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  • Tax preparation

    I just wanted to reach out to the community and see if people prepare their own taxes or use a software? If a software, then what do you use (TurboTax, H and R block, etc.)? Also why do you choose to go the route you do?

     

    Personally, I used Turbo Tax, then an accountant, and now back to Turbo Tax. My taxes are not too complicated but are slowly getting more complicated. I always found the time it took to prepare the documents for my accountant was only minimally more then the use of a software such as Turbo Tax. Thus, I left the accountant and am back on my own.

    Thoughts?

    - EJ/DDD

  • #2
    I used Free Tax USA last year and will do the same this year.  It seems to do just as good a job as basic tax software, and my taxes are not that simple.

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    • #3
      I've used turbotax for years.  I think its a great program and very thorough.  It really walks you through everything you need to do.  I don't see the advantage to using an account unless you feel lost doing it.  This year I have to add income and deductions from an airbnb side business we've been running, so my taxes will be a bit more complex, but I still feel confident I can do it without too much trouble.  Just gonna take a bit more time.

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      • #4
        So far no one uses an accountant...interesting? Maybe it is the subset of physicians reading this blog. More likely do-it-yourself financial types....

         

        - EJ

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        • #5
          I've used Turbotax for a bit over the last 10 years. I've been happy with it, and its been interesting see how its taken care of everything from a simple 1040-EZ up to multiple Schedule C's and a rental property. I buy it as soon as I can each year to start playing with scenarios like how much I can contribute to a SEP-IRA or how many donations I need to avoid making a 4th quarter estimated tax payment.

          I have been through a retail tax prep school, and one thing I took away was that no one cares about your money like you do. By going through Turbotax myself each year I find ways to save money that I would have missed if I just gave my documents to a tax preparer.

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          • #6
            I have a cpa doing our taxes which I had started doing 2-3 years ago.  It was becoming a bit cumbersome/complicated and it was relatively inexpensive to get another opinion regarding our tax situation.  I continue to do all the accounting work.   I am mainly w2 employed but I have a very good consulting gig plus real estate investments,  business 401k, employed wife, kids, payroll taxes.. etc.   Definitely helpful to have someone else prepare your taxes but I still review all the documents prior to IRS submission.

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            • #7
              Both...have used TurboTax for many years but went with a CPA in a year when I was W2 + 1099+ sale of rental property and it was definitely worth it that year.  I did my own "best effort" TurboTax preparation for comparison, and when the CPA got done he did $28,000 better than I did in reducing taxes, totally worth the $1,400 tax-deductible fee.  I also learned a few things when I studied what he did.  Having said that, the following year my wife and I were W2+W2 and I just used TurboTax that year.

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              • #8
                Have done it by hand the last few years when my wife and I were both residents (2 W-2s, itemized deductions).  My new job actually pays for an accountant to do our taxes, so I'm using him going forward.  I probably would do it by hand otherwise. (Note:  "by hand" means filling in each line on the fillable .pdf, not actually pencil and paper)

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                • #9




                     Definitely helpful to have someone else prepare your taxes but I still review all the documents prior to IRS submission.
                  Click to expand...


                  As you should!   

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                  • #10
                    I use an accountant. 4 Schedule Cs between me and my wife, solo profit sharing plans, and also I'm just not interested in spending the time on this activity. It costs, but I prefer to handle it this way.
                    My Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFF...MwBiAAKd5N8qPg

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                    • #11




                      o far no one uses an accountant…interesting? Maybe it is the subset of physicians reading this blog. More likely do-it-yourself financial types….
                      Click to expand...


                      I have my own solo practice and have used a CPA since 1999 for that. I think I might have used him before that for my personal tax return too but definitely have used him since 1999 for my personal filing.

                      He has the income from my practice. All I need to give him is dividends from stocks and mutual funds, Inc/Exp of our 3 properties and the various K-1 I get. I let him do it.

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                      • #12
                        Another user of FreeTaxUSA here for the past 7-8 years. Our taxes are not that complicated (W2, 1099 etc). It is free to use despite income level. I do now pay to file the state taxes as it was not worth my time to do them separately. There are typically coupon codes available to decrease this state filling cost as well.
                        TheWirecutter.com does reviews of the different programs if you wanted to test one out.

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                        • #13
                          I have thought about doing what you did- the best effort "Turbo Tax" prep and then see what a CPA comes up with.

                          - EJ

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                          • #14
                            Use turbotax, have used an accountant but basically just gave them best effort turbotax and see what they come up with. At that point things werent as complicated as theyre becoming so I stopped using one. I'll definitely be reviewing it in the next couple years as things become more complex.

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                            • #15
                              Ours are not that complex, and we get H&R Block's premium software for free via the military, so I do them myself. We have CPAs for free through the military, too, but I don't want to wait for an appointment, and they're swamped anyway.

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