Even though I have two professional degrees from a large Big Ten University, I shamefully have no experience doing my own taxes. While in college, my father hired a Tax Professional for my preparation returns so I never had to worry about struggling with figures and so on. The last three years out of college, my husband and I have taken the “walk of shame” to H&R Block to get our returns completed in less than two hours.
Each year as we performed this “walk of shame”, we felt ashamed that someone else had to complete our tax returns by just filling in some numbers in a spread sheet. So, this year, we decided to save some money, organize our own tax information and finally succeed in e-filing everything ourselves. One of my friends had suggesting trying the ever popular TurboTax by Intuit.
Through a little research on the main website, we found that it was cheaper to do everything instantly online without downloading or purchasing software. It was a little nerve-racking at first, thinking that all our life’s information would be submitted over the internet – by hey isn’t everything these days. If you are not comfortable with filling out information online, the software can be purchase in many stores (along with a discounted one at Sam’s Club) or downloaded right off the internet. One should be aware though that these last two processes are more expensive because you then have to pay for e-filing. The all inclusive one online (not the download one) is the cheapest and includes the federal e-filing.
So, we sat down with all our tax information for the last three years and got to work. At first, we were going smoothly until we got to information for my business (I do lots of freelance work- such as on this site). Even though the software online will take you hand in hand through the system, some items are a little confusing unless you 100% understand insurance and all those papers from your bank. We got stuck on home insurance and premium information when subtracting my home office. We were able to find some information on the help sidebar – you can ask a question and people will assist you with an answer in less than a few days. We ended up not waiting for an answer so we called up an uncle and quickly got the information. It was just an error by a beginner.
All in all, we were able to save over $100, earn some dignity and learn some important information about our home insurance all by doing our own taxes through TurboTax this year. It was rather simple; you just have to have a few hours if you are beginner. We would suggest this software to anyone. It works for federal and state (state is an additional charge).