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Thread: Do you do your own taxes without a program?

  1. #1
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    Do you do your own taxes without a program?

    We had pretty complicated taxes for 2016 due to retiring, selling the house, moving to a state with income tax, getting unexpected gas royalties and becoming landlords. I tried HR Block, TaxAct and TurboTax up to the point where you pay and file but kept getting different amounts inputting the same figures. It bothered me that just plugging in numbers didn't really "teach" me anything about our tax situation. So...I decided to do my own which I probably haven't done in at least a decade. By laboring through the process and doing a lot of research, I completed the 1040 and a complicated Schedule E. Then I had the numbers and confidence to complete the many pages of the state return (and another for severance taxes). I feel like I need to celebrate (Darn, I owe) but so happy to have done it myself and saved the money I would have spent on a CPA or tax program.

  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    We use a CPA. worth every penny of the $400 we pay, and that is deductible. But I think it is great that you do it.

  3. #3
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    I would much MUCH rather use a CPA then a program. Since I know several IRS employee's, who I trust, normally I can find any answers I need to find and do my own.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Good for you, Pinkytoe! I do my own taxes without any software, but our scenario is very simple.

  5. #5
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    I did my own taxes with a pencil and in-my-head calculations....40 years ago. We now have a farm and several other sources of income and it is well worth the fee and time saved (headache saved) to have our taxes done by a CPA. Never even thought of using a program.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Pencil and paper here. My taxes have never been really complicated. One year I had to income-average, but that's about it. Until recently, I figured deductions and used Form 1040. Now I just go the EZ route. I've never used a tax program--too linear for me. I tried using a tax service one year and ended up having to do it all myself anyway, as they neglected to include some critical information. Lesson learned.

  7. #7
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    For years I pulled out my hair doing my own taxes, despising every minute of it. About five years ago I finally wised up and hired an accountant. $220 this year for the lot--money well spent.

  8. #8
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    I am pretty certain I will hire someone next year because it was so grueling and our tax picture will again be complicated. That being said, I haven't felt quite so self-satisfied with anything since I learned to drive standard at age 32.

  9. #9
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    I've talked to tax preparers about my taxes (yes CPAs) and they don't seem to know all that much about complex stuff either. I don't like that that was the case mind you, but it was. So whatever, I have little faith the average CPA is going to do a better job than the tax software (an exceptional CPA might, but I don't know how to find one!). It's a sad conclusion, it's like when your doctor has no clue what is wrong with you despite many tests and so you start taking OTC herbal supplements you researched online.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    I pay a Republican to do my taxes.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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