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Old 01-30-2019, 01:14 PM
 
8,820 posts, read 5,119,154 times
Reputation: 10086

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Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
I think you'd classify me as very wealthy. Mine are up 20% on pretty much the same income. I'm still able to itemize deductions so the increased standard deduction did me no good at all.
I would classify you as upper middle class.
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:19 PM
 
4,716 posts, read 10,309,443 times
Reputation: 2294
The numbers are the numbers. There are no secret formulas that others use to gain a significant larger refund. Turbo tax is perfectly fine when you have a standard straight up file.

In matter of fact just have your professional do it. Then do it yourself on Turbo Tax and you will be very close in numbers. An accountant in NYC metro area is charging $250+ for a basic return. I'll pass.
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:19 PM
 
8,820 posts, read 5,119,154 times
Reputation: 10086
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tencent View Post
I am surprised a lot of you likely make more money than me and do not enlist the services of an accountant. It's sheer insanity to me that you'd venture out and try to DIY and figure out a complex system which employs hundreds of thousands of professionals annually.

I have no mortgage/property and no kids and I wouldn't go it alone. I think a lot of you are getting tripped up by the SALT change. I'm sure there are loopholes. But you actually need to stop trying to do your own taxes and pay a good CPA to find them. My taxes probably won't change much because I was likely paying more to begin with as I could never rely on the property or dependent deductions. However, I do have an S-Corp and likely there may be some added benefits for corporations seeing as Trump is Pro-Business. In general the government is Pro-Business and anti-individual.

If you don't have a corporation already you should be setting one up as well as a consultancy to take advantage of pass through losses. And that corporation should be used to manage some of your mutual funds, stocks etc to take advantage of the lower tax rate in investing that corps have over individuals. If you have a corporation you can deduct part of your housing expense, that includes primary residence whether it's mortgage or rent.

Turbo Tax isn't gonna cut it. My Wife used to use that and she could have been getting $1k more back per year (after the CPA fee) if she had been using my accountant (before we met)

Someone help me understand, why do people in this country think it's a good idea to try and play against the IRS on their own? I work with numbers every day and I can't back out how it works. There is no logic to it. Unless you're an Accounting major or Financial Analyst please don't try to play the game....You will lose every single time.
Meh, my return isn't all that complicated. Though I have to say, I am not terribly impressed with my experiences with 1040.com and Credit Karma this year. If I didn't *know I was getting some incorrect numbers, I'd likely have filed an incorrect return.
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:25 PM
 
600 posts, read 434,962 times
Reputation: 560
I started mine last weekend. I cannot itemize my mortgage interest and property taxes anymore since the standard deduction doubled. I cashed in a Series EE Bond because it was no longer accruing interest (30 year bond). I had to pay tax on the interest (1099-INT) and some dividends/capital gains (1099-DIV) from a brokerage account. I didn't have enough withheld from my paychecks so I am going to owe the Federal Government over $1,500 and the State of Massachusetts $254.

I'll go over it a few more times to make sure everything has been accurately entered, but my return is fairly straight forward. Since I owe so much I'll end up paying a small penalty. I believe I can elect to have the H&R Block Software calculate it for me or let the IRS send me a bill.

I quickly changed my tax withholding this week. I try to get everything as close to $0 as possible, but this year with all the new changes I should have thought everything through. Oh well.
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Maryland
18,620 posts, read 16,419,369 times
Reputation: 6347
Finished Fed and state. Simple return- Wages plus investment sales. Can't claim student loan interest. Standard deduction. In total about $450 refund due to short term capital losses.

I used the free file forms for both fed and VA, which I don't recommend. They aren't easy to use from a technical standpoint. I hate paying for tax prep so I may do them by hand next year.
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:33 PM
 
4,716 posts, read 10,309,443 times
Reputation: 2294
So you're saying we all should commit fraud and open up a fake corporation to help the tax burden?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tencent View Post
I am surprised a lot of you likely make more money than me and do not enlist the services of an accountant. It's sheer insanity to me that you'd venture out and try to DIY and figure out a complex system which employs hundreds of thousands of professionals annually.

I have no mortgage/property and no kids and I wouldn't go it alone. I think a lot of you are getting tripped up by the SALT change. I'm sure there are loopholes. But you actually need to stop trying to do your own taxes and pay a good CPA to find them. My taxes probably won't change much because I was likely paying more to begin with as I could never rely on the property or dependent deductions. However, I do have an S-Corp and likely there may be some added benefits for corporations seeing as Trump is Pro-Business. In general the government is Pro-Business and anti-individual.

If you don't have a corporation already you should be setting one up as well as a consultancy to take advantage of pass through losses. And that corporation should be used to manage some of your mutual funds, stocks etc to take advantage of the lower tax rate in investing that corps have over individuals. If you have a corporation you can deduct part of your housing expense, that includes primary residence whether it's mortgage or rent.

Turbo Tax isn't gonna cut it. My Wife used to use that and she could have been getting $1k more back per year (after the CPA fee) if she had been using my accountant (before we met)

Someone help me understand, why do people in this country think it's a good idea to try and play against the IRS on their own? I work with numbers every day and I can't back out how it works. There is no logic to it. Unless you're an Accounting major or Financial Analyst please don't try to play the game....You will lose every single time.
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:35 PM
 
18,845 posts, read 13,587,446 times
Reputation: 14261
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocafeller05 View Post
So you're saying we all should commit fraud and open up a fake corporation to help the tax burden?
Maybe thatís the loophole he was referring to
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:35 PM
 
Location: North State (California)
39,319 posts, read 2,966,634 times
Reputation: 12853
No not yet, still waiting on the documents in the mail or online.
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,661 posts, read 3,665,305 times
Reputation: 10620
I'm self-employed and until this year, so was my husband, so we always waited to file until April. This year he is employed by someone else, so maybe we will file earlier. We are still waiting on some documents so once we have everything, I'll send it over to the accountant.
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Old 01-30-2019, 02:25 PM
 
2,052 posts, read 594,159 times
Reputation: 2905
Quote:
Originally Posted by korrosive View Post
When I run a tiny side LLC, I made sure to hire professionals. There is nothing the two of them in two years did that I wasn't able to accomplish myself in TurboTax. I may simply have been unlucky, but I found the second year that I used pros, I had to convince one how the full depreciation worked and allowed me to take loses against my regular W2 wage. He had started by letting me know that the previous year's tax pro had done things wrongly. He went off and called back a few days later saying I was right and everything was good. With egg on his face, he did my returns for free that year. He was the CPA for a number of businesses in the area.

Regardless of who you use, each person needs to be very knowledgeable about what is being done by them and for them and why the numbers work the way they work. Like many things, the only person that will care the most about your affairs is you.
Those are bad Pros...Reporting depreciation against W-2 is like Accounting 101...Even I know that. Fire them get a new one. I must be really lucky because I have heard bad stories like this. However, that does not mean that Turbo Tax or DIY is the solution....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet Like Sugar View Post
Why? Because I feel comfortable doing it myself and don’t feel like taking the time to hire someone. If I truly thought that they would do a better job than me, then I would.
How complicated is your return?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocafeller05 View Post
The numbers are the numbers. There are no secret formulas that others use to gain a significant larger refund. Turbo tax is perfectly fine when you have a standard straight up file.

In matter of fact just have your professional do it. Then do it yourself on Turbo Tax and you will be very close in numbers. An accountant in NYC metro area is charging $250+ for a basic return. I'll pass.
In terms of the bolded...Not exactly. My grandfather knew all kinds of loopholes before he passed he studied the tax code as a hobby. When my CPA saw his past tax returns he was impressed. My grandmother was stubborn the year he passed and went to H&R Block - They f__cked everything up so bad the IRS asked for $11k until they realized he was deceased. So my CPA cleaned it up to the best of his ability to where she owed $0 from the estate. Prior to that he had been getting $5k back annually if not more.

My accountant charges $500 and we make about $200k gross combined in NYC and get back $1k from Fed and get back $2.5k from NY State. Most people in our income bracket get $0 back from Fed at best, owe at the worst. I have looked at some of the stuff my accountant does and I just don't think Turbo Tax can hack it. We'd probably end up owing if we did it through that. I understand the K-1 schedule but there are nuances which get factored in. I just don't have the time to understand it. I have my own day job.

There are "secret" formulas because my CPA manages people with net worth 10x more than me. His strategy changes year to year based on what happens with his 100+ clients. They take big risks (by their own volition, not his) and when they get audited or inquiries those learnings get passed down so then he knows what will and will not work for the average Joe like me. That's what you fail to realize it's like any other trade. He knows what will fly under the radar he has been doing this for 30+ years. It's not about cheating the system it's about leveraging the IRS's own rules. Turbo Tax is giving you like 10 simplified versions when in reality there are over 10,000+ customizations available. It's the difference between a standard browser and developer mode....Don't open the box if you don't know what you're doing or you might break something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petunia 100 View Post
Meh, my return isn't all that complicated. Though I have to say, I am not terribly impressed with my experiences with 1040.com and Credit Karma this year. If I didn't *know I was getting some incorrect numbers, I'd likely have filed an incorrect return.
If you are a recent grad unmarried no dependents a regular full time job with one W-2 then Credit Karma tax return can work for you. Add 4 conditions to that and they can't handle the complexity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocafeller05 View Post
So you're saying we all should commit fraud and open up a fake corporation to help the tax burden?
There are 10,000 legal ways to minimize taxable income and the only difference between you and me is that I enlist the services of a professional who spends all day researching the tax code changes and strategizing on how to maximize his client's returns.

People need to respect specialization. Tax law is just like any other. It requires an expert. Not something Uncle Bobby should be handling.
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