A few weeks ago, I talked about why I re-hired my CPA to do my taxes this year. I definitely think that was the right move for me with the stress of moving this year.
However, I have found a few mistakes in the way my CPA did my tax return this year which have taken me almost as long to investigate and verify as it would have to just do the taxes myself from start to finish. I think I have a pretty good handle now on how to deal with the reasons I had him doing my taxes in the first place. So next year, I am going to do my taxes myself. Hopefully, January/February/March will be a little less stressful for me in 2013 and then I will not be stressed out about doing my taxes.
This year, in my test runs, I used TurboTax, but I think it’s a bit more confusing than it needs to be. So here is my plan for doing my income taxes next year:
- Collect all of my tax return forms (mostly 1099s and my W-2).
- Print out a copy of Form 1040, Schedules A, B, and D, the stock transactions form (8949), and the non-deductible IRA form if necessary (8606).
- Sit at my computer with a pencil and all of the paper forms collected in steps 1 and 2.
- Go through and fill out the paper forms and schedules based on the income forms I received from the various companies, doing the math myself using my computer.
- Type up all of the information from my forms into Free File Fillable Forms to double-check my math.
- Go through my return with TurboTax to make sure that I didn’t miss anything and that the refund is the same amount as with the forms myself.
That sounds like an awful lot of work, doesn’t it? I think it’s worth it because I’m guessing that with filing Schedule A next year (assuming that I do find another condo to buy), my CPA would charge me over $500 next year to prepare my tax return, which means that if it takes me less than about 8-10 hours to prepare my own return, it was time well spent. I’m reasonably confident with the process and I love playing around with numbers, so hopefully this will work out next year.
Readers, do you do your taxes yourself? Why or why not?