I have done my own taxes since I went to H&R Block back in the 70’s and realized they were of no help at all. I can not do my corporate taxes, I hire a pro for that, but personal I do most all of the family’s taxes to this day even though they have all moved out. The problem is two fold. One the kids taxes are getting pretty complicated, but I can do it still. I really thank the folks at IRS.GOV for the very good website. All the publications I use to have to mail for are there in either html or pdf. This information is really invaluable!! I urge you all to avail yourselves of this great value. In days past I would have to get Lasker’s Tax Guide or some other such book (which would be of no use the next year) but now, all the information is free and very well indexed.
I use Turbo Tax, and I am beginning to see that they are asking TOO many questions. They collect TOO much data. They are collecting it so that they can remember the basis of your investments, I know this is a good thing, but if you do not buy in to quicken then most of these questions are obtuse at the best and time wasting at the worse. The IRS does not bring many of these questions down to your 1040 package. I was working on a house purchase / rental property form with Turbo Tax today, inputting all sorts of info, but when I looked at the IRS form, NONE of this made any difference. It will all change the basis of the investment, but had NOTHING to do with this year’s taxes. So beware the programmers at Turbo Tax may not have the expediting in mind that they use to.
That said, I can still read an IRS tax form and with the very good info available at IRS.GOV I can figure out how to obey the law and not get my self into an audit situation. I have been doing my taxes for over 30 years and have only had Oregon hit me for an extra $10 for a math error back in the days I had to use a calculator. I am learning that tax planning is critical. We did keep son #2 in the under 15% tax bracket even though his income was higher. That said, we have decided to cover our long positions here in CA real estate. The For Sale sign will be on our door soon, as we look for better investments in this world of too much debt.
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