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Do You Do Your Own Taxes?

by Mike

In the past, I’ve always done our taxes myself, but this is the first year that we’re actually planning to use an accountant.

When I first started working and earning an income I was young and had nothing to deduct.  I was able to use the good old 1040EZ form which was a piece of cake to fill out.

As the years went by our situation gradually became more and more complicated with kids, a house, mortgage interest, student loan interest, and medical expenses.  Even when I first started my online business and had to worry about income, expenses, and business taxes…I still didn’t have much trouble doing my own taxes because TurboTax and tools like W2 Instructions made it really simple.

But with my father-in-law’s passing away last year we have a whole bunch of things up in the air.  Some stuff is in his name, some is in my wife’s name, some we’re not even sure who has to pay the taxes on some stuff.  Plus as my online profits continue to rise I want to make sure I’ve got everything covered.

So since my time is stretched thin already these days and I’m not even sure how 2011 tax changes would affect us, I think we’re better off getting some professional advice.  Who knows, maybe he can find some business expense or tax credit that I’ve been missing out on or show us how to save through other deductions.  Plus, I want to find out if some of the home improvement work we have planned is eligible for energy tax credits in 2011.

What about you?  Who does your taxes?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jaymus (RealizedReturns)

I’ve always done my taxes but have considered going to a professional one year as sort of a check to make sure I’m not missing out on anything.

I read a lot of online money/tax related stuff, so I feel like I am fairly well versed and have seen others write about the little subtle tax code items.. however, I can see getting a pro to have a look at my taxes one of these years.
Jaymus (RealizedReturns)´s last [type] ..Read my drivel- win yourself a Kindle

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JoeTaxpayer

I have used TurboTax each and every year since I graduated College in ’84. At one point, I had 4 rental properties (stupid, really, down to one now) along with my own mortgage and other deductions.
I’ve asked friends what they use, and they show me the questionnaire their tax man gives them. Then he has a low paid admit enter every number from that form on to the return. Of 5 or 6, not one has given me any evidence that they were better off paying a live preparer.
The “you can donate your RMD directly from your IRA”? Never mentioned it. The “convert enough IRA to Roth to fill your current bracket”? Nope. I’m told these things are the realm of the CFP, not the tax man.

(Disclosure – I write for the TurboTax blog. A paid gig.)

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JoeTaxpayer

I have used TurboTax each and every year since I graduated College in ’84. At one point, I had 4 rental properties (stupid, really, down to one now) along with my own mortgage and other deductions.
I’ve asked friends what they use, and they show me the questionnaire their tax man gives them. Then he has a low paid admit enter every number from that form on to the return. Of 5 or 6, not one has given me any evidence that they were better off paying a live preparer.
The “you can donate your RMD directly from your IRA”? Never mentioned it. The “convert enough IRA to Roth to fill your current bracket”? Nope. I’m told these things are the realm of the CFP, not the tax man.

(Disclosure – I write for the TurboTax blog. A paid gig.)

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Evan

I always used to do my taxes but when I got married The Wife and I started going to a CPA because she is an independent sales rep. I still do my brothers’ taxes because his was/is really easy.
Evan´s last [type] ..What Does it Mean When an ETF Jumps the Track

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krantcents

I can do my own taxes, but choose to use a CPA. For the nominal difference in cost, I get advice throughout the year and he is up to date with the tax code.
krantcents´s last [type] ..How Do You Choose the Right Career

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The Financialite

As a tax preparer, I would recommend that you only do your own taxes if your situation is simple (honestly only a W2 and some interest/dividends). I would highly recommend that once you have stock transactions, a home, self-employment income or rentals that you consult a professional. We know significantly more than the “general” person knows or could look up online. I would also suggest staying away from the H&R Blocks of the world because their professional do not have the education that a CPA/preparer would have! Understanding the tax code and benefits that you could get from working with a CPA/preparer will far outweigh what you pay them to prepare your taxes.
The Financialite´s last [type] ..Are You Getting The Best Deal on Your Auto Insurance

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MoviLovr

I do it on my own. For most simple to medium complexity returns you should be able to do your taxes on your own. I have used CompleteTax

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