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 $100...so 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: 13k) posted Jan 21, 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: 45.5k) 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: 11.7k) 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: 13k) posted Jan 22, 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: 6.8k) posted Jan 26, 2012
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