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#036 — Taxes Are Done! TurboTax Review

April 1st, 2009

Finally Did Our Taxes

I finally completed our taxes.  I had eyeballed our tax returns about two months ago, but since my initial sketch showed we’d probably owe upwards of $2,500, I decided avoidance was my best option until I felt like dealing with it!

Lucky for me I waited.  Since I was hanging around Twitter at the right time, I won a free online copy of Turbo Tax.  Thanks to Jim Wang (@bargainr) who blogs at Bargaineering, for the promotional code!

The Verdict

Well, looks like we owe the IRS $1,288.00.  I hate to owe money, but ultimately, that’s FAR better than owing $2,500.00+!  Turns out that in my original “eyeball” test, I didn’t factor into account that we can deduct our real estate taxes, along with some other minor deductions.  All-in-all, I’m satisfied with this amount.

Tax Tip

In e-filing our taxes, TurboTax gave us the option to electronically pay our tax balance on any date up to and including April 15th.

Here’s my tip: if you have your money in a high-interest checking account, set your automatic deduction to occur on April 15th, and keep your money earning interest up until the last possible date. It may only buy you a happy meal, but hey — it’ll be a free happy meal!

How’d You Like TurboTax?

This is the third year in a row that we’ve used TurboTax.  Every year, we consider hiring a CPA to do our taxes, but ultimately, I just don’t think our taxes are complicated enough yet to justify hiring someone else to prepare our taxes.

I used the Deluxe package, valued at $49.95.  In Texas we have no state income tax, so all I had was federal taxes to worry about.

I’ll keep this short & sweet — I love the online access they provide now.  They’ll also keep your information stored online for next year.  The process was very user-friendly and pretty easy.  The only issues I ran into where I didn’t feel TurboTax didn’t do a great job explaining what they were looking for was when they requested the “basis” level for gifts to charities; but I did figure it out using their online forums and a bit of Google searching.

I have not used any of their more complicated software for small businesses or rental property issues, so I cannot attest to how TurboTax stands up to those with a bit more tax complications in their life.  But for the relatively simple, I thought it did a great job.

Have you used TurboTax or another tax software program?  Give me a mini-review below.  I’m interested in your comments.

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photo by Howdy, I’m H. Michael Karshis

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