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Old 03-23-2017, 06:19 AM
Location: Wooster, Ohio
875 posts, read 651,855 times
Reputation: 1219


Originally Posted by RadioSilence View Post
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.
Some years ago, my state sent me a notice that since I was not using their booklet, they were not going to mail it to me anymore.
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:19 AM
280 posts, read 170,726 times
Reputation: 345
Originally Posted by TwoByFour View Post
Actually the way I did it by hand is I would create a spread sheet and program the formulas the IRS has in their various tables into the spread sheet. The spread sheet would automatically calculate everything for me. Since the 1040 does not change much every year, I would just change the parts that did change and re-use it the next year.

I used Excel, but you can use Google docs which is free. You just have to have the patience to put it all together. Doing it with a spreadsheet eliminates math errors. But it does not eliminate errors in programming the IRS formulae. I goofed on the AMT formula and the IRS told me about it.

The funny thing is the IRS audits every single form these days and if you make a mistake they will always find it and tell you what it is. It makes me wonder why they even have us fill out a 1040 since they recalculate everything anyway.
If you are captured by AMT you really shouldn't be doing it by hand or at least bounce it off some software. 50 bucks is a nice safety net to ensure that you didn't miss anything.
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:13 AM
Location: Dover, DE
1,715 posts, read 3,661,987 times
Reputation: 2317
When we lived in Pennsylvania I used to do it all by hand, but when we moved to SC things got complicated with their state tax. It's based on the federal and then you have to add and delete things out. Just easier to use Turbo Tax. When we lived in SC and I worked in NC it was even worse. Plus hubby still worked in PA, so add in a third state and a local income tax where he worked and it was crazy. Mother-in-law passed and left us an investment account which added stuff to the federal. Then we moved to DE and had the same problem with their state tax.....based on federal with adds and subtracts. It is just so much easier to use TT for the federal (can download the investment info directly into the software) and let it figure out the DE as well. I got the TT Deluxe on sale for $40 that included federal, fed efile and 1 state. Admittedly I will have to pay to efile the state, but not bad to know I didn't miss anything or screw something up.

I still do the Pennsylvania one by hand, though, just plug the numbers into the form on the PA website (for free) and file free from there. PA income tax is SO easy that I can't see paying to do it. Plus I still have to do the local Blair Co. one by hand, literally, and mail it in because you can't efile it if you are a non-resident of the area.
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:22 AM
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
Reputation: 17565
Originally Posted by BizrulesSD View Post
If you are captured by AMT you really shouldn't be doing it by hand or at least bounce it off some software. 50 bucks is a nice safety net to ensure that you didn't miss anything.
If you are at the point of paying money to file your taxes, you may benefit from seeing an accountant every quarter.

Doing 2016 taxes in 2017 is too late to affect your taxes. 2017 taxes need to be looked at closely during 2017, so you can tweak your tax strategy.
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:48 AM
30,316 posts, read 31,181,855 times
Reputation: 13995
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 used to do it that way but stopped a few years back and then switched to online tax preparation.
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Old 03-25-2017, 06:04 PM
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,492 posts, read 1,348,978 times
Reputation: 3210
I've always done my taxes by hand although I now have to print the forms and instructions off the computer as the feds and state no longer send you booklets or stock them at local banks. I like reading through the tax instructions to find out what is new and this has helped me figure out how the tax system works. Once I tried to use the free online calculator but had so many issues trying to import the W2 information that I gave up. It is actually the pain of having to load and deal with more computer software that deters me from using TT the most.

My taxes are not complicated as I have the usual itemized deductions of mortgage interest, property taxes, etc. and some interest income and an HSA. There have been a couple of times that I had to file an amended form because I forgot to add something but it did not make a significant difference in my taxes I double check my arithmetic and to my knowledge have never made a math error. Once I retire and relocate to a new state, I plan to use a tax preparer as I will be a partial resident of two states within one year and the new state has more complicated tax laws and all kinds of oddball deductions. Also I may do some Roth conversions and want to ensure that these are handled properly.
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Old 03-25-2017, 07:59 PM
Location: Tampa, FL
184 posts, read 118,651 times
Reputation: 411
My 36 year old husband does our taxes the good old fashioned way. He said it is so easy to do. He does his business taxes online (turbo tax) though.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:17 AM
875 posts, read 643,422 times
Reputation: 2079
I used to, but switched to online about 7 years ago, so I could get the electronic refund deposit.

I started doing my own taxes the first year I had a job with a W-2, age 16. I brought it home, and my dad handed me the 1040-EZ form along with the instructions, and told me to bring it to him to review when I was done, but he was certain that an honor student could handle it. His confidence gave me confidence, and he was right; it was no big deal. Over the years they got progressively more complicated, but as it was a gradual increase, it never seemed out of reach for me.

I plan to do the same with my kids, when they are of an age to have their own income.
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:24 PM
Status: "I am in preparation mode!" (set 4 days ago)
5,514 posts, read 5,494,602 times
Reputation: 4210
I will be going back to paper next year. I just paid $360. What a crock?
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Old 04-09-2017, 12:14 AM
2,159 posts, read 2,506,391 times
Reputation: 2762
I use to do that when I was younger. Then I discover hrblock.com. There is no way in hell I'm going back to doing it old school.
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