Author Topic: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them  (Read 6076 times)

the fixer

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In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« on: March 18, 2013, 08:54:41 PM »
My girlfriend just finished doing her taxes. Our two roommates, in their mid-30s, are getting married this year (in a very anti-mustachian way, but that practice has been beat to death). My girlfriend mentioned how she just finished, and one of our roommates said "yeah, this will be the last year that our parents do our taxes for us."

One of their parents is an accountant, but still... WTF? Both of our parents made us do our own taxes since we were teenagers (helping us and checking the math of course)

meadow lark

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 10:14:58 PM »
I made a 40 yo friend of mine do her taxes this year.  I sat next to her and said helpful things like, "you are single", "you are not blind", "you have no children", "you live in California."  She has a new skill, and she took me out to dinner to celebrate.

BlueMR2

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2013, 07:37:11 AM »
We're in our late 30's and my Mom does our taxes for us.  She's an accountant.  My wife's part of the taxes are pretty straightforward, but mine are pretty complicated.  There's an awful lot of gray area in the way the tax laws are written.  What they read as to a normal English speaking human being is not what they actually mean.  Without having someone that's up to speed on all the latest rulings, I'd be hosed.

ketchup

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 09:24:12 AM »
I've done my own taxes every year since I was 15.  They've always been very straightforward every year, but if all goes to plan, this year will have complications due to rental income, which will possibly be a headache but I will definitely try to do it myself anyway.

the fixer

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2013, 03:36:33 PM »
We're in our late 30's and my Mom does our taxes for us.  She's an accountant.  My wife's part of the taxes are pretty straightforward, but mine are pretty complicated.  There's an awful lot of gray area in the way the tax laws are written.  What they read as to a normal English speaking human being is not what they actually mean.  Without having someone that's up to speed on all the latest rulings, I'd be hosed.
If your taxes are complicated I don't mean to pick on you... my roommates must have it simple.

We're all renters, they have no investments, they might have student loan interest, and one of them has had multiple jobs within the past year. One or both do tutoring on the side, but since I doubt they track business expenses and mileage that's still pretty simple to report as business income with no expenses. And if they did that themselves it might incentivize them to start tracking those things. One of them is a teacher so there's up to a $250 above-the-line deduction available for educator expenses, but the hardest part of taking that is keeping track of the receipts; all that's left is knowing the limit and sticking the number in the form.

I've been doing my taxes ever since I first had reportable income with a summer job in high school; my Dad showed me how to do it. He would tell me how complicated his taxes were with being married, deductions, and the AMT, so I theorized that if I kept up with doing taxes myself year to year, I'd gradually learn how to handle the complexities a handful at a time. So far it's worked, and if last year were the first time I'd ever done taxes myself, I'd be completely lost! (majority freelance income, SEP contributions, estimated taxes, self employed health insurance deduction, HSA, capital losses, dividends, foreign tax credit, ...)

mm31

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2013, 05:14:19 PM »
I would have done the same thing, if my parents were offering to do my taxes. I usually use TurboTax to do my taxes.

I Love Cake

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2013, 11:53:29 AM »
Um, I mail my taxes to my cousin who is a CFO (and has her MBA too) and she does my taxes!! Do I need a CFO to do my complicated taxes? Ah, no. Am I scared of all those confusing boxes on the tax form? Ah, yes.

The last time I tried to do it on my own was about a decade ago and it was confusing and riddled with 'account-y talk'

so, she does it for me. And I'm 47!!!!

AccidentalMiser

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2013, 01:18:29 PM »
I made a 40 yo friend of mine do her taxes this year.  I sat next to her and said helpful things like, "you are single", "you are not blind", "you have no children", "you live in California."  She has a new skill, and she took me out to dinner to celebrate.

I laughed out loud when I read this post.  "you are not blind"!!  Classic!

gdborton

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2013, 01:53:44 PM »
By the time you are 30 I would hope that you could figure this out... the exception maybe being short/long term capital gains, if you made some trades I hear this can get fuzzy.

I agree with everyone else that taxes are confusing though.  I filled out my W-4 as Head of Household for 2 years, simply because I am both the bread winner and the decision maker... if you were to call my house and ask for the Head of Household, you'd get me.  Uncle Sam doesn't use that same logic.

the fixer

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2013, 02:04:43 PM »
I had to do capital gains once about 10 years ago, when my parents sold some funds they saved to pay for my college tuition, and my Dad basically just told me "put this number here." This year was my first year doing them myself.

The IRS has made it easier because all holdings since 2012 get their basis reported to the IRS, which means basis also gets reported to you in a standardized way. And Vanguard does a good job of explaining how to report the income. They include an entire brochure with lots of arrows pointing between different forms, essentially filling in my Dad's role of saying "take this number on the 1099 and put it here on the 8949."

So no, not trivial, but if this is the only change you have to deal with in a given tax year, if you can figure out investing you can figure out the taxes too.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2013, 02:57:21 PM »
My father does my tax return for me and I'm in my 30's. He's a tax lawyer and quite frankly I'd be stupid not to have him do it. In return I program his TiVo and fix his computers - tasks which he finds infuriating. We consider it a pretty fair trade.

Yea, I can see that...maybe your dad would do my taxes!

AJ

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2013, 03:28:05 PM »
I've done my own taxes every year since I was 15.

I was going to write this same thing! It is one thing if your taxes are complicated. But if you're filing a 1040-EZ you don't need an accountant to do that for you, even if they are a blood relative.

strider3700

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2013, 12:11:28 AM »
I know a couple that are just turning 40.  2 kids.  one of their mothers did their taxes for the last 5 years for them a few months back.   By having not filed They didn't qualify for a bunch of child subsidies they would have due to low income.  The wife went on disability for valid serious medical reasons but wouldn't have qualified if the taxes weren't done either. 

Having said that I pay someone to do my taxes each year.   2 regular incomes, 3 home businesses,  some disability EI, a ton of spreadsheets for write offs between the 3 businesses, 2 kids and their write offs, makes it entirely worth it.  That plus the fact that I can use the accountant doing our taxes as a write off next year.   

I still pay a crap load of taxes. 

John74

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2013, 12:26:10 AM »
What does it say when I am the one doing my mother-in-law's taxes? She is in her 60's and has no clue...

I do my own taxes with Turbotax. When I got my first job I used H&R Block but after finding some mistakes in my returns, I decided that I would be well served to learn how to do it myself. I can easily handle most situations (rentals, TIPs, capital gains, ESPP, RSUs, Stock Options, etc...) but the k-1 schedules for some of my MLPs have been the biggest challenge yet.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2013, 02:00:34 AM »
Ours were a bit complicated this year. US has their tax year follow the calendar year, Australia's goes from July 1st to June  30th. All the handy year-end forms with everything figured out for us...useless. Plus currency conversion. I could have done the standard foreign income exclusion (which is way over our income as it is), but no earned income = no Roth IRA contributions.

Rachelocity

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2013, 08:45:10 AM »
I do my DS' taxes (he's 31) and he changes light bulbs for me year-round, installs my A/C, etc.   There's a difference between being helpful and being an enabler, the latter being Antimustachian and the former just being kind. 

kmm

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Re: In their 30s, parents do their taxes for them
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2013, 07:10:12 PM »
My taxes were complicated this year - first time with a rental property and taking the home office deduction, plus I sold all my shares in an old employee stock purchase program. I did them myself using TurboTax, but I count on my Dad to give them a second look and he did find a couple of things I'd misinterpreted.