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Have you filed your taxes yet?

IMG_6336Things got crazy in March with lots of time spent helping a friend get ready to move and a trip to San Diego for a party for Wildlife Madagascar, a nonprofit my niece has founded.

I just filed my taxes Saturday, April 13. Usually, I’m filing at the last minute. Since I have a small business, I need to add up all my expenses for the year. It’s not one of my favorite tasks. It takes hours and hours.

Then, for several years, I used TurboTax. My finances don’t fit neatly into Turbo-Tax categories, so, in addition to lots of time adding up my expenses, there were hours trying to get information from TurboTax on how to enter some information to be able to file my return.

I paid about $150 for the business TurboTax program.

A couple of times, when my taxes were complicated, I went to H&R Block. I wrote the first time how frustrating it was not to be able to get an estimate of how much it would cost to have your taxes prepared until they were completed.

Although you had the option to say it was too much at the end, I just paid the fee, $472, because I didn’t to deal with my taxes anymore.

I figured out H&R Block charges about $100 per schedule. I thought they should just tell you that upfront.

In 2021, I made a large donation, so I tried H&R Block again thinking there might be something difficult that needed to be figured out. I went back again this year. I figured I was paying about $250 more, and for that amount, I was saving hours trying to get a hold of the TurboTax phone service people.

Things were so busy this year, I didn’t take the time to calculate the itemized deduction to see if it was larger than the standard deduction.

I determined my business expenses and, fortunately, I was able to get an appointment with the H&R Block tax preparer who had helped me last year.

I had to laugh. As she was entering my numbers into the computer program, a message on another computer said sit back and relax while your tax preparer does all the work. That’s what I did. I was happy to get my taxes filed.

Be sure to file your income tax return even if you can’t pay all of what you owe or you’ll owe more. “Tax debt is not like wine,” Michelle Singletary, financial writer, said in an article in The Washington Post. “It doesn’t get better with age.”

You don’t want to be hit with a failure to file penalty, she said. Generally, interest accrues on your unpaid tax from the return’s due date until the debt is paid.

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