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Income Taxes- How Do You Do Yours?
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Do you fill them out and mail them by hand?

Do you take them to a tax preparer?

Do you do them online, or use purchased tax software?

I have used Turbotax the last two years. Last year, I bought the software in the store. This year, I just went to their website and filled out the forms and submitted them online. I believe it's actually cheaper just to use the website, since you get charged the prep fees anyway, and no fee for efiling, so why bother buying the software?

I have to say I was a little disappointed. I usually fill mine out by hand, and then enter them using software. My figures are usually pretty darn accurate, but they didn't agree with Turbotax. I think they reduced a child tax credit to $500 when the IRS book said I should get the full $1000. I couldn't change it, because you can't argue with the software. They also told me I was ineligible to deduct educational expenses on my MN return, and I know I could. On the other hand, they oversimplified some deductions and allowed some they shouldn't have- for instance, on energy efficiency improvements, they ask very basic questions about door/window replacement, insulation, and appliances like furnaces, then give the deduction. The actual IRS regulations are much stiffer and a lot of things would not qualify.

Overall, I got close to the refund I was expecting, but I was concerned that the accuracy of the software calculations was not what I had thought.

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TurboTax. For me, it is a lot cheaper and a lot better than a tax accountant. I don't have anything complicated though.

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