questionshow do you take care of your taxes?

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Skip the services and use Turbo Tax. From what you're saying, try Turbo Tax Deluxe. If your wife's business is incorporated or is a DBA the TTD version should handle what you need. If the business is just at the hobby level (selling stuff on eBay, for instance), TT will walk you through it in nice, simple language. It costs about $30 and there are a lot of $10 discounts available on line.

I've used Turbo Tax for the last 15 years or so and like it primarily because it asks me a lot of questions to help find extra deductions and to make sure I'm not missing something I should note as income. It's really, really simple to use.

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If you are afraid to do them yourself and miss tax credits due to the fact you are taking classes and your wife has the business, then talk to neighbors and friends and see who they use locally that is an actual CPA. Sometimes the people at the chain services are not actually tax professionals, they have taken quick classes to learn how to essentially use the software that you can buy like TurboTax. I'm a big believer in TT, but if you are afraid, go to someone who knows what they are doing, then next year buy TT and you'll have your 2013 returns to use as reference/guidance.

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When my dad retired, he became a certified tax preparer to volunteer to do free tax prep at the local senior center.{ has MBA and worked in finance }
He was happy to help me out.
He hasn't done the volunteer work for a few years, but has still done his {and mine} w/ Turbo Tax. But he had trouble last year. He's 85. He already went and talked to the son or grandson of a friend at H&R to give him some updated advice. It's a case of local known person w/ CPA working at franchise office.
I'll probably try my hand at my own. I've been a lot of it the last few years w/ him. I might go for some quick tips from this guy too , 'cause I had some unexpected complications this year. But I'll probably do them myself.

TL/DR: Sometimes big name tax preps have qualified locals. I agree w/ asking around for referrals. Otherwise TT.

Tip: If you have a mutual fund, sometimes they offer free, or at a steep discount, TT online.

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@magic cave: Ditto to what Magic Cave said. Turbo Tax does an excellent job at asking the right questions to get you the best refund. I wasn't able to find a $10 code immediately, but I found this link that will give you 10% off. It's better than nothing :) https://turbotax.intuit.com/lp/ty13/aff/tmp_5_disc.htm?znA=hero.discount-10per-coupons&cid=all_affttpd-178837_int&priorityCode=1856400000&lct=s

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We've had some pretty complicated tax years (DH is in outside sales and in some jobs he has been considered self-employed; sometimes he pays his own expenses, sometimes not; I do volunteer work on the side and can write off some expenses; we have a disabled adult child who is still a dependent; small inheritance issues; retirement funds; etc., etc., etc.) Turbo Tax has been our friend. We have occasionally consulted with a tax attorney when things were really screwy, but Turbo Tax has done what we needed.

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Your state tax site or IRS.gov may give you free services to use. Many commercial services ie turbotax, taxslayer, hr block, 14 total. Many charge for state returns, but my state site has free return prep & filing (Idaho).

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We bank with our state credit union. They charge about $50 to do our taxes. They already have our mortgage and banking info so it's easy. I don't even have to be there. I drop it all off and they call me when its ready and we review it together.

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CPA all day - I like paying a little extra for the piece of mind and if there is an issue, he's someone the IRS can talk to on my behalf. Since I'm an S-Corp, I don't want to take any chances with the computer tax programs even if the cost difference is about $200.

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I've used this free service for many years for my federal tax, and we don't have state income tax:
https://www.taxact.com

But I have really simple taxes. Since they cut out the deduction for personal interest my deductions have never come close to the one you get for filing short form, which is what I used to do before the free online services were available. I usually have the refund in my bank about two weeks after I file.

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BTW, has anyone noticed that all three popular questions are exactly the same length? What are the odds?

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I used HR Block once and it was a rip off. If you can read, you can use Turbo Tax and its extremely easy.

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@moondrake: We've used the paid version of Tax Act for years. I'd done it myself for a long time, but we started an LLC awhile back and it's just easier.
If you've never used any software, they all have the ability to import the previous year's data and events, and cross checking becomes really simple.

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I have a CPA which costs me about $300/year but my stuff is complicated - personal, rental, and business. Also, all I have to do is organize all the docs and info and send it off to him instead of spending the number of hours doing it myself.

Also, TurboTax and whatever are great until you get audited.

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thank you guys! looks like i will be using turbo tax or my local bank if they offer it. my dad used turbo tax for me and my wife last year so everything is saved in there for the most part

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Just remeber two points. First,security is the most important things and if it can born more money is better.