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Old 01-19-2019, 08:53 AM
 
1,023 posts, read 498,689 times
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So Iíve been using Turbo tax for years. As the price goes up, and itís utility to me goes down, Iím thinking this is the year to go back to the good old days of pen and paper.

Can anyone think of a good reason not to? Iíll have only a few divs and minimal cap gains for income, and the 12k standard deduction will completely cover my income. So 1040, sch B and sch D, right? No itemizing.

Plus, if I can find the forms without printing them at home, I wonít have to make the yearly trek to Best Buy to get ink for the seldom used printer. Do they still put these forms at post offices? Havenít been to a PO in years.
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:22 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,110 posts, read 17,007,048 times
Reputation: 9956
The IRS has some Free Fill Companies on there web site (or they usually do) that let you fill out on online, and file electronically.

AARP TaxAids (no you don't need to be "senior" or a member of AARP to use it). Does Tax Prep for Free.

https://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/

Most start up Feb 1st.

Last edited by flyonpa; 01-19-2019 at 09:36 AM..
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Florida -
8,744 posts, read 10,741,097 times
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I've used H&R Block software for several years and been well satisfied, except for a few glitches in the 'royalties' area. I used to use Turbo Tax and also liked their software, and don't immediately remember why I switched.

While not 'free' (although the basic version of TT is advertised as free), the disk package price generally drops to $19.95 by about March. Given the state of affairs with the new tax changes, it might be well worthwhile this year to wait.
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:44 AM
 
1,762 posts, read 589,114 times
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A few years ago I was working in one state and living in another and decided to try and do the taxes on one state (which I believed to be the simpler) by hand rather than pay to download another state form. Background: I am VERY good in Excel and I've been doing my own taxes using software for years. My taxes, OTOH, are a bit complicated because I have a lot of investments, SS income, I itemize, etc.

I messed up. Even the state forms had so many "mini-worksheets" and "gotcha" provisions that I messed up and got a big bill. Paid a good CPA to help me sort out what I did wrong.

This year, due to the tax law changes, I tried to approximate what my state and Federal liability would be, not only for planning if additional amounts were due, but also for 2019 estimates. I now have the TurboTax software but before it was available I tried reproducing the calculations in the tax forms using 2018 as a basis and adjusting for known changes. My taxes are based on investment income and the calculations for the reduced tax rates on LT gains and dividends were hard to reproduce although I think I got close.

My recommendation: spend the $$ and get the software if you have taxes that are the least but complicated.
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:27 AM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
5,170 posts, read 8,274,428 times
Reputation: 7070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabound1 View Post
So Iíve been using Turbo tax for years. As the price goes up, and itís utility to me goes down, Iím thinking this is the year to go back to the good old days of pen and paper.

Can anyone think of a good reason not to? Iíll have only a few divs and minimal cap gains for income, and the 12k standard deduction will completely cover my income. So 1040, sch B and sch D, right? No itemizing.

Plus, if I can find the forms without printing them at home, I wonít have to make the yearly trek to Best Buy to get ink for the seldom used printer. Do they still put these forms at post offices? Havenít been to a PO in years.
Not quite.

For Cap Gains, there is a new Schedule 1. It gets info from Sch D, then along with other info, gets transferred to the all-new 1040.

See https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-1040 for details. The new 1040 is much shorter now.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:17 AM
 
675 posts, read 509,340 times
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Paper returns have to be input manually by the IRS through data entry. This takes time and is harder to correct filer errors and can even cause an accidental error by the data entry person. Refunds will take longer and the IRS does not recommend paper filing.
Here's an interesting video (at least to me LOL) of the process called the pipeline. If you watch it you probably won't ever want to file a paper return.
https://www.irsvideos.gov/Profession...essingPipeline

Pipeline process: Mail is opened. Returns are sorted and payments are deposited. The returns are coded, edited and numbered. Return data is entered into the computer. Validity checks are run and errors are corrected. Valid transactions are then posted to the IRS Master File. Refunds or balance due notices are issued to the taxpayer. The paper returns are retired to Federal Record Centers.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:54 AM
 
13,574 posts, read 7,208,546 times
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I really don't believe in TurboTax. I prefer to do my taxes on a spreadsheet and transcribe the information to FreeFillableForms for electronic submittal. I use it as my once-per-year way of refreshing myself on how all the tax law works and what has changed.



A word about FreeFillableForms. It is the most awful user interface in the planet. It is pretty much no different than paper and pen. Even worse, you have to manually enter things like every field in W-2 data (and possibly some flavors of 1099) and you don't know if you have a typo until you submit electronically to the IRS and your submission gets rejected. I check, double check, and triple check all the fields in the W-2 forms and still manage to get rejected an average of 2 out of 3 years. The IRS has all that data from my employers and financial institutions. The IRS should pop up the W-2 and 1099 records it knows about and then give me the option of adding any missing ones.



I guess more like a rant than a word.


I imagine "tax simplification" is going to give me more forms to deal with. I've already paid my estimated taxes so I'm in no particular hurry to actually file a return. I rounded up on a couple of things where I wasn't sure about final 1099-INT and 1099-DIV numbers on January 15th so I'll get a tiny refund but I'll apply that towards Q1 estimated taxes.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:05 PM
 
18,648 posts, read 13,444,627 times
Reputation: 14056
I’ve never had a turbo tax return rejected m, food for thought
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,644 posts, read 15,995,512 times
Reputation: 7616
We switched from TurboTax to the H&R Block software a few years back when TurboTax decided you needed to buy the $80+ version of their software if you had even a token amount of investment income. The H&R Block interface isn't as nice but otherwise works well enough.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
55,353 posts, read 54,008,370 times
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I used to use Turbo Tax but last year I quit.

I have a NY State pension and I also worked for two employers in New York last year but live in NJ.

It's always been awkward to use TT for this because you have to change numbers along the way after inputting them from the W-2s and the pension income form (forget the number, sorry) or it counts your salary as double what it is.

Last year no matter what I did, I couldn't get it to come out right. There was some sort of glitch in the program that wouldn't let me show the same income for New York and New Jersey. It was either doubling the income or showing zero on NJ when I tried to do my state taxes. It was completely frustrating.

I finally ditched it and used Tax Act.
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