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Old 02-15-2009, 02:21 PM   #1
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Question What do I do about filing my taxes this year?

For the past few years, I've used IRS FreeFile: http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,...html?portlet=6 -- Specifically, I've used the FreeFile service at http://www.olt.com which has worked pretty well and my only cost has been $8 for e-filing my state return.

This year, I have far too many weird forms and I don't think it's going to work. I have two W-2s (each with items that don't quite fit the online form), a 1099G showing a state tax refund, 2 1098-Ts for school tuition, a 1099HC that I think is only useful on the MA state tax return, a 1099-C that would work on olt.com except their form doesn't allow me to enter one with my wife's SSN, a 1099-R, and then there's other complications...

Should I:
  • Continue trying to work with olt.com, using their live phone help on a weekday?
  • Try another free online service?
  • Try a paid online service/program, like TurboTax?
  • Use a branded walk-in accountant service like H&R Block?
  • Use an independent CPA?

I need the money, and I need to get this all done and filed fast (I need the resulting information for my wife's FAFSA form which needs to be in by the end of the month, and I only waited this long because forms kept arriving in the mail).
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:48 PM   #2
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Before I owned my own business I always used TurboTax, it was great. Now I just have my accountant do it though...

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Old 02-15-2009, 06:24 PM   #3
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I use Turbo Tax every year, and it's easy. For $29.99 or $39.99 (can't remember which), you get the Federal and one free state filing. Additional states cost extra.
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:47 PM   #4
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Turbo Tax has a version for people with deductions.

The good news is, if you screw it up, you can get a job with the Obama Administration.
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:38 PM   #5
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we have been using efile for a few years now. they have the same basic thing as turbo tax but you can use theirs and see how it looks before you pay. you only pay when you are done with it and are submitting it.

we had:
-adoption stuff
-w-2s
-mortgage interest (4 different ones because of a re-fi)
-short term disability (wife's sergery)
-new dependant
-charitable donations

all in all we were very happy with the way it turned out and if you don't like it, don't submit it and it costs you nothing.

one difference is that it doesn't show how much you are getting back until the end where as turbo tax has a running talley that adjusts as you fill out forms.

www.efile.com it is worth a look at least
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:17 PM   #6
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Read this:
http://www.ricedelman.com/cs/educati...?articleId=927
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:33 AM   #7
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Good info, thanks guys. I think I'll try both TurboTax and efile.com and see which one I'm more confident in, then file with that one.

shatto, I don't have mutual funds, and anyway I have to get it done before March 1, because I need the results to use on another form which is due by March 1.
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Old 02-16-2009, 04:30 AM   #8
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I would try efile first because it is free to try. plug in the numbers and it should tell you what you are due. it is very similar to turbo tax other than you don't buy it up front.

if you still want to buy turbo tax, then you can. they run around the same price in the end. I really couldn't tell you which was better. on top of that, I am a little biased.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:30 AM   #9
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I'm pretty sure that TurboTax doesn't cost anything until you file if you do it online. Also, I got a TurboTax CD in the mail.

If it costs me before doing, then I'll definitely try efile first.

In addition to all my forms, I think I forgot to mention that I have to file in two states (because I work in MA but live in RI).
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:44 AM   #10
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that is why we originally used efile. h+r block didn't do our taxes right. we had used them for a few years. we worked in one state and lived in another. you are supposed to get a credit from the state in which you worked in order to pay the state that you live in. h+r said that we owed the state of north carolina a little over a grand but we paid in slightly over 800 to virginia. we knew we were going to have to pay state taxes but we knew it wasn't going to be that much. the lady said that we would get a refund from va but we had never had to do it that way before.

we decided to hold off on h+r for a while and my wife did it on efile and it was different so I said let's hold off because a manager from h+r was going to call us after reassesing it. she told us that it was wrong and that we only owed the difference, which is what we had figured from efile. we politely told them that we decided to have our taxes done by someone else. the manager said she understood. been using efile ever since.

I didn't know that turbo tax was online. I thought you had to buy the package from walmart or something. maybe you can do either one.

it is good to use both as a double check. just make sure that you only pay once though.
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