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  • #16
    Problem with an accountant is they dont help at all for the part of taxes that is terrible, getting all numbers/receipts/etc...together. Thats the part I hate, the data entry on TT is generally easy (well...the SE insurance and other things arent exactly user friendly) and after the gathering it doesnt really make any sense.

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    • #17




      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)
      Click to expand...


      I still do mine by hand, fillable .pdf style. I learned it that way in high school, when it was actually paper and pen and had to pick up the forms at the library, and have found the free turbotax version to be too confusing for me. I'm still pretty easy on the number and type of forms I need to do and nothing really changes from year to year, but I am sure I'll need to figure out a different way to do them in the next few years.

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      • #18
        I used a CPA in the past. He is a bright, personable guy and I'm sure he knows his field. However, his firm gets slammed at tax time and I found mistakes in three different years. Also, the bill rose substantially every year.

        So I switched to TurboTax. It isn't that difficult and I learn things about the tax code that help me plan my affairs--for at least $1,500-$2,000 less.
        Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

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        • #19
          I have been using turbo tax for many years and have been satisfied.  I would certainly head to a CPA if my situation were complex enough.

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          • #20
            Interesting regarding accountants provided through work. I do wonder if they provide the best quality versus finding one on your own. Still it seems most of us do our own taxes and that they are as simple as W2s to more complex including real estate holdings. Glad to see I am in good company and that I should not feel strange to continue using TurboTax.

            -EJ

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            • #21
              I use Turbo Tax. My taxes are fairly simple, mostly W2 income. I did take it to an account one year to check my math and see if I missed anything. He made no changes so I decided to keep doing them. I feel that by doing my own taxes I learn the tax code a bit and am more aware of my finances, so although it is not a great use of my time from a purely mathematical perspective I feel it is educational.

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              • #22
                I used Turbo Tax in the past, but I started buying state tax credits (I never see anyone post about these, BTW), and TurboTax cannot accommodate these. I find that I spend nearly as much time preparing stuff for the accountant as I did when I did the taxes myself, and I do not feel that adding the accountant has saved me money in deductions and such. In fact, I catch as many issues/problems as he does, if not more. It does give me some peace of mind that an adult is checking over things, and, once every year or two, I have someone to ask a question.

                When things get simple, I plan to go back to doing taxes myself.

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                • #23
                  I used TurboTax for many years, but have recently switched to H&R Block.  It is significantly cheaper and gets the job done.  H&R Block also gives the option of a 10% bonus if you accept a portion of your tax refund as an Amazon Gift Card.

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                  • #24
                    turbotax all the way.

                    its W2, no house, no kids.

                    investment stuff is not complicated, including backdoor rIRA.

                    there is nothing savvy a person has to offer me.....yet

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                    • #25
                      I am an accountant. I shifted careers to medicine. I am now retired. I was in practice in a solo practice PA. My best advice:

                      If you are a W2 employee use whatever software you are comfortable with. It's as easy as pie.  Add in some fancy investing maneuvers - you can still do your own taxes for the most part.

                      Own your own practice - use a CPA. Get it right the first time. A CPA who specializes in medical practice can additionally help with basically free business consulting. My CPA made sure that I was in compliance with all employment laws, withholding, accounting cycle issues.  I used him for corporate and personal taxes.

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                      • #26
                        W2 employee, backdoor Roths, and a few 1099s.  Used to use TurboTax, although used a CPA the last 3 years.  That person isn't available to me for this year.  I'm thinking of going back to TurboTax as I agree with Zaphod that the hardest part is getting all the information together.  Putting it in TurboTax takes less time than copying the whole thing and meeting with the CPA.

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                        • #27
                          I have used a CPA/EA for the past 20 years. My returns are somewhat complex, with a mix of W2 and 1099 income. I have a Limited Partnership and couple LLCs. I take full advantage of all tax breaks such as HSA, solo 401ks, 529s. My accountant has kept me out of trouble several times. I believe his signature at the bottom of my return is helpful. I can bounce crazy ideas off him when I try to save taxes and set up new businesses.

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                          • #28
                            TurboTax for many years, until I became a partner in my group. I wanted the help of a CPA to navigate form K1 and estimated quarterly payments, especially because part of the year was in employment. I will use the same CPA this year; did a nice job for a low hourly fee.

                            However, one of my goals for 2018 is to read more about the tax code, and I plan to start preparing my own returns a couple years down the road. It will be nice to have the CPA's work to refer to, and for now I also like having someone I can ask a quick tax question and have a response the same day.

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                            • #29
                              I get HR Block TaxCut Premium (browser-based) for free via Military OneSource.  Two W-2s, a small 1099 with some expenses, mortgage, backdoor Roth, many itemized deductions, some credits.  Very easy and intuitive.  Have used it 7 years now.  Haven't used TT or Tax Act but I imagine HRB is unlikely to be inferior.

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                              • #30
                                taxact.

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