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Greg44
1-20-11, 12:16am
I have most of my numbers together, just need to sit down and do my taxes. I have used Turbo Tax for the past few years and really like the ease of it. I do the online version and I like that it remembers all my information and I just have to update it.

Until then I had done my own taxes since I was in High School.

So has anyone done their taxes yet? Computer program, internet, accountant, pencil and paper?

HOPING for a BIG refund again this year. It has been very challenging year - too many trips to the savings for everyday living.:(

Greg44
http://www.OregonNewspaperResearch.wordpress.com"

bae
1-20-11, 12:46am
I am still waiting on some data to come back. I usually do the first cut with an Excel spreadsheet I maintain, then type the information into Turbotax to double-check my own model, and to print out nice pretty forms. I try not to file until the last possible moment, as I try to arrange to owe as much as possible without penalties, and I like the interest-free loan :-)

sweetana3
1-20-11, 7:14am
We have used Turbotax for over a decade. Husband has already estimated what we might owe since our interest and some retirement is not covered by withholding. Still dont have all the data. Since we owe, no hurry.

Gina
1-20-11, 11:55am
Hands over ears, eyes closed.....

lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalal

Float On
1-20-11, 4:16pm
I'm with Gina!
But I am putting the numbers all together to send everything for the business and personal over to our accountant. He likes it that I'm organized and he doesn't have to spend hours sorting reciepts.

Rosemary
1-20-11, 4:32pm
I use TaxAct. Cost is about 50% of the other packages - $20 including state software. There is a free version online that I used for a couple of years, but I find it worth $20 to save time with the pay version's extra features.

I generally do my taxes in late February. I don't have all the information yet.

rosarugosa
1-20-11, 9:33pm
I like doing my taxes, but I can be quirky about stuff like that. Pencil, paper, and calculator.

Jonathan
1-21-11, 9:43am
I'm still collecting data and I have to wait for paper forms to be available. I refuse to *pay a private company* for something the feds should be providing for free.

loosechickens
1-21-11, 1:17pm
We use TurboTax, but don't even try to get started until sometime in February, because it takes that long for all the necessary paperwork to get to us, then the "corrected" paperwork that always seems to be sent because some company paid a dividend in 2011 that should be counted on 2010, etc.

Once we get all the required paperwork in hand, we complete the returns, (always try to be even or even owe a little bit, but not enough to trigger any penalties), we sit on them until close to the filing date, if we owe them money, figuring we'd rather have that money in our account earning interest. If it's more or less a wash as to who owes who, we go ahead and send them in as soon as finished.

Edited to add: We'd think it really an error were we to be eligible for much of any refund, because we'd look at it as having given the government an interest free loan for much of the year. BUT......we have several friends who would never have any savings backed up at ALL if they didn't get that big refund every year that they use for big purchases, or to pay off bills. For them, it's "enforced savings", so I guess, it's better than nothing. But, since we're good at saving, not for us.

ApatheticNoMore
1-21-11, 2:29pm
Pencil and paper, I don't even have my W2 yet, and I always owe, so they can wait.

Somehow the idea of racking my brain to figure out all the vast obscurity of the tax code and all possible obscurities that just might apply to me (and I don't even itemize!), just so I can hand them over a whole bunch of money when I've finally done with it (it's worse than unpaid labor), doesn't thrill me as much as you'd think it would ;)

A whole bunch of money? Well, being paid every 2 weeks we get 2 "extra" paychecks a year. Let's just say most years one of them was going to what I still owed in taxes and I budgeted as such. This year I didn't (I invested it) so uh oh ...

Spartana
1-21-11, 5:01pm
OK, am I allowed to gloat on the new boards :-)! No? ... ok than just consider me a poor wretch instead but I don't even have to do taxes this year because I didn't earn enough taxable income or interest. None of my VA disability pension is taxable and only part of my govmint pension (combined with my military years) is taxable and most investments are in tax deferred stuff, so I fall below the taxable amount this year - YEA! But when I do taxes, I do them myself with pencil and paper and just use the 1040A form and don't itemize. I like to keep it as simple as possible.

jennipurrr
1-21-11, 5:06pm
We are going to have to pay this year as we have some 1099 "income" (not really income, but a settlement from BP not to sue over oil disaster >:( ). Not that the interest will be much, but I am going to wait until April 15 for sure.

I will probably start getting my stuff organized soon though...we have had tax docs start rolling in this week. I have used Turbo Tax for several years now to save money from an acct and it is not hard at all! Even with rental property its been user friendly. I definitely recommend it if someone is thinking about dropping an accountant.

Crystal
1-21-11, 9:27pm
All done this evening -- Turbotax free version -- the only glitch was it wasn't stated in plain English that if I had a certain type of income I had to file a certain type of form, and that form can only be mailed, not e-filed. Growl. Took 1/2 hour of steady cursing before I figured out what was wrong. The little doggy went and hid! Now that that is figured out, all is well, finished for another year, nothing owed, no refunds due. :cool::moon:

Jemima
1-22-11, 12:12pm
I'm all but done, just waiting for a 1099. I use TaxCut, which is sent to me automatically in late December, and enter my numbers as they become available. I also keep a file of each category throughout the year (medical, charity, et cetera) so that's all ready to go, too.

I'm a CPA, not currently working in the tax field, but I used to have my own practice. If there's one, big, simplifying favor you can do for yourself, it's to keep those tax documents organized throughout the year! If you use an accountant to do yours, it will also help with the fees because the accountant won't have to spend an hour or two digging through your records to find things.

Yppej
1-22-11, 6:48pm
No. I don't like that the government is trying to make everyone file electronically. No forms in libraries, no forms at the post office, no forms at the local IRS office. I called for forms and then got a postcard that they are all out. Printed some out and now I have a "toner low" message as they use a lot of ink. I just changed the toner a little while ago. :( I should not have to buy software or pay someone to do my taxes for me.

I did look over the forms some and the ability to up your standardized deduction if you pay a lot of real estate taxes has been taken away :( And I can't get the child tax credit anymore though kids get more expensive when they hit college age, not less expensive :( I should get something for the energy-efficient windows I installed. Haven't filled out the forms to figure out how much yet. I figured enough :( for one day.

kib
1-22-11, 8:10pm
I use TaxAct too. Waiting on the 1099s etc. to dribble in. I guess most of it's available online at this point but I'm not in a big rush. Yppej, totally off topic, set your printer default to "draft" unless you really need it to be pretty. You'll save about 50% of your ink.

Yppej
1-22-11, 8:28pm
Thanks kib. I see copy quality and it is set at normal (lowest setting). There is also a lighter/darker setting along a continuum - don't know if that would make a difference? Nothing labelled draft quality nor is that term or anything similar in the user's manual.

kib
1-22-11, 9:03pm
When I go to print there is a box marked "preferences" and when I go there I can choose draft setting (I think the options are best, normal and draft). This for HP and Kodak. Maybe just setting the ink lighter would do the same thing? My old printer it was a matter of setting fewer dpi (dots per inch). I love that draft mode prints in about half the time of regular, in addition to using less ink. Even a table pops out in about 5 seconds.

Yppej
1-23-11, 6:53am
OK, I see that now. Thanks! It's not on the printer but in the print menu on the computer.

Greg44
1-23-11, 5:37pm
The one thing I don't like about Turbo Tax - and I understand the reason for it - but I feel a bit "disconnected" from the process of going line by line - using the work book, etc. It was comparing my 1099 information to last year's numbers and it treated them differently for some reason. If I was still doing them myself, I would have understood why...(I minored in Acct
in college). Now I got to sit back and check it all over again...I always fear I answered one of their questions wrong.

jp1
1-31-11, 10:25pm
Just filed mine electronically with Turbotax. I thought I had actually managed to owe/have the IRS owe me $0 the first time around, but then realized I'd missed $38 in interest on my ING account. Now I owe $13 to the feds, so I guess my marginal tax rate is 33%. I'm' getting $289 back from CA, which annoys me. Like Chickens, I don't need a forced savings plan and don't want to be giving any government an interest free loan. I'll have to check into whether I can change my CA withholding to eliminate that next year.

Next year, assuming that I still have just a W-2 and nothing to report from my e-trade accounts (mostly Roth IRA and rollover IRA so not much going on, but I do potentially have dividend income in my non-retirement e-trade account, just not this year.) I'll probably not splurge the $27 or whatever it was for filing CA and just use this year's as a template to do my own. At least the 1040EZ is free on turbotax.

Polliwog
1-31-11, 11:52pm
Just filed today using TurboTax. Have a nice refund coming which I wasn't expecting because income has changed since last year. The refund will fund some upcoming trips.

Linda

gimmethesimplelife
2-1-11, 1:51am
I use Free Tax USA and have had good luck with that. Tomorrow I am doing mine, and possibly my mom's (she doesnt work but for some reason gets $25 back from the state every year anyway, return on excise taxes or something like that.) Got to be honest here, as I wait tables and as where I work tends to put charge card tips and room charge tips on your check, I always claim zero and give the government an interest free loan. Yeah, I know......My logic is that I more likely to get audited than most people as a server so I want a nice big pool of cash there to appease the IRS if I have indeed messed up.....And it is always possible that perhaps my coworkers have not claimed enough and I might get stuck on line 8 of the W2 with a huge amount of allocated tips I owe SS and Fed taxes and Medicare on. So I let them have the money until February every year, and I also have the max withheld on my state taxes too. I don't see this as a forced savings plan, I see it as insurance in a way. I am expecting around $1,300 back this year and will be making the final payments on two credit cards with this, so woohoo to me!!!!! I can't wait to click submit on the payments and have these monthly bills ride off into the sunset!!!!! Rob

Jemima
2-1-11, 8:20am
Mine are done and just waiting for one more 1099.

I used TaxCut, which includes a comparison of your income and deductions with those of others in the same range, and I was shocked to see that the "average" person in my income range had over $4,000 in unemployment compensation and $16,000 in pension withdrawals.

DonkaDoo
2-2-11, 5:38pm
I filed mine last week. I used TurboTax this year and liked it. I had been using TacAct, but I prefer TurboTax

Greg44
2-3-11, 8:59pm
All my numbers are in Turbo Tax - and they have a glitch with the questions on the 401K rollovers...waiting for them to fix it. Apparently it figures everything correctly even with asking the wrong question, but I don't want to take any chances. Still one last 1099 waiting to come in and then I can push the send button

janharker
2-3-11, 9:15pm
I have sitting in an organized stack all the info that I can put together: donations, medical expenses, mileage. But we're still waiting for the reports to come in from Schwab, etc. Can't really do it ourselves, because there's a trust involved and investments that involve a K-1 form. So when most of it is in it all gets sent to the accountant. That'll be sometime late March, because the gov't allows some investment companies to sit on their hands about sending needed documents.

In the meantime, I'm the treasurer of record for a not-for-profit that went through dissolution in 2010. It's amazingly easy to fill out tax forms when you had less than $100 to start the year and ended the year with $0. The envelopes are sitting waiting to be mailed, as soon as I can get the car up my icy driveway. Probably tomorrow.

And if we can get the Fair Tax passed then this discussion will be non-existent because we won't be filing federal tax returns. www.fairtax.com

ljevtich
2-13-11, 4:44pm
We have done our taxes, and paid for the Federal Tax. Seems we made too much in interest savings and so we had to pay. They also stated that we should have been making quarterly payments and so we were charged extra fees.

This was the first year of my DH being retired and me working with the NPS, so we can deal.

As we use Texas as our domicile, there is no state income tax, and with 30 year Treasury Bonds, you do not have to pay state income tax. So that worked out well. I had worked in North Carolina and Utah, so had to file tax forms in both states. In Utah we got a small return, and in NC, we had to pay. I think we will wait to pay the state.

We used H&R Block. We have used them for several years and like the online version, but I agree, paying a third party company seems wrong, but if you want smaller government, then that is how it works.

In Texas, they have totally done away with the DMV driving testers for Motorcycles; instead you have to go to a third party, take a two day class ($150), and then go back to the offices, take the written exam (paper!) and then pay for the license ($16). They cut down the amounts spent for their departments, and the public has to spend money instead.

But I like what they are doing at the rest stops and on most highways, so I won't complain. As far as I could tell, doing the motorcycle training was a great way to go anyway, and if it saves the state money, then why not?

Oh, and that fair tax is supposed to be an .org, not .com

for more on that theory: explaining Fair Tax (http://www.factcheck.org/taxes/unspinning_the_fairtax.html)

Tammy
2-13-11, 7:28pm
just finished ours yesterday using olt.com. first time I did our own in many years. our taxes were complicated for a long time with housing allowance and self employment, etc. Then for a few years our son the accountant did them. This year I did it and found both great frustration with the complexity of our system, and also great pats on the back for having succeeded.

JaneV2.0
2-13-11, 10:14pm
Paper and pencil. I waited and waited for instructions to arrive this year--fruitlessly, it turns out. (Was there some notice I didn't get?) :confused: I've been doing my taxes the same way for a million years, and I've got it down to an efficient hour-long process, so I'm beyond annoyed that I'm being coerced into changing it. Oh well.

Tiam
2-13-11, 11:43pm
Oregon State taxes are killer.

mattj
2-14-11, 12:44pm
Just got word that my Federal Tax Return has been accepted. Already have the State/School district refunds back and spent!

San Onofre Guy
2-14-11, 1:12pm
I went on Turbo Tax on Saturday and entered everything that I have. I am still waiting on dividend notices and notice of stock sale so I can finish. I expect those forms within 10 days when I can finish. Turbo Tax makes things so easy.

Greg44
2-14-11, 1:43pm
Just got my OR refund into my checking account today! Estimated time on my Fed return is Friday or Tuesday. I am hoping for Friday! :)

rosarugosa
2-14-11, 2:46pm
Jane,
I've always been a pencil and paper do-it-yourselfer too. I've done the free fillable forms for the past couple of years, which are available through the IRS site with no income limitations. It's essentially the same process as the paper forms. It's a bit annoying in some respects, because you have to enter ALL the data from your w-2s (surely the IRS has that info??). But it's certainly do-able. I filed my return on 1/30, and I go my refund on 2/12.

JaneV2.0
2-16-11, 6:37pm
So I can print the forms, fill them out with my pencil, then re-enter the same info on the IRS site? That OK, except for the annoyance of not having all the rules in front of me in a booklet.

(And I don't have fond memories of Oregon's tax forms. The state return always took me longer than the federal one.)

Zzz
2-16-11, 6:48pm
Got to get mine filed soon. I give the feds an income free loan because I sometimes owe the state and also have a heavy local income tax in my local municipality that must be paid each year.

heydude
2-16-11, 6:51pm
Jane,
The IRS does not send out tax forms (but you can order them for free from their website). I did get a notice that everything was on back-order, BUT they did come just a few weeks later.
I really need the instructions in front of me and not on a computer screen. I do not like all this efile business and such.

rosarugosa
2-16-11, 8:49pm
Jane,
You could do that, although I don't because I don't have a printer.

San Onofre Guy
2-22-11, 5:59pm
I finished on Saturday refund should arrive March 4

RosieTR
2-22-11, 11:57pm
DH always makes an appointment with the accountant for early Feb, so yep, done. I have done taxes exactly as many times as I have changed my car's oil. In either case the experience was valuable to have because now I know why I pay someone. Yes, it's laziness but the non-raising of blood pressure is worth it to me and DH. I figure, I'm helping a small business; this guy has given us advice esp on state laws that I would never have known using TurboTax (screw doing it 100% by hand no way) AND the fee for his services are tax deductible. Prior to this we had switched off year by year who did the taxes but that only lasted a few years and a couple of those we went with an accountant because of one oddity or another. My dad did my taxes until I got married; he still does my sister's (!) even though she's now married too. He worked as an accountant until retirement so it was sort of a given.

bow-tie
2-25-11, 3:36pm
Almost finished. Forgot about the phaseout of IRA contribution deductions and the mind-numbing rules surrounding HSAs....>:(

rodeosweetheart
2-25-11, 11:52pm
We did ours last week, via e-filing, fed and two state returns; we moved. Owed feds, owed one state, refund from other state. Hope to never set foot again in state of old New York-- like the McGarrigles say,
"Never had the blues from whence I came
but in New York state I caught em."

Must be nice to live in a state with no income tax.:)

dmc
3-6-11, 3:22pm
Just finished mine today, I was waiting for a k1 that I just got last week. Looks like I'll be getting some back, I have to guess how much to send in so its hard to get the number exact. I looked back at 2006, the last year I worked full time, and I'm sure paying a lot less now. I'm working on getting things arranged so I can pay less in the next few years. I'm thinking that by 2012 I can get it down to around $6000. 2013 is up in the air depending on what is going on with Obamacare.