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Old 03-16-2017, 11:18 PM
 
227 posts, read 122,594 times
Reputation: 367

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We do ours on the forms. Two years we tried the "free" software recommended on IRS site. One year we got stuck with paying for state because they would not let us out after doing federal.

The next year we used another company and they said we couldn't get it for free, we had to pay $45 because our "taxes were so complicated". We had soc sec and about $4,000 in interest. Really complicated.

After that we returned to doing them by hand.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:22 AM
 
13,710 posts, read 22,826,319 times
Reputation: 18521
Well over 80% of returns who have their tax returns rejected by the IRS are due to arithmetic errors. I will use the software.
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Old 03-17-2017, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Wooster, Ohio
875 posts, read 652,288 times
Reputation: 1219
I do my taxes by hand (actually I use the downloaded forms on the computer) and then I print them out and mail them. My father always did his by hand. When he died in January 2014, I had to finish his taxes. His taxes were so complicated that I signed up for the HR Block course that fall. As I took the course, I realized I had made a mistake on his return. I filed an amended return that resulted in a $300 refund. I highly recommend the HR Block course.

We had to put our mother into assisted living after dad died, as she has dementia. I had explained to her that I filed an amended return, and she would get a refund. When she got the letter with the refund, she thought the IRS was going after dad. Resisting the urge to tell her that dad was safe and sound in my gun safe (cremains), I just explained that everything was fine. Sad.

The Ohio fillable form will do some of the math for you, if you enable JavaScript in Adobe PDF. Many years ago, I reopened my saved form to make a minor change. All of the data vanished! Saying some words I did not learn in church, I closed it without saving. I figured out how the JavaScript was working, and edited out the line that was deleting my data.

Here is an Excel spreadsheet that will do your federal taxes:
https://sites.google.com/site/excel1040/
It requires Microsoft Office 2010 (I have Office XP and 2003 so I have not tried it).

I have filed my share of amended returns. As I like to say, it's alright to make a mistake on your taxes; that's why they have amended forms. It's never OK to commit fraud.
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Watervliet, NY
3,656 posts, read 1,195,393 times
Reputation: 6563
Quote:
Originally Posted by blanker View Post
I don't mean TurboTax or any programs like that. I mean: get the forms, sit down with the instruction book and a calculator, fill it out, put it in an envelope and mail it.

I've been doing it that way since 1981 or so and never saw the need to change. Granted, I don't have anything all that complicated to do on it, but even if I did, it is all explained in the book.

Someone I work with, who doesn't make much $, spent $180 on a tax guy last year and is considering going back even though this person will be able to fill out the 1040-EZ! This just blows my mind, being one of the frugal ones that I am. I have been asking every aquaintance, co-worker, relative, friend if they do their own and NOBODY does. I even had one co-worker exclaim, when he found out I did mine this way, "You know how to do that?"
I do. I use the 1040A for Federal and the IT-201 (because the IT-150 short form was discontinued) for the NYS taxes. I have one thing that adjusts my income, and that is the interest from my student loan, and after this year that will disappear because I only owe another $1,200. Takes me 20 minutes to do the Federal; the NYS takes longer, because for some reason they make single filers use the long form now, even though half of it doesn't even apply if you're not itemizing.

My retired parents also do their own. The only time they had to have help was back when my dad and his brother sold their mother's house and land after she passed away in 1993.
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Watervliet, NY
3,656 posts, read 1,195,393 times
Reputation: 6563
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
Well over 80% of returns who have their tax returns rejected by the IRS are due to arithmetic errors. I will use the software.
The only time I was ever contacted by the IRS about a "mistake" on my form was in 2008, when they claimed I was reporting Social Security income. Right - 33 years old, non-disabled woman, working a full-time job, and a second, seasonal job, and no kids, disabled or otherwise. Where the hell was the SS going to be coming from??? That was the year the single filers were going to be getting that $600 rebate, so you can bet I fought them tooth and nail on it. They did admit they were mistaken in the end.

The other 25+ years I've been filing, since my first job in 1990? No problems whatsoever.
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Beavercreek, OH
2,194 posts, read 3,012,544 times
Reputation: 2334
Quote:
Originally Posted by blanker View Post
I don't mean TurboTax or any programs like that. I mean: get the forms, sit down with the instruction book and a calculator, fill it out, put it in an envelope and mail it.

I've been doing it that way since 1981 or so and never saw the need to change. Granted, I don't have anything all that complicated to do on it, but even if I did, it is all explained in the book.

Someone I work with, who doesn't make much $, spent $180 on a tax guy last year and is considering going back even though this person will be able to fill out the 1040-EZ! This just blows my mind, being one of the frugal ones that I am. I have been asking every aquaintance, co-worker, relative, friend if they do their own and NOBODY does. I even had one co-worker exclaim, when he found out I did mine this way, "You know how to do that?"
I do mine by hand because at least three times now I've tried to do them online and got locked out every time. I even got as far as submitting the form once and then got locked out. I gave up, printed the form as it stood, and mailed it in. What a complete waste of time.
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:24 PM
 
33,046 posts, read 20,714,185 times
Reputation: 8928
I've always done my own taxes by hand. I've never had more than $20K income, I've never been able to profitably itemize deductions, I've never had a tax credit, it's not hard if you don't have rental / farm / investment income.
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:50 PM
 
Location: trapped in the body of a dying animal
3,174 posts, read 1,348,340 times
Reputation: 3177
Nothing wrong with doing taxes by hand. I'm pretty cheap myself, but as I get older I've become more willing to shell out a little money for things that save me time and money.

As I get older and my finances become... bigger and more complex... a 1040EZ or a 1040A just won't do. I even filled out the 1040 long form for a few years. But one year I got lazy and used the H&R Block website to fill out my taxes- and their software pointed out a couple of tax credits that I wasn't previously aware of. And that saved me a LOT more than the cost of using their website.

So now I use their website. I don't remember what it costs exactly. Less than $50... more than $30. At my hourly rate the time savings alone is more than worth it. And the service has paid for itself many times over via tax credits and such that it's pointed out to me.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Cleverly concealed
889 posts, read 1,428,099 times
Reputation: 887
I have always done my taxes by hand too, although now, I download the forms and type in the numbers. My state doesn't even send booklets anymore.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,346,783 times
Reputation: 48613
My parents always do theirs by hand. They ran a small business for almost forty years, and always did them by hand.
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