Taxes

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CheetahAngel Posts : 2,017 Registered: 11/29/08
Taxes
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 8:23 AM

Who fills out their taxes on their own? I am thinking of doing mine by myself for the 1st time but I am afraid I will screw things up. I am AWFUL with numbers.

Is it easy to fill them out on websites like hrblock or taxact? I have 2 jobs so would that be too complicated to do on your own? I need advice, thanks!
                              

 

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Nalamienea Posts : 2,924 Registered: 6/13/08
Re: Taxes
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 8:55 AM Go to message in response to: CheetahAngel

I HEART doing my taxes with turbotax.com . Two jobs is no big deal becuase there's a button to put in more than on W2. You just have to put the numbers in the right boxes (they tell you) and then answer yes or no to a bunhc of questions As long as you file a 1040A or 1040EZ I think it's free. If you need something more complicated it might be $20 or something. :) Then, I went on my state's free website to do my state taxes ($3 back, I kid you not. lol). Mine was tax.virginia.gov , so maybe your state has something similar. The BEST part was that I didn't pay a dime to file!

geeeeez I sound like a turbotax add. lol


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CaribbeanBride08 Posts : 1,474 Registered: 6/13/07
Re: Taxes
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 9:18 AM Go to message in response to: Nalamienea

My husband has been using H&R Block's Taxcut for several years. I was a Turbo Tax gal. Both are very good. We itemize so Taxcut is cheaper for us to use. I think it's only a $30 difference or something like that.

Speaking of taxes, getting married killed us tax-wise. My husband, with all the house interest write-offs, used to get 12k total in refunds (9k from Fed and 3k from state). Well marrying me has not only cost him every bit of his refunds, but now we OWE 700 to Federal. I make too much money and we don't have any other write-offs besides the house. We're getting back 1200 from State but California isn't sending refunds this year. Instead, we're getting nothing but a promissory note from CA.

TAXES SUCK! We were going to use our refund to get a new roof. Obviously that's not going to happen.

Did I mention TAXES SUCK???

 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Taxes
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 10:45 AM Go to message in response to: CheetahAngel

Dear CA,

I do my own taxes, and have done so for years. I use H&R Block's TaxCut software.

Here is my suggestion to you. Get the tax software, and fill it out to the best of your ability. Then, take it along with your documentation (1099, etc) to a tax pro and let that person review what you did.

If you did OK the first time, on your own, that might give you the confidence to do it yourself next year. If you missed something, the tax pro will find it and you can learn from your mistakes.

Even if you prepare it yourself every year, then have it reviewed by a tax pro, there's no harm done. You will have organized your stuff AND you'll have a good idea of how to organize things for next year.

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nanette927 Posts : 1,748 Registered: 1/28/08
Re: Taxes
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 10:49 AM Go to message in response to: CaribbeanBride08

Tobi = I am so sorry to hear that!

Taxes= I am so GREATFUL for TURBO TAX! I used to waste my money on Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block. I have my kids and that's it! and since I lost my job in Dec 07 and couldn't find a job till May of 08 I didn't make much last year. So I must say, I am getting a pretty good refund this year I can't complain. And instead of paying $200 for someone to do it for me, doing it myself kept that money in my pocket and I get it back in a few days right in my account!

(Sahrah= I just made another turbo tax commercail, lol right along with ya!)


 

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MrsM2009 Posts : 422 Registered: 3/16/08
Re: Taxes
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 10:52 AM Go to message in response to: CaribbeanBride08

Tobi - I think the same thing is going to happen to us when we get married! I am in the second highest tax bracket, and FH is in a lower bracket, and he usually gets a major refund which I doubt he'll get after we're married :(

Lucky for me, this year I graduated in May and started my new job in September, but got taxed each paycheck as if that was my salary for the year, so I'm getting a nice little refund :) I think between FH and I we'll get around 8k, which should pay for our honeymoon! Cook islands here we come!

To the OP - I have always done my own taxes. I don't itemize, so it's REALLY simple. I actually have no problem doing them by hand, but I prefer to use one of the systems like turbotax or H&R just to make sure I've caught everything and so that I can e-file. They're pretty idiot-proof, and if you use a computer system there is no math. You just put in the numbers. Gotta love the e-file - you get your refund about a month faster!

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Taxes
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 10:55 AM Go to message in response to: CheetahAngel

I always did my own taxes on Turbotax. Even when I had 4 W2's one year it was really easy. It is VEEEERRY hard to screw up. I think there are more screw ups when an actualy person does them, like an accountant or a business. my sister had some tax guy do hers and her DH's last year and they ended up owing some sort of penalty fee and JUST got their minscule refind back like last month. From some error.

But FIL is an accountant so he now does ours jointly. He gets us some pretty sweet breaks too!

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Taxes
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 11:56 AM Go to message in response to: NJ4Life

Unless you have a very complex tax return, you should be able to do it yourself pretty easily. I've always done my own, using Turbotax. I've never tried another software, simply because I like the fact that Turbotax stores my info from previous years, which saves me the trouble of having to look through my paperwork to look it up if I need it.


Of course, I have a super-easy tax return every year, and I've been doing it for a while, so I know my deductions. If you're hesitant, I second AOTB's suggestion that you take it to a professional and have them look it over. Then next year, you'll probably be more confident doing it yourself. I asked a CPA friend to look at mine a few years ago, since I had some weird situations I've never run into before. I might have her review our first 'married filing jointly' return as well...but honestly, I've started it and it's still a pretty simple return, so I might not need her to look at it for me.

That's too bad that you can't take the house deductions now that you're married, Tobi. Getting married doesn't seem to have affected either of our tax liabilities for better or worse. We both pay interest on student loans, so we get a big deduction for that...but it's about the same that we'd each receive if we were single.


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CheetahAngel Posts : 2,017 Registered: 11/29/08
Re: Taxes
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 12:22 PM Go to message in response to: CheetahAngel

Thanks guys!
                              

 

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MrsMcCain Posts : 580 Registered: 10/24/07
Re: Taxes
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 12:57 PM Go to message in response to: CaribbeanBride08

Caribbean how are you filing your taxes-
married but filing separately or
married filing jointly

I thought getting married was suppose to help you taxwise, and I was told to file mine married but filing separately

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CaribbeanBride08 Posts : 1,474 Registered: 6/13/07
Re: Taxes
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 1:17 PM Go to message in response to: MrsMcCain

MrsMcCain,
We're filing jointly. My husband said in order for us to do 'married, filing separately', we would both have to be able to itemize. Since I no longer own a house, I cannot itemize - and if I can't itemize that would mean he wouldn't be able to itemize either. I guess you both have to file the same way - either take the standard deduction or itemize but you can't do both.


He actually makes more money than I do but since I'm in a pretty high bracket myself, combining the two incomes sky rockets us up there. I guess in light of everyone else's problems, I shouldn't be complaining. We're making a few adjustments so that at least we won't owe money next year.



EDIT: I just looked it up and they say you lose a lot of benefits by filing separately but it doesn't go into detail. This is something you may want to do more research on before you decide.

http://taxes.about.com/od/filingstatus/qt/FilingStatus.htm



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Edited by: CaribbeanBride08 on Feb 3, 2009 10:19 AM

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Taxes
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 1:44 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

Ladies,

When I was your age (early 20s), I started doing my own taxes, with just pencil, paper and a hand-held calculator. It was easy, then. "Earned X, withheld Y, refund Z."

I kept on doing it myself, and every year our situation got more and more complex. I was able to handle the increased complexity by building on what I already knew.

This has worked out great. I still do my own taxes, with tax software. During the year I know what records to keep, what I can throw out and can strategize for max tax advantage.

****

As for filing jointly or separately:

For most married couples, filing jointly is the best scenario. There are occasional situations where married filing separately results in lower taxes, though.

My best suggestion to you is to get tax software and plug in the numbers with both separate and joint filing. Then, see which results in a lower tax liability.

****

Finally, the subject of increased taxes after marriage.

Yep, there is a "marriage tax". This arises when two wage-earners marry and combine their incomes. All else being equal, they will pay more in taxes.

Taxes are saved, however, if a wage-earner marries a non-wage-earner. The same salary now supports two people, instead of one, and less tax is owed for that income. This is the "classic" (circa 1930) scenario of a employed man supporting his unemployed wife.

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danillegrr Posts : 13 Registered: 2/1/09
Re: Taxes
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 1:54 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

For any of you earning 56K or less you can free file through irs.gov. You can choose from many companies, including taxcut and turbo tax. No matter what your income is you can file online from the IRS site, i just realized that though so I don't know how it works.

http://irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html?portlet=6

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Taxes
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 2:10 PM Go to message in response to: danillegrr

Dani - I've tried that before and it didn't work. But I've never had any problems with TaxCut.

I started with a computer program when I moved from NJ because I had W2's from two states and had bought a house, etc. And I love TaxCut.

AOTB - I'm not sure what we're doing this year with filing together or separately. Does it matter how long you were married for in the last year?

And now it turns out I'm getting royally screwed with taxes because my job changed our insurance over to an HSA.

If I had known that (they did it last year) I would have gone on my husband's insurance at the beginning of this year. sigh

I'm going to end up owing money and I HATE that!

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ChrissLady Posts : 1,352 Registered: 4/5/06
Re: Taxes
Posted: Feb 3, 2009 2:20 PM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

It doesn't matter how long you were married. We got married December 22, 2007 and filed married joint.

Since DH is in school, it has been great being married taxwise. He will graduated in December so 2009 tax season will be our last "good year." I'll have to review our withholdings to make sure we break even. This year we will get a small refund, since he had more money as a student worker than in 2007.

I filed my owe last year using TaxSlayer. Since I was under 25 and made less than $50K it was free. This year it will be like $10 or something for both state and federal.

Like AOTB said, it's a simple process when using computer software. You just need to make sure that you have all the proper documentation, so the IRS doesn't come back to bite later.

 

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