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How do you prepare your income taxes?

Tax Calendar april-15How are you doing on the deadline day for filing your federal income taxes?

Some years, I’ve been scrambling up until the last minute. I have a small business, so I need to add up my income and expenses before I can file. I don’t do it throughout the year, so it’s a time consuming job.

For many years, I took my return to an accountant to check it over to see if I made any errors. However, she retired.

One year, I took my tax return to H&R Block when I had a complicated issue. I was surprised that it cost me about $160.

Other years, I’ve tried AARP’s free tax preparation service. While it’s usually O.K., one time I didn’t like the comments a preparer made about my small business.

So this year, I decided to try TurboTax. Is it a good option for consumers? For me, it was a struggle.

I prepared my taxes in the usual way, thinking I would just need to plug the information into TurboTax. Wrong.

TurboTax divides things up into categories differently. I had to redo my itemized deductions and some other expenses. Then, my itemized deductions weren’t more than the standard deduction, so all those calculations didn’t matter.

I don’t know if I’ll try TurboTax again. Maybe. Maybe not.

Anyway, the deed is done. And, I was a week early. You can’t beat that.

Copyright 2014, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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