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How do you file your taxes and why?

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Do you have a professional do your taxes, use Turbo Tax, HR Block or a similar program, or go into a B&M tax chain? Personally, I have been filing my taxes myself using HR Block over the last few years and have no problems & I was quite impressed with all the questions it asked to make sure you were maximizing your refund
bbattag posted Jan 21, 2012

$25 H&R Black deluxe.....

encorez (rep: 10k) posted Jan 21, 2012


I just fill out my 1040EZ myself. Its pretty simple and I dont see the need for a software to do it for you. But again, I dont have a family, a mortgage, or major itemized deductions.

kffight3r (rep: 767) posted Jan 21, 2012


I use Free File on Its easy, fast, and I get my refund pretty quickly. You can file your federal return for free, and many people can also file their state return for free as well.

zacharyzblewski (rep: 2.4k) posted Jan 21, 2012


kffight3r is correct. Anyone filing a 1040ez has no need of professional help. It is short sweet and simple. I have just started using online services and tax slayer did a good job. I file a schedule c, schedule f, schedule se, and a 1040.

quartrhoss (rep: 44) posted Jan 21, 2012


I have worked as a tax accountant for 2 years and all those professional tax software's get you more money than the free turbo tax or a general H&R block service can provide. Last year when I was not working as a tax accountant anymore and decided to use the free turbo tax available online I couldn't believe that it was only getting me back $ I hired another tax account to do my taxes and he got me back $6700. When it comes to taxes every single detailed knowledge matters and helps you get more refund. My opinion is never try and save money on getting your taxes done by a good professional!! Then again its just my opinion from my experience and knowledge!!

Florida2Texas (rep: 15.1k) posted Jan 21, 2012


Turbo Tax deluxe. I have lots of business expenses, mileage, per diem, etc to claim and its a hassle to do at a walk in preparer or have to wait days for an accountant to go through a years worth of per diem logs and mileage records.

Acidbaby (rep: 7k) posted Jan 22, 2012


Turbo Tax Deluxe or Premier. Been using it for years and was recommended by a CPA. Actually compared the return done by TT and one done manually by an accountant and both were the same. Unless you have a very complicated return which you may benefit from a professional, TT does the job.

chuckydealpl (rep: 59.6k) posted Jan 22, 2012


We have kids but have no childcare or medical expenses, mortgage, and have not donated anything of substantial value to charity. It would be pointless to use anything other than the free Tax software, right? I can't imagine any accountant or expensive software would fine anything like @Florida2Texas found.

VirginiaPeanuts (rep: 12.4k) posted Jan 22, 2012


@ VirginiaPeanuts - Yes if you have a very simple tax return with nothing but a W-2, it is okay to do the taxes your self with the free software but let me tell you a little trick that you might have never heard before. There are lot of tax accountants out there, like the one I use that will take all your paperwork, do your taxes....and tell you how much refund they can get you back and how much their fee is going to be. I always compare the refund - fee = net profit from them vs. what I can get myself through turbo-tax. If they are getting me significantly more...I get it done through them....if they are not...I just tell them that Its not worth getting the taxes done through them and they don't CHARGE me a penny!!!!
example of a claim you might never claim but might be eligible for is Lifetime Learning Credit. You don't need to be a student to claim this. Throughout the year you spend money on improve your job skills and that is a valid expense.
Hope this helps!

Florida2Texas (rep: 15.1k) posted Jan 22, 2012


I use HR BLOCK. They are quick, free and easy to follow.

CHELITA_109 (new user) posted Jan 25, 2012


Not sure who your accountant is but yes you do need to be a student to claim that credit. Per the IRS rules for the credit. "For purposes of the lifetime learning credit, an eligible student is a student who is enrolled in one or more courses at an eligible educational institution". And its a non refundable credit only for those with income less than $60k. So odds are if you have children and earn less than $60 you wouldnt have any tax due anyway so its kind of pointless.

Acidbaby (rep: 7k) posted Jan 26, 2012