So… we’re getting into tax season…
I thought not.
Now, I am no accountant, but I have always done my own taxes. Even as a high schooler working a few hours after school, I handled my very own 1040-EZ (with some smart parents and a tax preparer [who also happened to be my future mother-in-law] to offer guidance as needed). I guess I’ve been a lifelong DIY fanatic. It’s not rocket science, though sometimes it feels like it.
As life went on, I accrued student loans, got married, bought real estate, had kids, started my own small business and bought equipment, joined a partnership and made charitable contributions, among many other things. And my taxes got more and more complicated too. A schedule C, more forms, more details to track. We had been using a different online tax preparing service, but when I needed to file a schedule C, they told me it was going to cost upwards of $65 to file my state and federal return with them. I’d never had complaints about their service, but that was a hefty pill to swallow. First I decided maybe it was time to hire a CPA. After learning their prices and knowing I would still have to deliver all the organized information to them to do it, I decided I’d shop around a little more.
Enter TaxACT. I found them through an internet search. Currently, they charge only $12.99 for a deluxe federal return and $17.99 for federal and state (they also offer a free basic federal return for everyone!). I have used the federal and state version since I found them about 5 or 6 years ago (who can remember that far back?), and they have handled everything I have thrown at them with ease and convenience. Schedule C on top of the 1040? No problem! Business property that needs to be depreciated? Sure! Remember your kids’ social security numbers and favorite charities? Of course! Once you make your first return with them, they remember all your info from the previous year which saves a ton of typing and paper cuts.
They prompt you with questions to input correct and complete data, walk you through adding your W-2s, K-1s, and other forms, and they have buttons to explain anything that needs explaining along the way. They show you a side-by-side comparison of your current return and your last year’s return (if you used them last year) so you can see any big changes or discrepancies and double check your work. You can also compare your data to the national average. Filing the state return after the federal is very quick as they import the pertinent data automatically.
Last year, I accomplished File the Taxes Day and had a little personal party because it was finished with very little trouble on my part. The very next day, another W-2 arrived from the final paycheck from my husband’s previous employer. Oops. So I got to test out the Amended Return functionality of TaxACT. It was free, since we had filed the original return through them, and it was very quick to do! Surprisingly not scary or intimidating at all! I printed out the amended returns (both federal and state) and mailed them in with the small bit we owed. Done! For real! I was so pleased with how not painful it was, I wrote them an email to tell them so. I let them know that this year I would write up a candid review of my enthusiastically positive experiences using their products, and asked if they would like to offer a giveaway. And they do!
So, while tax returns may not be the most exciting thing to read about on a blog about all things happy home, I will posit that having a good tax experience definitely helps create Domestic Bliss in your home! Give them a try!
They are offering my three winners a free TaxACT Online 2014 Deluxe 1040 return, with the option of a discounted state return. They have a great price for what they offer, especially considering how well they perform, but free is even better! To enter the giveaway, please use the rafflecopter below. Entries will be accepted from 12AM 1/15/15 until 12 AM 1/22/15. The winners will be announced here on 1/24/14, and subsequently contacted by TaxACT with a code for the free return. Easy!