Author Topic: What do you personally use to file your taxes?  (Read 4382 times)

Lan Mandragoran

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What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« on: January 09, 2018, 01:27:35 PM »
With tax season coming up... I was wondering how most peeps in the US file their taxes? We use Turbo Tax, but I've never been sure if it's worth the money or not.

newton

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 04:47:55 PM »
TaxACT the last few years.  Not sure why, I think I received a discount code one year.  My taxes are pretty simple though.

seattlecyclone

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 04:59:00 PM »
I've used Free File Fillable Forms for the past few years. Works great for those who are familiar with the paper forms.

brooklynmoney

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 08:05:16 PM »
As of last year, an accountant. Cost the same as TT or close to it from what I remember.

JLee

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 08:06:07 PM »
I use freetaxusa.

SomedayStache

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 09:14:01 PM »
TurboTax online to get a refund number.  But I don't pay to file, I go to the free fillable forms from the IRS to actually file.

This year I'm not sure the double entry is worth the cost of my time.  I might just pay to file with tt.

elysianfields

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 02:24:04 AM »
I also use FFFF (Free File Fillable Forms) for both my Federal and Commonwealth (Virginia) taxes, as well as a spreadsheet I've developed over multiple tax years.

Frankies Girl

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 02:29:46 AM »
TurboTax, usually with a discount but free this year for me

jc4

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 06:46:49 AM »
I use https://www.freetax.com/. Somehow, it's actually free for Fed and State and there's no upcharge for not having simple taxes. This year we'll have homeownership, capital gains and loss, HSA contributions, and itemized deductions.

Lan Mandragoran

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 07:57:11 AM »
Hmmm I'll have to look at some of these. I'd love to not have to pay TT a few hundred bucks, that probably means I'd have to take over doing the taxes though from the wife however as shes a bit intimidated by them.

Are freetax.com and freetax usa the same things?

markbike528CBX

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 08:11:15 AM »
File with self-made spreadsheet, paper.   I have used Turbotax as a check.

Laserjet3051

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 09:04:41 AM »
With tax season coming up... I was wondering how most peeps in the US file their taxes? We use Turbo Tax, but I've never been sure if it's worth the money or not.

I use an accountant. How good is TurboTax at advising/recommending tax strategy?

BigRed

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 09:13:10 AM »
I've used Desktop TaxAct for the last 5 years or so.  At this point I just go straight to the forms and worksheets and just skip the questionnaires, so I'm thinking free fillable forms might make sense, especially since our taxes have greatly simplified this year (no 1099 income, wife is finally done her PhD). 

For those who have used that, do you have to store all of that info online somewhere (I try to avoid that), it looks like it is similar to online versions of tax software in terms of using it.  If so, who actually runs the servers where the data is stored?  I suppose if it is the IRS itself, it's more or less the same as just e-filing.

acroy

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 09:20:12 AM »
I'd love to not have to pay TT a few hundred bucks...

what am I missing?
been using TT for years, I like how it carries forward information from previous years and get the 10% Amazon gift card deal on the refund.

GettingClose

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2018, 11:56:07 AM »
I used TaxAct up until a couple of years ago when our taxes (for a variety of reasons) got very complicated.  Last year's returns were something like 125 pages, including some forms I've never even heard of.  We've been using an accountant, partly for the help she would provide in case we get audited.

palerider1858

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2018, 12:49:21 PM »
Years ago I tried both TurboTax and TaxSlayer. Went with TaxSlayer and have been happy since.

https://www.taxslayer.com/

katsiki

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2018, 02:15:06 PM »
Another vote for TaxAct.  Been using it for 5+ years.

Sibley

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2018, 02:24:06 PM »
HR Block. Parent's stuff is in there and it's way too much work to switch it. Though I might look around, I have to file in 2 states, plus parents in 3rd state. May not be worth paying for 3 state programs.

wenchsenior

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2018, 03:55:05 PM »
HR Block. Parent's stuff is in there and it's way too much work to switch it. Though I might look around, I have to file in 2 states, plus parents in 3rd state. May not be worth paying for 3 state programs.

H&R Block here also.  We have a somewhat complicated situation with an adult dependent, 2 mortgages, one person with a full time job with bennies, and one person with 1 hourly wage job and 2 other sources of contract income that are counted as a business. 

I find the software extremely easy to use and have no plans to switch.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2018, 04:20:06 PM »
TurboTax last year, I tried free Credit Karma one but the refund was way off from TT (lower)

Indexer

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2018, 04:43:12 PM »
I use https://www.freetax.com/. Somehow, it's actually free for Fed and State and there's no upcharge for not having simple taxes. This year we'll have homeownership, capital gains and loss, HSA contributions, and itemized deductions.

This! 

I tried other options but they would always start tacking on other costs as soon as I said I had an HSA or dividends. FreetaxUSA is free for Fed and like $12 for state, no bait and switch, no strings attached.

Optimiser

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2018, 05:10:11 PM »
CCH ProSystem fx Tax

jc4

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2018, 06:17:23 AM »
Hmmm I'll have to look at some of these. I'd love to not have to pay TT a few hundred bucks, that probably means I'd have to take over doing the taxes though from the wife however as shes a bit intimidated by them.

Are freetax.com and freetax usa the same things?

No they are different. freetax.com is actually done by liberty tax, a standard brick and morter preparer. It looks like freetax USA is through a different, web-only, based entity.

Freetax is free for state too. Freetaxusa charges $12 for state. Freetaxusa does look to have a better site and better up front info on what their software can do.

Lan Mandragoran

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2018, 07:36:43 AM »
I'd love to not have to pay TT a few hundred bucks...

what am I missing?
been using TT for years, I like how it carries forward information from previous years and get the 10% Amazon gift card deal on the refund.

-_^, hmmm what am I missing lol. I could have sworn it was 2-300. Maybe we did something different, idk wife does it. I'll check.

Edit: Checked and apparently we just had to do one of the higher teirs. still only like 80... so im just crazy... or my mustachian mind blows expenditures out of proportion over time lol :P. Like how the playground when you were a kid looked alot bigger!
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 07:41:35 AM by Lan Mandragoran »

Cadman

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2018, 07:56:41 AM »
There sure are a lot of responses for tax software packages.  As my taxes got more complicated in the last couple years, I've found doing them on paper to be the best method.  I keep the completed PDFs on my computer for next year and adjust/carryover as needed. And I can 'run a simulation' mid-year to get a projection of what taxes may be at the end of year.

No reason one couldn't use TT or TA as a gut check after completing the long form. But it's not like I'm in a hurry for a refund (a refund, what's that?). Dare I say, I'm actually starting to enjoy doing my taxes.

terran

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2018, 08:34:38 AM »
I've used Free File Fillable Forms for the past few years. Works great for those who are familiar with the paper forms.

There sure are a lot of responses for tax software packages.  As my taxes got more complicated in the last couple years, I've found doing them on paper to be the best method.  I keep the completed PDFs on my computer for next year and adjust/carryover as needed. And I can 'run a simulation' mid-year to get a projection of what taxes may be at the end of year.

No reason one couldn't use TT or TA as a gut check after completing the long form. But it's not like I'm in a hurry for a refund (a refund, what's that?). Dare I say, I'm actually starting to enjoy doing my taxes.

I've been using taxact for the past few years, but i'm seriously considering the DIY approach this year.

Do you guys still efile, or do you mail in the printed out forms?

WootWoot

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2018, 08:57:21 AM »
I just followed the link on the IRS site to a free tax filing site that would do both my federal and state.

I cannot describe how thrilled I was that it did all the math for me. I'm math challenged and have made errors on our return. The site software also figured in a deduction for me that I never would have known about. I'm actually looking forward to filing this year. :)

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2018, 09:25:12 AM »
Use TaxAct for years until they doubled their prices a few years back.  I then switched to TurboTax, which was much better about automatically importing Vanguard transactions.

Is it too soon to create a thread asking where people can find the best discounts or deals on tax software?

Mr. Green

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2018, 05:20:38 PM »
I print the forms and do all the math by hand. Helps me understand all the background of why the numbers are what they are and more easily project changes for the current year if something significant happens, like a new income source.

chaskavitch

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2018, 06:37:05 AM »
I've used TaxAct for years, and generally it's worked well.  I signed up early this year, so it is $17 for federal and it looks like $37 for state.  Up until last year I really liked it, but they took FOREVER to put out their 1099 B CSV import software.  I ended up inputting all of our transactions manually, which was not cool.  If they're really behind again this year, I might switch in 2019, but I don't know where I'd go.

Our taxes did get more complicated last year with the addition of some distributions from a trust, but other than that, we don't have anything more difficult than two post-tax investment accounts and Lending Club (boo Lending Club).

Michael in ABQ

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2018, 07:35:02 AM »
Been using TurboTax online for many years. I usually get a discount through my bank or a brokerage account, or sometimes a military discount.

It's nice having everything imported from the previous year and I can easily compare things to the prior year. With state taxes it costs maybe $50-75.

I've pretty much finished my taxes around New Years. I just have to wait to get my actual W-2s and 1099s to verify the numbers are correct. I can usually calculate it from my last paycheck of the year. I think it only took me about an hour and if I just waited until I had all my forms in February or March I probably could have finished it in about 30 minutes.

I did have a small side hustle this year and sold a few hundred dollars of stuff on Amazon. With my expenses it was basically a wash but I'm not sure what Amazon will send as far as tax information. I may have to upgrade to the more expensive version to fill out a Schedule C.

fattest_foot

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2018, 07:58:59 AM »
I do the forms by hand (electronically) but file them through the IRS efile (Free File Fillable Forms).

I generally use TurboTax as a "check."

Our taxes aren't particularly complicated, however. I remember last year reading the thread about how many pages peoples taxes were and was horrified. I don't think ours have ever been more than a few pages. I assume everyone in the 20+ page range has some sort of small business arrangement.

simonsez

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2018, 08:47:12 AM »
I do the forms by hand (electronically) but file them through the IRS efile (Free File Fillable Forms).
Yup.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2018, 09:25:47 AM »
I do the forms by hand (electronically) but file them through the IRS efile (Free File Fillable Forms).

I generally use TurboTax as a "check."

Our taxes aren't particularly complicated, however. I remember last year reading the thread about how many pages peoples taxes were and was horrified. I don't think ours have ever been more than a few pages. I assume everyone in the 20+ page range has some sort of small business arrangement.

My federal return is 13 pages but that includes six worksheets. Frankly I'm happy to give TurboTax $50 or so to handle all that stuff. I can fill out a 1040 by hand easily enough but I've done some in-plan Roth 401k conversions the last couple of years that add a bit of complication beyond a couple of W-2s, some child tax credits, and a few bucks worth of dividends from taxable accounts.

kanga1622

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2018, 12:04:43 PM »
FreeTaxUSA - we've used them for several years and been very happy with them. Of course, prior to that I used the fillable PDFs from the IRS site so I am not worried about some program to walk me through the forms so much as just run all the calculations and show me year to year differences for my future planning.

mre

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2018, 01:09:52 PM »
I use the free fillable forms for my Federal return.

My state used to have the same thing, and I used it, but last year they got rid of it and asked you to use a 3rd party tax preparation website.  So they got a paper form from me last year.

BigRed

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2018, 02:57:24 PM »
I use the free fillable forms for my Federal return.

My state used to have the same thing, and I used it, but last year they got rid of it and asked you to use a 3rd party tax preparation website.  So they got a paper form from me last year.

My research indicates the Free Fillable Forms are, in fact, a 3rd party site, from a coalition of all of the major tax preparation software firms, and that the data is, in fact, stored on their servers.  I believe I will probably continue to use a desktop version of TaxAct, since I can then avoid storing my data on a tax preparer's servers.

robartsd

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2018, 03:09:04 PM »
My taxes are fairly simple to prepare. I use Free Tax USA as it was what I found the first time I wanted to e-file with the IRS for free. I've been satisfied. I file my state taxes directly on my state agency's website, so I don't pay Free Tax USA anything.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2018, 04:17:51 PM »
Turbotax, but we review the output carefully. TT is really convenient because it imports a lot of information.  We e-file.

ThriftyTechie

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2018, 09:20:37 AM »
I’m sadly stuck on TurboTax desktop. Importing partially depreciated real estate into another software has never worked 100%. I’ve also been confused by H&R Block software’s UI.
The desktop version does include 5 federal files so multiple people in my family share a single license.

TaronM

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2018, 11:23:24 AM »
Free Fillable Forms most years, though when some situation comes up I've never done before I'll use H&R just to confirm I'm doing it right.  May have to go back to H&R for 2019 (to pay 2018's taxes) due to the new tax laws like the 20% pass-through deduction on my SE income.

Crazycarl

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #41 on: January 24, 2018, 12:48:41 PM »
Tax slayer has been my choice for a while now. It pulls forward all tax info and you can just update anything needed. Also allows you to compare to previous years to make sure you are not missing anything and does running updates as you enter in the info. Lot more stuff for less than $40. Never had an issue.

Heroes821

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #42 on: January 24, 2018, 02:50:29 PM »
I use a CPA ever since he fixed my previous years taxes and got me more money back.  He's good too and doesn't charge that much.

ScreamingHeadGuy

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #43 on: January 25, 2018, 11:08:31 AM »
Free Fillable Forms. 

I had done paper filing until just before I married (for tax year 2009) so there was no learning curve.

the_fella

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #44 on: January 25, 2018, 07:13:39 PM »
Last year, my cousin who's a CPA was nice enough to do it for me. But I previously used TaxSlayer. However, my state has an online portal for efiling your state taxes, so I typically use that. I have also gotten the free paper forms from the library and mailed them in.

swampwiz

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2018, 02:57:35 AM »
I roll my own.  I set up a spreadsheet (in the Micro$oft Office clone OpenOffice) that only has lines for what is pertinent to my situation, simply making a copy of the last year's spreadsheet and gradually making it better as the years go on.  Then as tax events like Roth conversion or recharacterizations, or IRA distributions or capital gains or dividends I add the event.  I download the PDF forms from the IRS and fill in the proper entries and then print sign & date and snail-mail it in.  It seems that every year I'm doing something like a rollover or recharacterization with a Net Income Attributable loss, and so include a memo with the form addressing that.

swampwiz

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #46 on: January 27, 2018, 02:58:47 AM »
I also use FFFF (Free File Fillable Forms) for both my Federal and Commonwealth (Virginia) taxes, as well as a spreadsheet I've developed over multiple tax years.
I'd bet my spreadsheet is better than yours.

markbike528CBX

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #47 on: January 27, 2018, 07:59:45 AM »
I also use FFFF (Free File Fillable Forms) for both my Federal and Commonwealth (Virginia) taxes, as well as a spreadsheet I've developed over multiple tax years.
I'd bet my spreadsheet is better than yours.

I use LibreOffice(Dev) on a 2004 Mac G5.  it has the capital gains work sheet, Schedule B, D, and form 84?? on it.   The spreadsheet might not be better than yours, but I bet the the machine is older and it still works ok.  Bonus points, no Micro$oft code anywhere in the computer.

FrugalToque

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #48 on: January 30, 2018, 06:45:24 AM »
I also use FFFF (Free File Fillable Forms) for both my Federal and Commonwealth (Virginia) taxes, as well as a spreadsheet I've developed over multiple tax years.
I'd bet my spreadsheet is better than yours.

Dude, if you're going to throw down like that, at least show us your awesome spreadsheet so we can stand in awe of your awesomeness.

Toque.

Shivan

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Re: What do you personally use to file your taxes?
« Reply #49 on: January 30, 2018, 03:03:26 PM »
TaxHawk. $0 federal, $12.95 state, coupon code TAXHAWK25 for 25% off.