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How foolproof is your DIY software?

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  • How foolproof is your DIY software?

    A couple of weeks ago, I found a $30,000 mistake on a DIY return that I reviewed for a forum participant. I'll admit this is not too common, but it's also not the first time I've found significant errors on self-prepared returns. Naturally, I hesitate to even bring up this topic as it smacks of self-promotion, but it is a legitimate concern. This was a simple mistake, which is easier to make than you may realize - even on a basic return.

    The time and trouble you put into doing your own returns could sometimes be put to better use in taking an extra shift and paying an experienced professional. Not for everyone, of course, but definitely for some. Do your research, double- and triple-check your work, and ask lots of questions if you decide to use a professional.

    [otoh, I've seen some returns from tax preparers (even CPAs) that would have been handled just as well by a 3rd grader.]

    Cleaning up the Mess Left by DIY Tax Software
    Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

  • #2
    Can you give us a hint (not person-specific obviously) of what kind of $30,000 mistake this was?


    • #3
      Entering K1 information incorrectly. Anyone could have made that mistake and the software wouldn't catch it.
      Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087


      • #4
        I'm happy to use a CPA for my tax preparation.

        I have a basic understanding of how I am being taxed, but neither the time nor inclination to try to become an expert. I understand a DIY approach is a good way to learn more about the tax code, but a costly mistake is far more likely to go unnoticed.




        • #5
          I do it myself right now, but its also not that complicated. If I had a couple K-1s, rental income, could start getting messy and be much less fun for sure.