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US Tax filing questions

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by BaileyCatts, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. BaileyCatts

    BaileyCatts Well-Known Member

    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! :wuzrobbed 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. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    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.
  3. JILEN

    JILEN New Member

    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.
  4. Fridge_Break

    Fridge_Break #HotMessExpress

    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.
  5. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    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. KCC

    KCC Well-Known Member

    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. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    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.
  8. JILEN

    JILEN New Member

    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.:eek:
  9. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    april 15, same as every year
  10. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

    Actually tax day is April 17 this year (since April 15 falls on a Sunday).
  11. JILEN

    JILEN New Member

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

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    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?
  13. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

    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. mpal2

    mpal2 Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. Smiley0884

    Smiley0884 Well-Known Member

    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 :scream: when it comes to math.
  16. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    April 16th is a state holiday in Massachusetts. The IRS center that supports the Northeast observes it.
  17. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

    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. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    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. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

    And Monday is actually a holiday (Emancipation Day) in the District of Columbia.

    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: Apr 6, 2012
  20. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    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. :D
  21. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    I've never gone to H&R block, but I switched to their online filing (from Turbo Tax) a few years ago. Sometimes I run them both just to see if there's a difference :D, and I don't think there ever has been. I just like the H&R Block interface better.

    And again - if you are making under $57K, you can file online FOR FREE. No need to do any numbers by hand.
  22. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member

    People should also check with their state department of revenue to see if they can file the state returns for free as well. I qualify to file the KY return for free, but I have to use the link from the KY Department of Revenue.