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lbwhite89's avatar

What's the best way to file simple taxes?

Asked by lbwhite89 (1208points) January 28th, 2011

My fiance and I are trying to figure out what’s the best way to file our taxes that won’t leave us broke but won’t be a rip-off as far as our refunds either.

We are “single” with no dependents. I have one W-2 and a 1098T form from my college (from which I received grants, lottery funded assistance, and a subsidized loan) and he has three W-2’s. I’m trying to decide between going somewhere like H&R Block to get it done or doing it myself with an online program.

I’m told TurboTax is a good one and it’s free or relatively free if you use their link to the IRS site. According to their website, we qualify for free state filing as well since we live in SC. I also heard TaxSlayer was good, but I don’t know the difference in cost and reliability…or if it even matters since we don’t itemize or anything.

I used H&R Block last year and it was $50, but this year they’re offering it to me for free. However, I have a hectic work/school schedule and would rather do it online if it’s just as reliable, even if I have to pay $20 or something for my state.

Another important thing is how fast I get my refund. I’d prefer to do direct deposit for both of us, but I’m not sure how it works or how long it normally takes for H&R Block, TurboTax, and TaxSlayer.

Any advice would be good. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but we’re only 21 and we haven’t been filing taxes for very long.

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5 Answers

mrlaconic's avatar

I have been a fan of TacACT for the past few years. It’s got a nice interface like TurboTax so it’s easy to use, it’s online so you don’t have to install anything, and most importantly it’s free to use minus the filing fee which has been 15.00 in the past.

I have always gotten my direct deposit within a couple of weeks tops

I have never used the HR Block software but I have had my taxes prepared by them at one of the stores before and they always cost so much… it’s like 90..00 just to prepare and file…

sinscriven's avatar

Best thing I ever did was find an accountant to do that for me that wasnt part of those bigbox services ahem-HR Blo-ahem through word of mouth, they know the system in and outs and those little tips and tricks to help you maximize your return that those DIY preparer software doesn’t.

i tried using one of those one year and wound up owing fifty bucks. The next year I used a preparer and got a couple of thousand back, even with an increase an income that year.

Neurotic_David's avatar

I do my own taxes every year. My taxes are fairly complicated, and after years of doing them by hand, I moved to TurboTax online and have never looked back. It’ll be free for you and your wife, and the interface is very well done. I’ve worked with tax accountants a lot over the years and find that so many of them are, well, just bad. And overly expensive. And not worth it. Especially for lbwhite89, who describes a simple and straightforward return.

So my advice is go to TurboTax’s website and use their online filing app. Good luck!

john65pennington's avatar

I highly recommend Turbo Tax. Its rated No. 1 and i understand why. Its very simple to use. there is a free version for simple tax reporting on Free Turbo Tax. This is my 4th year to use it.

deni's avatar

If you can dedicate yourself for an hour or two, why not just use the EZ form? I’ve done my taxes by myself since I was 16 and yes it’s annoying and can be complicated but just being single, dependent, and even if you have a bunch of W2s to enter in and some scholarship assistance or whatever, it is not that complicated.

Last year I waited til April 14 to do mine….I had four W2’s from another state and my mom was also in another state unable to help me….but it’s always worse than you think, it only ended up taking me like an hour and a half to get everything totally finished….

But if you are really bad at math or just don’t trust yourself, then something like Turbo Tax would probably help immensely.

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