Jump to content



Photo

Tax Time!


  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#1 Lazy Lightning

Lazy Lightning
  • VibeTribe
  • 14,258 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:01 PM

I'm filing my taxes for the first time ever in the US, and am wondering if there are any free and/or cost-effective services I can use to file online.

I'm guessing that it's fairly straightforward.

 

I'd like to get as much $ back as possible (no duh!)


Last year we used once of those tax services that pop-up all over the place when tax time arrives, but found it to be too expensive for the services they offered. Seriously, I think we went in there four separate times b/c the guy kept screwing everything up... Anyways, I don't want to deal with that again, it was paying good money for poor service. Of course, if filing taxes yourself is a major PITA...

Any advice?

 

Thanks!



#2 JBetty

JBetty
  • VibeTribe
  • 5,629 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:03 PM

As your boardie buddy, my advice to you is find a good accountant and pay good money for great service.   :smile:



#3 Lazy Lightning

Lazy Lightning
  • VibeTribe
  • 14,258 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:05 PM

I don't think our taxes are quite that complex.


Ty usually files online... Turbo Tax, I think? His stepdad usually helps out, but he doesn't want to to it anymore b.c I'm a "non-national"  :rolleyes: I really don't think that makes a difference, but whatevs.

 

In Canada, I usually just went to H&R Block, and they were awesome, affordable, and fast.


Liberty Tax on the other hand... :fierce:



#4 TheDHJ

TheDHJ
  • VibeTribe
  • 33,324 posts
  • LocationSouthern Colorado

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:10 PM

There's an accounting firm up in VT that a friend owns. She's quite good I hear.

#5 JBetty

JBetty
  • VibeTribe
  • 5,629 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:10 PM

I don't think our taxes are quite that complex.

 

 

 

In that case, they prolly wouldn't charge you very much.   



#6 Lazy Lightning

Lazy Lightning
  • VibeTribe
  • 14,258 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:13 PM

If an accountant can get me back the highest amount from the taxes, then I am sold!

I am hoping to get a sizeable return. :)



#7 elder

elder
  • VibeTribe
  • 4,558 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

If an accountant can get me back the highest amount from the taxes, then I am sold!

I am hoping to get a sizeable return. :)

Be careful with the promises of what they can get back. in the end, short of breaking the law, you can get back what you can get back.

 

I did our taxes on Turbotax for years, easy peasy. A couple of years ago with unemployment, a house sale, etc. etc, I decided to fork over big bucks to a reputable accountant to makee sure I got it right. In the end I could have done it all with Turbotax for hundreds less. Lesson learned. Never again.

 

Taxes are all done via Turbotax again this year :)



#8 TEO

TEO

    VibeGuide

  • VibeGuide
  • 25,426 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:57 PM

As your boardie buddy, my advice to you is find a good accountant and pay good money for great service.   :smile:

 

 

:clapping:



#9 cassady

cassady

    VibeGuide

  • VibeGuide
  • 18,271 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:04 PM

i know this accountant..............



#10 JBetty

JBetty
  • VibeTribe
  • 5,629 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:08 PM

...was he walking into a bar room with a pig with a wooden leg named Smith under his arm?



#11 hoagie

hoagie
  • VibeTribe
  • 19,454 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:23 PM

i bet she doesnt com cheap

#12 cassady

cassady

    VibeGuide

  • VibeGuide
  • 18,271 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:24 PM

...was he walking into a bar room with a pig with a wooden leg named Smith under his arm?

 

 

ummmm.............no, he was @ the fairfield theatre company fairfield theatre company



#13 KittyKindBud

KittyKindBud
  • VibeTribe
  • 2,954 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:45 PM

As your boardie buddy, my advice to you is find a good accountant and pay good money for great service.   :smile:

I agree - just got mine done yesterday!!!!!!!



#14 crazysage

crazysage
  • VibeTribe
  • 875 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:39 PM

for years I had my uncle do my taxes.  he has worked for the IRS for 50+ years.  While he may not have leveraged every loophole, I new I was protected if ever audited

 

this year he was deal with some health issues so I did not want to bother him

 

used turbo tax for the first time.  could not have been easier and clear cut.

will use again



#15 elder

elder
  • VibeTribe
  • 4,558 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:45 PM

Question:

 

How long do you keep your tax records and receipts? I know its something like 7 years back for what the IRS can audit you, but is there any other reason for keeping records past that?

 

Got my finger on the shredder on/off button, just say the word.



#16 TEO

TEO

    VibeGuide

  • VibeGuide
  • 25,426 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:56 PM

Turbo Tax representatives can prolly advise you in regards to record retention.   :grin:



#17 MeOmYo

MeOmYo
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,810 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:57 PM

i believe the IRS now says 3 years



#18 MeOmYo

MeOmYo
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,810 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:00 PM

but you can ask a tax person for prolly $100

 

http://www.irs.gov/p...publink10008614



#19 TEO

TEO

    VibeGuide

  • VibeGuide
  • 25,426 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

http://www.irs.gov/B...I-keep-records?



#20 JBetty

JBetty
  • VibeTribe
  • 5,629 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:03 PM

1334527493940_4322067.png



#21 elder

elder
  • VibeTribe
  • 4,558 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:09 PM

Thanks all you smartypants accountants, but what I'm really asking is not how long to keep for tax purposes, as I knew that already, but is there any OTHER reason to keep records, ie. Civil law suits or something?



#22 TEO

TEO

    VibeGuide

  • VibeGuide
  • 25,426 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:11 PM

Does your liability insurance have any record retention requirements?



#23 elder

elder
  • VibeTribe
  • 4,558 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:20 PM

Hmmm? Dunno.

I will check.

 

Thanks, please send bill :)



#24 MeOmYo

MeOmYo
  • VibeTribe
  • 7,810 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:24 PM

Lol

#25 jme

jme
  • VibeTribe
  • 6,099 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:27 PM

i am a complete moran when dealing with anything that starts with a $.  add marriage and houses and 401Ks and pensions and kids in there and I want to throw it all in the air and run as far away as possible. 

 

I've got a local guy that I trust.  depending on what he charges this year I may look into a different professional next year.



#26 elder

elder
  • VibeTribe
  • 4,558 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:42 PM

for years I went to a guy that was recommended by peers at work. ex-IRS dude or something, whatever, he lived in NJ only during tax season, the rest of the year in FL.

He asked general questions, took "safe' assumptions (or so I thought) and always got me back big bucks.

 

Then one year I show up at his office to find that he himself would not actually be doing the taxes, as he was currently in some sort of "tax situation" himself.  But don't fret as his apprentice would be doing the taxes with his "guidance" from FL.

 

I declined to say the least and took on Turbotax.

 

After educating myself through Turbotax, I went back and looked at past returns and in a lot of cases could not justify what he claimed. I mean I guess he did his job in that he knew what I would get audited for...or I just got lucky. Either way I'm glad to be in control once more.



#27 nancykind

nancykind

    VibeGuide

  • VibeGuide
  • 15,950 posts

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:30 PM

had mine done yesterday, forgot 2 important things which i dropped off today, but i didn't know about the medical expenses.   if all my out of pocket including dental and glasses and whatnot comes to $2800 or more, i get reimbursed the difference.     not sure i'll make it but i'll be finding out this weekend!   my glasses were almost $600 so it's possible! :D



#28 TakeAStepBack

TakeAStepBack
  • VibeTribe
  • 19,028 posts

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:34 PM

If 100% taxation is slavery, at what percentage is it not? :D



#29 hoagie

hoagie
  • VibeTribe
  • 19,454 posts

Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:42 PM

Paying taxes is your end of the bargain of being an American citizen.  No rule saying you HAVE to live here as one.



#30 elder

elder
  • VibeTribe
  • 4,558 posts

Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:47 PM

Paying taxes is your end of the bargain of being an American citizen.  No rule saying you HAVE to live here as one.

 

No. Paying my taxes to go towards what we vote them for is my end of the bargain.

Spending my taxes on other crap is not.



#31 TakeAStepBack

TakeAStepBack
  • VibeTribe
  • 19,028 posts

Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:58 PM

Paying taxes is your end of the bargain of being an American citizen.  No rule saying you HAVE to live here as one.


I didn't sign shit.

 

I'll ask again though. If 100% taxation is slavery, at what percentage is it not?



#32 hoagie

hoagie
  • VibeTribe
  • 19,454 posts

Posted 22 February 2013 - 03:02 PM

99%or less, obviously. If u make income u arent technically a slave

#33 TakeAStepBack

TakeAStepBack
  • VibeTribe
  • 19,028 posts

Posted 22 February 2013 - 04:04 PM

Right on. You can mail me the difference between the amount the state/fed take and the 99% mark. You can keep 1% of your earnings. 

 

By definiton, that's not true either. Being a slave doesn't mean you have no income.



#34 TEO

TEO

    VibeGuide

  • VibeGuide
  • 25,426 posts

Posted 22 February 2013 - 05:26 PM


I didn't sign shit.

 

I'll ask again though. If 100% taxation is slavery, at what percentage is it not?

 

Zero



#35 TakeAStepBack

TakeAStepBack
  • VibeTribe
  • 19,028 posts

Posted 22 February 2013 - 05:47 PM

http://www.lysanders...erCleveland.htm

 

SIR, --- Your inaugural address is probably as honest, sensible, and consistent a one as that of any president within the last fifty years, or, perhaps, as any since the foundation of the government. If, therefore, it is false, absurd, self-contradictory, and ridiculous, it is not (as I think) because you are personally less honest, sensible, or consistent than your predecessors, but because the government itself --- according to your own description of it, and according to the practical administration of it for nearly a hundred years --- is an utterly and palpably false, absurd, and criminal one. Such praises as you bestow upon it are, therefore, necessarily false, absurd, and ridiculous.

Thus you describe it as "a government pledged to do equal and exact justice to all men."

Did you stop to think what that means? Evidently you did not; for nearly, or quite, all the rest of your address is in direct contradiction to it.

Let me then remind you that justice is an immutable, natural principle; and not anything that can be made, unmade, or altered by any human power.

It is also a subject of science, and is to be learned, like mathematics, or any other science. It does not derive its authority from the commands, will, pleasure, or discretion of any possible combination of men, whether calling themselves a government, or by any other name..............

 

....It is self-evident that no number of men, by conspiring, and calling themselves a government, can acquire any rights whatever over other men, or other men's property, which they had not before, as individuals. And whenever any number [*7] of men, calling themselves a government, do anything to another man, or to his property, which they had no right to do as individuals, they thereby declare themselves trespassers, robbers, or murderers, according to the nature of their acts.......

 

....It was once said, in this country, that taxation without consent was robbery. And a seven years' war was fought to maintain that principle. But if that principle were a true one in behalf of three millions of men, it is an equally true one in behalf of three men, or of one man.

Who are ever taxed? Individuals only. Who have property that can be taxed? Individuals only. Who can give their consent to be taxed? Individuals only. Who are ever taxed without their consent? Individuals only. Who, then, are robbed, if taxed without their consent? Individuals only.

If taxation without consent is robbery, the United States government has never had, has not now, and is never likely to have, a single honest dollar in its treasury. [*10]

If taxation without consent is not robbery, then any band of robbers have only to declare themselves a government, and all their robberies are legalized.

If any man's money can be taken by a so-called government, without his own personal consent, all his other rights are taken with it; for with his money the government can, and will, hire soldiers to stand over him, compel him to submit to its arbitrary will, and kill him if he resists.

-Lysander Spooner

#36 sums

sums

    VibeGuide

  • VibeGuide
  • 10,634 posts

Posted 22 February 2013 - 07:16 PM

made an appointment for the 4th. this will (hopefully) inspire me to do the rest of my bookkeeping in preparation!

 

i used to do our taxes myself. not too hard if you only get W2s. even the schedule A is not that big a deal if you're just writing off mortgage interest, charitable donations, etc. even the medical is easy to figure unless those tax form instructions scare you... which i know they do a lot of people. 

 

i hear turbo tax is easy, neve tried it.

 

i started using an accountant when we bought our business and had depreciation schedules and shit like that. i've been using her for over a dozen years and yes, she costs $$ but she gets me back every penny possible. plus she taught me cool things like i can write off my home office and i can write off concert trips as R&D :)