate....

Thus, net of the software cost, I was paid about $470 to use this method.
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Broken Man 1999
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

I scout around to find a free e-file source; having no state income tax to file increases the possibility of finding a freebie.

Only issue (minor in my case) is having to re-enter common info every couple of years if you change who you are using. Many freebies seem to change their free-filing conditions regularly.

Our return is pretty simple, a couple of SS forms to consider, a few IRA withdrawal forms, and one W-2 to tax me on my life insurance provided by MegaCorp.

The "fillable forms" that are available would work just about as well.

Broken Man 1999
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Watty
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by Watty »

I have used the H&R block software for several years now with no problems but my return is pretty simple. There is usually a one or two day special at Amazon late in December for around $20 or less and you can get a 10% bonus on your refund if you take it as an Amazon gift card. I got over a hundred dollar bonus last year, I don't know how they can afford that but it was legitimate. That includes one state and Federal e-file but not state. I just mail in a paper copy of my state tax return.
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cockersx3
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by cockersx3 »

Did my own using H&R Block Deluxe + State, cost $21.99 thru an Amazon daily deal. (Actually read about it on this forum...thanks Bogleheads! :beer ) Used to use TaxAct in past years, but the cost went up a lot this year so ended up going with different software.

My taxes are pretty basic....wage income, mortgage interest, and stock dividends and cap gains. No rentals or business income or anything.
DetroitRick
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by DetroitRick »

TurboTax Premier $58 (sale on Amazon back on Jan 3) - Federal + Federal Efile + State
Plus another $20 for state efile.

I've used TurboTax almost every year for years. Did a few years by hand (2008-11), but decided it was too much trouble, too much time, and too error-prone. Plus, my return got much more complex. So I'm expecting to continue with TurboTax for the long run.
Carson
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by Carson »

Through the year, I keep a running tally in our budget file, based on details in our paychecks. That gives me a general idea. When I got the actual docs, I loaded my stuff into HR Block Online , as I have for the past several years, somehow the price they were offering me was $50-ish? :shock:

With that unwelcome surprise I decided to actually use my Accounting degree and do my own. I've drawn up my calculations in MS Excel, and I'm using Freefillableforms for the actual entry and submission. Sigh, I need to finish them.

For State, I'll use our state's online filing service. It is fast and easy.
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fsrph
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by fsrph »

TaxAct. Switched from TurboTax a few years ago.

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Flobes
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by Flobes »

Using Tax Act online, last month I efiled federal and state for $26.98.

A few days ago, I read a thread on the Forum, detailing TaxAct now offered for $10, including refunds for those who'd already paid and filed:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=214389

I emailed TaxAct about ^this, and a refund was quickly posted to my credit card account. So my total cost for this year's TaxAct federal and tax e-filing is $10.

OP: Links show the $10 deal is still "live" so you too might just receive a refund if you contact TaxAct.
littlebird
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by littlebird »

Pencil and paper.

edited to add: for the 57th year. Not consecutive, since the first year after I married (at 19), my then husband's friend, a CPA, did ours. When he handed it back he said to me sternly: "from now on, you do it yourself. Just follow what I did." So I did. Also just found out that my 84 year-old sister-in-law still does hers by hand also, and has since she was 16.
Last edited by littlebird on Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
tomd37
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by tomd37 »

I personally use the software programs utilized by the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) free volunteer income tax preparation services where I have been volunteering for the past fourteen years. I also have access to the Turbo Tax program and understand it is similar to the current software program used by TCE and VITA, but have never used it.
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CheeseFlip
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by CheeseFlip »

+1 CPA
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SmileyFace
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by SmileyFace »

John151 wrote:I sold shares of one of my Vanguard funds, so I needed to file a Schedule D. That meant using the online version of TurboTax Premier at a cost of $54.99 for my federal return, and $36.99 for my state return. Total cost: $91.98.
You could have saved a few dollars if you bought the CD from Amazon. It is $51 (for Premier version) and INCLUDES 5 Federal e-file returns. Filing state costs another $25 for a total cost of $76. BUT with the CD you can load on multiple computers and use the software for additional returns provided the additional returns are in the immediate family (per license agreement). Thus - you can share the cost with other family members if desired.

This is what I did - I bought the CD (and used it with additional family members).

It doesn't make sense that buying a CD is cheaper than a download or on-line version but it is.
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inittowinit
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by inittowinit »

I used H+R Block's software through the IRS free e-file site. Easy peasy.
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blueblock
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by blueblock »

For the 12th consecutive year, I used Turbotax online, paying, as you note, $92 bucks for the two returns.
itstoomuch
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by itstoomuch »

Use TaxAct for planning.
CPA for actual work and filing.
I then plug in CPA's numbers into TA and do tax planning for the current year (2017). :greedy

I need to know how much I can afford (income) to do IRA to Roths, IRA distributions, and 529 contribution or no qualified withdrawal. On the deduction side, I need to know how sick I can get :annoyed
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JohnF
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by JohnF »

Same as last year, I

1) Manually fill in IRS downloadable forms.
2) Verify reasonableness of results via TurboTax TaxCaster.
3) Mail in forms.
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Ged
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by Ged »

Turbo Tax Premier free from Fidelity plus a couple of small spreadsheets using Excel 2010 that I bought in 2012 for about $100.

I've had good luck transferring my Fidelity information into Turbo Tax the past few years so I think I will continue doing this.

Not counting the cost of the computer because I'd have that anyway.
aristotelian
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by aristotelian »

Freetaxusa. Free for federal, including self-employment and investment income. State is $12 but you do not need to pay it to download the federal.

Did state and local taxes by hand using pencil and paper but entered the numbers into the website to file electronically.

Total cost: $0.
avalpert
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by avalpert »

This year I will file my Federal with Tax Act Premium for $0, my state I'll file directly through their free efile system. In the past I have used Turbo Tax when I could get it for near free too.
ddunca1944
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by ddunca1944 »

Turbo Tax Deluxe. $29.95 at Amazon
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Toons
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by Toons »

TaxAct per usual
Fed/State- $30.83
Online Version. :happy
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KlangFool
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by KlangFool »

Folks,

<<H&R Block Tax Software Premium 2016 + Refund Bonus Offer PC/Mac Disc>>

Bought at Amazon around December @ $32. The deal was announced here at Boglehead. Included state and 5 federal efiles.

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HIinvestor
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by HIinvestor »

We use a CPA. He has to prepare a K-1 for a real estate partnership and does a nice job of handling all our business, real estate and other tax stuff so we sleep well at night.

Neither H nor I feel comfortable doing our taxes ourself as well as the K-1 partnership. We have to get the K-1 to the other partner so he can file his extension.
Last edited by HIinvestor on Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
flyingbison
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by flyingbison »

Kosmo wrote:"By hand".

For federal income taxes I use freefilefillableforms.com. They are essentially fillable pdfs that do most of the math. Electronic submission through their website.

For state taxes I use the PA state website online forms.
Same here (except in WI, not PA).
basspond
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by basspond »

I have built a spreadsheet with the schedules. Just have to adjust the tax rates and schedules as needed.
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FiveK
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by FiveK »

Ged wrote:Turbo Tax Premier free from Fidelity plus a couple of small spreadsheets using Excel 2010 that I bought in 2012 for about $100.
I've had good luck transferring my Fidelity information into Turbo Tax the past few years so I think I will continue doing this.
Not counting the cost of the computer because I'd have that anyway.
Pretty much this.
abner kravitz
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by abner kravitz »

Turbotax Premier, free from Fidelity (sort of). Paid $60 for second state and e-filing.
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FrugalYankee
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by FrugalYankee »

I used the H&R Block software. I've always filed using software.
tim1999
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by tim1999 »

TurboTax, and I don't do them until around April 5-7, since I always owe a bit of money. Haven't started yet.
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dumbbunny
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by dumbbunny »

TurboTax Deluxe CD. I like to do "what-ifs" which you can't do with the online version.
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dwickenh
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by dwickenh »

I used TaxSlayer this year as it is the software I use to do volunteer taxes for the elderly. In past years, I used Turbo Tax with no problems.

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Rhadamanthus
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by Rhadamanthus »

This year I was able to use TurboTax Online again, as I had to use a CPA last year due to weirdness from moving my managed accounts at Raymond James the year before to a DIY setup at Vanguard. TTO went smoothly and I got my refund direct deposited in a couple of weeks.
MathWizard
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by MathWizard »

TurboTax Deluxe (State Income Taxes)
skylar
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by skylar »

My wife and I used the IRS free fillable forms (free arithmetic, not much else), since our situation isn't that complex. Assuming nothing has changed since the previous year (good bet for us), we can look to see which forms we used that year to see what we need to do for the current year. I think it took us about two hours total.
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ClevrChico
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by ClevrChico »

FreeTaxUSA

Free Federal. $11.65 State w/ coupon.

It was comprised of 24 pages of documents. Time/hassle saved is well worth it.
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Peter Foley
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by Peter Foley »

Turbo Tax Deluxe + state for $39.89 + tax at Staples. It was on sale with a coupon.

Actual cost was $20 more as I paid for electronic filing of state. In addition to my own taxes I did taxes for my two married daughters using the same software. Additional costs to file state electronically, $20 each.
Momus
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by Momus »

A friend of mine used Creditkarma. Free. Hasn't supported multiple states yet.

My self? Free TurboTax CD from a friend after he was done with his lol... Got my refund fed and state in exactly 7 & 8 days after e-filing.
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Sheepdog
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by Sheepdog »

I have always completed my tax returns myself. Would you believe that in the 40s and early 50s a standard tax return was a simple post card? (Did I hear someone here say "What's a post card?")
In early years, before computers, I completed my tax returns by hand, even with complicated tax shelters, reading the IRS manuals, but when tax software became available, I have used several different ones. In recent years I have been able to use free software. For 2016, I used free OLT for federal and state.
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2comma
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Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Post by 2comma »

TaxAct for the last several years at $10 this year for federal and state with a discount that was just mentioned in the forum. We had foreign financial assets and non-qualified stock options this year and managed to muck our way thru once again. It wasn't easy or fun, tax filing never is for us - this year was the most complicated, but we are done!
Last edited by 2comma on Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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