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In the discussion thread: I broke a record this tax year [View all]

Response to Steelrolled (Original post)

Thu Jul 16, 2020, 01:22 AM

4. I had a tax pro do my taxes for 35 years, but was beginning to wonder if he was saving me any

Last edited Thu Jul 16, 2020, 03:36 AM - Edit history (1)

time, as I did a lot of prep before going in for the tax appointment, and then when I got my tax return back, I checked every input number and made sure they were all included and got to the right place (I assume the software can do the math correctly). Most years I did find a mistake or two (some due to miscommunication), and then have to interact to get it all corrected and re-checked.

He also in the last several years filed for an extension, and then waited until October before finalizing the taxes. I didn't mind the extension, but waiting until October was irritating to me that sometimes it was like with only a couple days to spare as he knows I go over it carefully and usually something needs to be changed, so there has to be time to do a round-trip or two in October. Also, by the time October rolls around, I've forgotten a lot of stuff, so have to get back up to speed. I let him know how I felt about it for the past 2-3 years.

Too many mistakes. The October thing. And some surprising lack of knowledge.

Edited to add - on assuming the software does the math correctly, well, actually, not always. In 2017 taxes, my preparer's software wasn't doing Form 8606 right, sigh. And I do some separate spreadsheet calculations to come up with my own tax calculations, to see if it matches what I'm getting back from the tax preparer or TurboTax, so it's a math check too.

Finally, in 2019 (to do 2018 taxes) I dumped him and did TurboTax for the first time. It sure didn't save me time, but I expected a learning curve the first year. This year with TurboTax went better, but probably didn't save me time either.

I filed my federal taxes electronically before April 15, but it wouldn't let me file my state (Minnesota) return because of a $1 penalty for under payment of estimated taxes. ONE DOLLAR, and Turbo Tax tells me I can't file electronically. So I just waited until a couple days ago to print it and mail it.

Some would call that procrastination, but OTOH, in the meantime if something was wrong with my federal return, it would likely be wrong with my state return too, so I could fix that easily since I hadn't filed the state return yet. I also contemplated talking to TurboTax and the state (Minnesota) about REALLY on not being able to file electronically over a $1 penalty, but decided to go ahead and just print and mail the dang thing in.

Oh, even though I filed my federal electronically back in April, I didn't pay my tax due until a couple days ago.

I had a $2 penalty for underpayment of federal estimated taxes, but fortunately I was able to file electronically anyway. But had I filed Form whatever it is to annualize my income (most of my income is in the 4th quarter), it said I would not be able to file electronically and I would have to mail it in. So I just ate the $2 penalty rather than going through all the work of filling out that annualization form and then have to print and snail-mail it in (at a cost in postage alone that comes near to $2).

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