It’s that time of year again and tax forms are starting to trickle in through the mail. Over the coming weeks you’ll be receiving W-2s, 1099s, investment statements, mortgage statements, and a number of other important tax documents. So, whether we like it or not, tax season is upon us. The tax deadline is quickly approaching, but the good news is you get a few extra days to file your taxes this year.
With each passing year the tax code seems to get even more complicated with new credits, exemptions, and rules. This year a lot of people will be working to figure out the taxes on their Roth IRA conversion. If your tax situation is relatively simple you can probably get away with doing your taxes on your own and even file your taxes for free. But those of you who own homes, a business, taxable investment accounts, or had any major life change occur during the last year may find it better to seek professional help. That’s what I did a few years ago when I finally hired a CPA to help with my taxes. That obviously isn’t the cheapest way to go about it, but the money she saved and strategies she helped put in place amount to thousands in savings.
So that brings me to today’s question. How do you do your taxes? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you let somebody else take care of it? Or do you stick to a quick and easy free filing option or are you more comfortable with paid software such as TurboTax? Let’s hear it.
Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle
My name is Jeremy Vohwinkle, and I’ve spent a number of years working in the finance industry providing financial advice to regular investors and those participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans.
im doing pen and paper this year. last year taught me that using TurboTax online is a waste. i spent extra $ (over the basic) just cuz it was the first year i sold stocks, and i wanted to do it right. after filing, i went to a CPA to review the TurboTax completed return (for free), and he said it was a o.k. then i realized it wasnt that hard. i do freelance too.
but i can see when i might use an Enrolled Agent. probably when i own two properties, a bricks-and-mortar business in addition to my freelance work, have foreign income, and lived abroad.
I have been using Turbo Tax after years of doing it by hand. It was great to make the move, until the rest of my family asked me to theirs, since it was so "easy". I started using it because we owned a rental property.
I used to do it myself for years using turbo tax most of the time. However in the past 4 years, I hired an accountant to do my taxes as I have formed an LLC and really do not have much time to do it anymore.
Definitely going the TurboTax route this year, and for the forseeable future, until my tax situation gets quite a bit more complicated. I like being involved and to know what's going on. It helps me learn tax rules and sets me up for knowing how to handle my money for the coming year.