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  1. #1

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    US Tax filing questions

    I like to think that I have at least a basic level of math and comprehension skills, but seriously ... .how do they expect stoopid people to file out these damn freaking tax forms! My dad always did my taxes for me since ... well, since I ever had a job! I guess I should have had him actually show me how to fill them out.

    Schedule A -- I've always filled this out and taken this deduction because it was always higher than the Standard Deduction. This year, the amount turned out to be slightly less than the Standard, so I am taking the Standard. Do I still have to submit Schedule A with my 1040 Form if I am "not" taking this amount?

    I am taking the $5,800 Standard Deduction instead because its higher than Schedule A, but I don't know if I should still attach the form or not to like "prove it" that the Standard is higher?

  2. #2

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    You're entitled to the standard deduction. The only time you attach Schedule A is if you are claiming a higher deduction than the standard.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

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    Just go to Turbo on line, pay a little extra and it will tell you everything that you need to do and this is if you're expecting a big refund it's worth it to me to file electronically, just my suggestion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JILEN View Post
    Just go to Turbo on line, pay a little extra and it will tell you everything that you need to do and this is if you're expecting a big refund it's worth it to me to file electronically, just my suggestion.
    I filed my own taxes for the first time this year (my parents filed mine and claimed me while I was a student, and last year my friend's mom helped me file. I did Turbo Tax online and paid around $50 to file electronically. I was more than happy with paying that because they made it very easy to do. Everything was put in terms that I could understand and there was an excellent help forum if I had any questions, they'd get back to you with answers within minutes.

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    If you take the standard deduction you don't have to do schedule A at all. Like you, we always do just to check which is higher (it is always standard- our mortgage interest is just too low...)

    Many people don't bother with Schedule A at all, and just do the standard every time.

  6. #6

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    We do our own taxes and I prepare them for a trust where I am the fiduciary/trustee. It takes a lot of patience and comfort with if/then statements and other "logic" stuff to make it through all of the forms. It is crazy how poorly some of the instructions are written, and I found the IRS helpline to be worthless. Next year, we will do Turbo Tax, but struggling through the details on our own the last few years gave us a good working knowledge of how everything fits together. Fortunately, we both have strong math and reading skills, but even then, we struggle with some details.

  7. #7
    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    just so you know - if you make under a certain amount (I think it's $57K this year), you can use electronic filing systems such as Turbo Tax FOR FREE if you go through the irs web site. you get the exact same services that you would if you pay to file.
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    I haven't filed mine. Little complicated this tax year since I ended dipping into our IRA. I'm counting on turbo to walk me through but not so looking forward to see how much I got to pay in taxes and penalties. When is the deadline this year? I know my time is running out.

  9. #9
    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    april 15, same as every year
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  10. #10
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    Actually tax day is April 17 this year (since April 15 falls on a Sunday).

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    Thank You! That's what I thought, little extension just like last tax year..

  12. #12
    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    ah, I just always give myself until the 15th - easy to remember.

    Is the 16th one of those weird irs holidays? I remember that happening once before, otherwise why wouldn't returns be due Mon the 16th?
    Q: Why can't I read the competition threads?
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  13. #13
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    See if there is some free help in your town/city. Often the library has a program. You might want to google "free tax help" and your town. I just googled my city and there is tons of help from cities and towns all over the state.

    I take mine to an accountant. He saved my life (tax wise) several years ago and I am very loyal.

  14. #14

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    Turbotax is $50???

    If anyone is interested in saving money I use http://www.taxact.com/. It's all online and cheaper than Turbotax. I paid $20 to do the e-filing. I believe it asks questions somewhere along the way and determines for you if you can file for free or if you have to pay the $20.

    I've never filled out a very complicated return but it works fine if you have basic income and investment stuff. If you start getting more complicated financial transactions it is worth it to get a qualified tax preparer or accountant.
    "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." – T.S. Eliot

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    just so you know - if you make under a certain amount (I think it's $57K this year), you can use electronic filing systems such as Turbo Tax FOR FREE if you go through the irs web site. you get the exact same services that you would if you pay to file.
    That's what I did, and it worked out really well. I would probably pay the $50 if I had to though since I'm when it comes to math.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    Is the 16th one of those weird irs holidays? I remember that happening once before, otherwise why wouldn't returns be due Mon the 16th?
    April 16th is a state holiday in Massachusetts. The IRS center that supports the Northeast observes it.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  17. #17

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    Another vote for TurboTax.
    I went to H&R Block last year and got the worst, most lackadaisical, paint-by-numbers person ever. Oh, and they screwed up the filing. Back to Turbo Tax for me!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheylana View Post
    Another vote for TurboTax.
    I went to H&R Block last year and got the worst, most lackadaisical, paint-by-numbers person ever. Oh, and they screwed up the filing. Back to Turbo Tax for me!
    H&R Block has done a great job for us the last two years with the complicated mess of my income with no taxes withheld (substitute teaching co-op refuses to withhold), IRA withdrawals, tuition and supplies paid with the IRA withdrawal which negates the penalties but requires extra forms to be filed, and tuition deductions.

    We don't even want to think of messing with all of that ourselves even though I did my own taxes for years with my dad (who has done temp work at the state dep't of revenue processing taxes every year since he retired) checking it for me.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    Actually tax day is April 17 this year (since April 15 falls on a Sunday).
    And Monday is actually a holiday (Emancipation Day) in the District of Columbia.

    Turbotax is $50???
    That's what I say. I always do my own returns (and have one of my parents check the math), but then again, mine are fairly simple to do (single, no kids, no house, only adjustment is student loan interest), so I can get away with using the "short form" (1040A) for my Federal. I think it's ludicrous that NY did away with the IT-150 (short form); now I have to send in the 4-page IT-201, and most of that form doesn't even apply to me.
    Last edited by Karina1974; 04-06-2012 at 05:52 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpal2 View Post
    Turbotax is $50???
    There are a bunch of different versions with different price points including a couple of free options.

    There's also an option to do it online and you only pay to file/print out the return. So, if you are really cheap, you can do them online and then just copy the numbers over to the forms by hand.
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

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