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how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: April 14, 2019 06:02PM
For the last many years, I've filed extensions and then later paid a preparer to catch me up. Sometimes I'd miss 2 or 3 years in a row, and a preparer caught me up later (with penalties).

But some things are simpler now, and I could file tomorrow—but I don't really know how that's done nowadays. I hear people talking about filing electronically. Can that be done even if you have to file a Schedule C? What about my state return (Illinois)? Where do I start?
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: Marc Anthony
Date: April 14, 2019 06:18PM
The IRS has some Free File recommendations for Federal taxes.

I've been using 1040.com for my last two or three years, which will be able to do your State return as well. It isn't free, but the price is reasonable. You could do both returns in your situation for ~$75.



Le poète doit vivre beaucoup, vivre dans tous les sens. - Verlaine
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: April 14, 2019 06:20PM
Paid preparer. Worth every penny.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: Michael
Date: April 14, 2019 06:31PM
Turbotax. Easy peasy but we've got W-2, 1099-R and K-1 and I file in 2 states. The K-1 is a bit complicated but Turbotax takes care of it. Before tax reform we filed a Schedule A with many deductions. Now with the bigger standard deduction I didn't mess with any of the questions concerning deductions. I just put $0 for all of it.

Oops--I could have filed electronically this year (not previously because of certain deductions) but I didn't even think of doing it since I've been doing it by mail forever. Maybe I'll do it electronically next year.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2019 06:35PM by Michael.
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: April 14, 2019 07:37PM
TurboTax. Tried a paid preparer, who effed things up royally. Turbo tax is pretty meh, but better than anything else.
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: April 14, 2019 07:43PM
With the new tax law, it seems to be easier than in the past as the standard deduction is a better option for most. I used Turbo Tax and printed as I owed money to the Feds and State. Turbo Tax offers free Fed filing but it's $25 for state filing. So, I paid $1.25 to mail both.
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: April 14, 2019 08:32PM
Turbo Tax. Pretty simple return. Salaried employee.

Used to file for free online way back when I was a student and met the income requirements.

I've tried other tax prep software, but they were all missing stuff that TurboTax covered and the Turbo Tax help pages are more comprehensive than others I've tried. Also been able to get help from them very quickly. The one time that I needed to amend my return where H&R Block kept me on hold for 3 hours.

I yearn for the day when Congress disregards the lobbying efforts of tax prep software publishers and accounting firms and has the IRS process everything with a postcard like they've been ready to do since at least the 1980s.



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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: BernDog
Date: April 14, 2019 08:44PM
Had used TurboTax for years. TaxAct Online before that. This year was the first time I didn’t do it myself. Added an investment property and an LLC, so figured it was time for a pro, CPA in my case. Big weight off my mind not wondering what I missed or screwed up.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2019 08:45PM by BernDog.
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 14, 2019 08:57PM
Last year I hired a tax preparer due to a complex return. Got what I needed but didn't feel like it was worth the fee in a normal year. I used turbotax but would like to switch to something else. E-filed for federal but mailed in my state return since intuit wanted to charge me another $20 or so. Hate those guys.



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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: April 14, 2019 08:58PM
If you still have to print out and mail, what's the advantage of TurboTax over just using the PDF form from IRS?
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 14, 2019 09:10PM
Transfer of data - does the PDF do calculations?

Quote
Mr Downtown
If you still have to print out and mail, what's the advantage of TurboTax over just using the PDF form from IRS?



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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: space-time
Date: April 14, 2019 09:12PM
Quote
Mr Downtown
If you still have to print out and mail, what's the advantage of TurboTax over just using the PDF form from IRS?

TurboTax will "guide" you and ask questions about possible deductions you may miss if you just file "pen and paper".
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: max
Date: April 14, 2019 09:36PM
I have a complex return, my wife has handled the taxes for years....
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: April 14, 2019 09:36PM
Quote
space-time
Quote
Mr Downtown
If you still have to print out and mail, what's the advantage of TurboTax over just using the PDF form from IRS?

TurboTax will "guide" you and ask questions about possible deductions you may miss if you just file "pen and paper".

Imported last year's (Turbo Tax format) returns-file to pre-fill a lot of info like my own name and SS and employer ID and such, which also allowed me to see line-for-line what I entered last year vs this year which was nice.



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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: April 14, 2019 11:31PM
TaxAct.com for the last four years. w2’s and two schedule c’s. most years i’ve completely understood how the laws worked. this year i found myself just clicking through hoping the program knew how it should work.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: April 15, 2019 12:43AM
I used TurboTax for a few years, but pulled my hair out in the process. The software is good, but occasionally I'd run into something it didn't seem to know what to do with, and I didn't know enough about it to know how to challenge the software.

My wife always used an accountant. Last year we went with one who cost $125, and got the biggest tax refund of our lives. We went with the same one this year, with roughly the same refund. It was well worth it.
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: April 15, 2019 07:23AM
HR Block software for the last decade or so. It imports the data needed from previous returns, imports my investments, asks me questions to make sure everything is covered. Super simple for the most part.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: space-time
Date: April 15, 2019 08:13AM
Quote
S. Pupp
I used TurboTax for a few years, but pulled my hair out in the process. The software is good, but occasionally I'd run into something it didn't seem to know what to do with, and I didn't know enough about it to know how to challenge the software.

My wife always used an accountant. Last year we went with one who cost $125, and got the biggest tax refund of our lives. We went with the same one this year, with roughly the same refund. It was well worth it.

I wonder if it makes sense to have the same accountant look over the return from 2 and 3 years ago and see if there is any deductions you missed. You may be able to amend it.
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 15, 2019 08:26AM
When I've worked with accountants I've found that most of the work is in pulling together documents. I'm fully capable of typing the values into a website or application.
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: April 15, 2019 08:57AM
....with aplomb.....??



____________________________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: April 15, 2019 12:08PM
Accountant for my personal taxes, TaxCut for the kid's taxes, & TurboTax Business for 1041s for a couple of dead relatives (state done by hand...no software option)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/15/2019 12:09PM by Bill in NC.
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: Psurfer
Date: April 15, 2019 03:00PM
I just used the forms available on the IRS site. It can require some reading of instructions for the various schedules etc (which sometimes proves to be a very good idea, anyway), but once certain values have been entered, their forms do the math for you and enter the proper numbers in on other lines. For me it was time consuming, but in the end completed with far more confidence than I'd experienced with Tax Act or TurboTax (which had both previously left me with lingering uncertainty...). When finished the e-filing/ paying is easy.
The only glitch was that Safari couldn't print it out for me, so I used Chrome for that.

For the state return, since most now take the standard deduction on the federal so don't have a sched A, the short version of the state return is all that’s required, and that one's simple - and my state also has a self-calculating form online, so paying $25 for one of the programs just to do the state return seems like a ripoff.

Next year I’ll either go the same route again, or hire a pro there's anything more complicated involved.
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Re: how do people file taxes nowadays?
Posted by: vicrock
Date: April 16, 2019 05:42AM
TurboTax - e-file
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