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DXSMac
Ok, this has nothing to do with RV'ing, but I hope the webmaster will let me have some latitude. We all have to pay taxes, so this should be relevant.

It used to be that if you bought TurboTax (or other tax software), that the "e-filing" was free. NOT THIS YEAR!

I just bought TurboTax at Costco, it cost me $59.99 plus tax. Well well well...... read the back. If you want to e-file, it will cost you $17.95 extra. If you have a state return to e-file, too, it will cost you another $17.95. RIPOFF!!!!

On the other hand, if you go to TurboTax's web site, you can download the software for $49.95, and the e-filing fee is included!

In my opinion, this is nothing more than extortion!

I'm ok with putting one or two stamps on an envelope to file my taxes by paper, but these e-filing fees are nothing more than extortion!

And, if my tax memory serves me correctly, I believe..... starting this year, e-filing is free through the IRS web site only if your income is $50,000 or less, but I would have to double check that.

I haven't checked Tax Cut yet.

JJ ohmy.gif
DXSMac
I just checked TaxCut's web site. If you buy their software, there is an EXTRA fee to e-file, but it doesn't say what it is.

On the other hand, if you download the software from their web site, e-filing is free.

On the other hand, TaxCut is cheaper than Turbo Tax. I have used both, and in my opinion, TaxCut has "cleaner" screens, Turbo Tax software is kind of "busy."

I don't understand how this is going to "encourage" people to e-file. The e-file cost is a ripoff! Paying an extra fee in addition to the cost of the software to e-file is a complete ripoff! Not me! I'm willing to wait for my refund by filing it by mail. I just file it early enough that I can check by phone to make sure it's received......

JJ
John Blue
We use a CPA for the last 10% of our taxes due to our business. I do 90% of the work. He has use E-filing for years now. He works off a tax system software and can tell you what day our money will be in bank. He will sent me copy to review by e-mail, I check it over and e-mail him to sent it in. Works great for me. We can be anyplace and work out any problems that may come up. Been on this system for years now. Yes, I know he has a fee to work but he has save me lots of money over the years due to all the new rules and his knowledge of tax work. tongue.gif
Bud in Florida
I use taxact on line and it is free and at least last year E filing was free. Not sure about this year yet. Even if you go for their enhanced services it is much cheaper than Turbo Tax. The web site is www.taxactonline.com
DXSMac
QUOTE(Bud in Florida @ Dec 9 2007, 10:44 AM) *

I use taxact on line and it is free and at least last year E filing was free. Not sure about this year yet. Even if you go for their enhanced services it is much cheaper than Turbo Tax. The web site is www.taxactonline.com


Ok, I just checked it out. It appears you can file a FEDERAL return free, but a state return will cost you.

On the other hand, for $7.95 (paid when you actually send...Deluxe Service), you can get some extra help with your return. This applies only to a Federal return, extra charge for a state return. Further, for $16.95 (Ultimate Service), you can file both Federal and State. On the Deluxe service, it doesn't say how much "extra" the state return will cost you. So, it is difficult to make a comparison as to whether the Deluxe or Ultimate will be cheaper for you if you need to file a state return.

Bud in Florida, I notice on TaxAct's web site, you can do your taxes free until you actually "file," then there is a charge to e-file. Is there anything on the web site that prevents you from using the "free" section to do your return to the point of printing it out, and then just mailing it, without doing the "e-file?"

The very cheapest way to do your return is to download the forms from the IRS, fill them out yourself, and mail it in. But your refund does take longer. I usually do this because I'm kind of familiar with the tax law. I don't even know why I bothered to buy Turbo Tax this year.....

I'll have to look up the "interest" formula, but I'm sure that E-file fees to send taxes in will equate to a ripoff "interest" rate for getting one's refund sooner.....

JJ
DXSMac
I just checked out TaxActOnline, recommended by Bud In Florida. It looks like it can handle medium complex tax issues. I just did a "practice" return to see how it worked.

It appears that they "watermark" the forms they allow you to print, so that you can't just use it, then print it out to send by mail. But....... you could take what they give you, and copy it manually to forms you download from IRS web site, and mail it.

The E-filing appears to be free if you don't need any help. However, you have to constantly put up with "Do you want to upgrade to our $7.95 special" before you can switch screens.

Bud, thanks for the recommendation, I may give it a try.

JJ
gsbogart
QUOTE(Gracie & Chloe @ Dec 16 2007, 02:29 AM) *

Good grief, man, that's an unwarranted response! On another subject, you call her a bozo, and now you call her a cry baby and a puck. Man, that's really mature. You don't even know JJ. I do, and yes, she worries about everything. But, she's still a good person and doesn't deserve to be attacked like that.

JJ never stated anything negative about paying taxes. She simply stated that the $17.95 charge to e-file is new and surprised her. It surprised me, too, as it had not been a part of the package in previous years.

Most buyers of Turbo Tax are return buyers and probably do not read the box print until after purchasing it. At that point, they have the choice of paying the $17.95, returning the purchase, or sending the return through the mail. Most will probably pay the fee.
DXSMac
I just checked what I paid for Turbo Tax last year. I paid $89.99 (I use the middle version, they make three versions) at Best Buy for the same version for which I paid $59.99 at Costco this year.

Now, I know things at Costco are cheaper, but I seriously doubt it is $30 cheaper.

Ok, I am taking a wild guess here. I'm guessing.............. that Turbo Tax, in order to make their product "appear to be" less expensive (marketing ploy!!), they just broke out separately the software cost and e-file cost. Since you most likely paid a higher price for it in previous years, they just broke it out separately and figured you wouldn't "mind" paying extra to e-file.

Just a wild guess.

And, I'm guessing that TaxCut followed suit. (Or maybe TaxCut did it first and TurboTax followed suit.....)

Or, the suggestion given by another poster (it was a web site, have to go back and look) appears to be a good option.....

JJ
gsbogart
QUOTE(DXSMac @ Dec 19 2007, 01:47 PM) *

I just checked what I paid for Turbo Tax last year. I paid $89.99 (I use the middle version, they make three versions) at Best Buy for the same version for which I paid $59.99 at Costco this year.

Now, I know things at Costco are cheaper, but I seriously doubt it is $30 cheaper.

Ok, I am taking a wild guess here. I'm guessing.............. that Turbo Tax, in order to make their product "appear to be" less expensive (marketing ploy!!), they just broke out separately the software cost and e-file cost. Since you most likely paid a higher price for it in previous years, they just broke it out separately and figured you wouldn't "mind" paying extra to e-file.

Just a wild guess.

And, I'm guessing that TaxCut followed suit. (Or maybe TaxCut did it first and TurboTax followed suit.....)

Or, the suggestion given by another poster (it was a web site, have to go back and look) appears to be a good option.....

JJ


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If I remember correctly, you can pick up the standard version of Tax Cut at the local dollar store for a buck. Unless you have a buesiness, or a very complicated tax return this will do it for you.
DXSMac
QUOTE(gsbogart @ Dec 20 2007, 08:24 AM) *

If I remember correctly, you can pick up the standard version of Tax Cut at the local dollar store for a buck. Unless you have a buesiness, or a very complicated tax return this will do it for you.


Actually, in my opinion, TaxCut is "cleaner." TurboTax has too much going on in their screens, too much "stuff." So, why did I buy TurboTax anyway? Long story, would bore you to tears.....

JJ
DXSMac
I was at Fred Meyer today (FM is the West Coast version of Kroger), and they were selling TaxCut. Tax Cut took a different approach. If you just need the software to do your return, and you are just mailing it in, $19.99 (without a state return). If you want to e-file, you have to buy a different version of the software and pay $35.99. If you need to do a state return also, it's $69.99.

Either way, they are still adding a "fee" to e-file.

This is EXTORTION!

That free site (Taxactonline?) someone suggested is looking good right now!

JJ
ready2upgrade
I've done TurboTax online for the last 6 years, never paying more than $49. Started out State returns were included. Then they bumped it to $9.95. Last year they increased the State filing fee to $19.95. This incited me enough to research alternatives. I found out you can file for free in Illinois, using the downloadable and fully interactive forms, through the Illinois e-file site. It was super easy. I don't know if other states offer this tho. I've always received my refunds mid-february. Waiting longer in the tax season the online site gets very busy. Mornings are easier, less traffic.
rbrumfield
QUOTE(DXSMac @ Dec 6 2007, 10:56 AM) *

Ok, this has nothing to do with RV'ing, but I hope the webmaster will let me have some latitude. We all have to pay taxes, so this should be relevant.

It used to be that if you bought TurboTax (or other tax software), that the "e-filing" was free. NOT THIS YEAR!

I just bought TurboTax at Costco, it cost me $59.99 plus tax. Well well well...... read the back. If you want to e-file, it will cost you $17.95 extra. If you have a state return to e-file, too, it will cost you another $17.95. RIPOFF!!!!

On the other hand, if you go to TurboTax's web site, you can download the software for $49.95, and the e-filing fee is included!

In my opinion, this is nothing more than extortion!

I'm ok with putting one or two stamps on an envelope to file my taxes by paper, but these e-filing fees are nothing more than extortion!

And, if my tax memory serves me correctly, I believe..... starting this year, e-filing is free through the IRS web site only if your income is $50,000 or less, but I would have to double check that.

I haven't checked Tax Cut yet.

JJ ohmy.gif


I have used TurboTax since 1989 so I am quite familiar with the whole gambit that has been used over the years. You used to have to pay for both the Federal and the state packages. Then they came out with the various versions with basic not having the state package that you bought separately or you could buy the deluxe package that had both for a few dollars less than the basic Federal package and state package cost combined. Then they had a deal one year where the basic backage didn't include the efile coupon and you paid separately for it but the deluxe package had a coupon that let you efile for "free"...yea right,...:-) Now we are back to the basic package without the state return and the deluxe version with the state return and you pay for the efile either way. Can't wait to see the next marketing strategy.
DXSMac
Ok, the "ex-accountant/auditor" in me is coming out.

Let's see, it's been awhile since I have done this, don't know if I'm using the right formula.

If you file by mail, it's basically, I think.... 60 days to get your refund. If you e-file, you get your refund in 2 weeks (14 days), a difference of 46 days.

Let's say your refund is $1,000. Paying $17.95 to efile is, effectively, a 1.8% interest to get it 46 days earlier. At that amount, not bad.

Ok, let's say your refund is $500. Paying $17.95 to efile is, effectively, a 3.59% interest to get it 46 days earlier. Again, maybe not bad.

Ok, let's say your refund is only $100. If you pay $17.95 to efile, you are paying a whopping 17.95% interest rate to get your $100 46 days earlier. At this rate, I wouldn't efile just to get it 46 days earlier. mad.gif EXTORTION!

Again, it's been awhile since I have had to calculate these kinds of things, I just did a simple calculation. I think the actual calculation involves a bit more.

JJ
DXSMac
Guess what folks, NO RIPOFF this year (unless you want to consider the cost of the software as a "ripoff...."). I checked... both TaxCut and TurboTax (the ones you see the most...) are both including FREE E-file this year when you buy the software. I guess they got the message after last year.

TaxCut is including ONE free e-file. Their software is a lot cheaper. ($34 at Fred Meyer/Kroger).

TurboTax ($72 at Costco for the "Premier" version), on the back of the box it SAYS "one free e-file" but there is a sticker attached on the front of the box that says FIVE free e-files. Now, I bought this at Costco, don't know if this is a Costco thing or not.

JJ
Lindsay Richards
Doing your own taxes is a quick way to divorce.
DXSMac
Ok, I just double checked my Quicken files.

Last year, I paid $60 at Costco for TurboTax, and that is when e-filing was "extra."

This year, I paid $72 at Costco for TurboTax and this year the e-filing is "free."

Ok, I am revising my earlier statement. RIPOFF!!!!!!

I'm not married, so I don't have to worry about divorce on doing my own taxes. Actually, I PREFER to just download the forms from IRS and fill them in myself, but software helps make sure I add the pages up correctly and transfer numbers from one form to another correctly.

JJ
Browzin
What's a tax refund????
I have had to pay every year for at least the last 30+ years. Dang quarterly taxes. At least I'm always within the 10% limit, no penalties.
Lee and Fran
I have always gone thru the web site for IrS and found free e-filing sources for fed and we have hand did our state otherwise you pay for it.
Bud in Florida
last year I used Taxact and the efiling was free and you had to pay for state tax returns. I live in Florida so I have no state tax refund. This year Taxact is charging for efiling. They also charge you $7.95 if you want to have them import everything from last year's return. I used to use Turbo Tax, but it got too expensive for my simple return. I have used Taxact for the last two years and feel it is a good value for the money. You can check the IRS web site and they will tell you where there are free e-filers. Just hoping for a refund this year!!!!
DXSMac
I hate doing taxes with software, because you are dependent on hoping that the programmers wrote the code correctly. If they didn't you could be messed up.

I prefer doing mine the old fashioned way, just fill out the forms myself. This way, I know how the form is supposed to work.

I just LOVE testing out tax software.

Right now, I'm playing with: TurboTax (purchased)
TaxActOnline (web based)
TurboTaxFree (web based)

Just for kicks, I made up a simple scenario of someone who earns $20-$30 thousand, has a kid, no spouse, attended college and paid some student loan interest. Of course, this person will get earned income credit and child tax credit.

Using the EXACT same scenario, guess what folks, I don't get the same refund between the three places.

TurboTax Purchased Software = $6509 refund
TaxActOnline = $6809 refund
TurboTax Free = $5032 refund

I have noticed some interesting things.

1) TurboTax software did not calculate an education credit even though I put an amount in for college expenses and did the "yes, they were in their first two years, were not convicted of drug offenses (the software actually has to ask you this year), and at least half time." I think this is because TurboTax calculated and applied the Child Tax credit FIRST, which wiped out all the Federal Tax owed, and once your tax liability is ZERO, you can't get an Education credit. I do NOT agree with how TurboTax did this. TaxAct, on the other hand, calculated Education credit first (which zero'd out the tax owed), then did the Child Tax credit. The Child Tax Credit is refundable past the "zero" amount, whereas, the Education credit is not. In my opinion, this is acceptable, but check with your favorite tax professional.

2) TurboTax software and TaxActOnline each calculated a different "stimulus credit." Turbo Tax software used a special form to calculate the credit (and came up with $900 for this make believe person), TaxAct Online just "Filled it in" (and filled in $600 for the make believe person) I don't know which one is correct without going over the form with a fine tooth comb. I believe $900 is correct for this situation, assuming the make believe person did NOT get a stimulus payment during 2008. (If you got one, you get a smaller credit.)

3) I cannot figure out what TurboTaxFree did, as they won't let you "view" your return unless you create the User ID, which I don't want to do.

Software is usually updated during January, so it's best to wait until February to file using software, to make sure all the "updates" are in the software.

So, if you are using tax software, or any of the "free" filing sites, all I can say is..... GOOD LUCK! You are on your own! Might want to have a buddy who is good in taxes look over your form to make sure the software did it correctly.

JJ

LATER: In the purchased TurboTax software, I went back in and wiped out the "child" and then the software "allowed" the Education Credit. Then I went back in and entered the child, and the software gave both credits (Education and Child Tax). However, the average person should NOT have to do this! I fired off a question on this on the TurboTax web site.

JJ
abbygolden
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Jan 8 2009, 01:23 AM) *

Doing your own taxes is a quick way to divorce.


I'm not sure what you mean by this but I'm thinking it is a little tongue in cheek.

Now that I'm retired, I do my own taxes by using the HR Block online software. Since I have no state income tax, it is really cheap and easy. No problems using it for me.
Lee and Fran
I do my taxes via the irs site, for free, I efile, dont pay a thing for it. I am happy and will be happier when my check is deposited in the bank next week or so.
gsbogart
We have used Tax Act, a free program for the last several years. No complaints.
Butch
Just a thought... if you are a senator or congressman, in our federal government, you don't have to pay some of your taxes due... at least not until you get caught... Makes one wonder how many others are also guilty of one in the same?????
DXSMac
QUOTE(Butch @ Feb 5 2009, 03:38 PM) *

Just a thought... if you are a senator or congressman, in our federal government, you don't have to pay some of your taxes due... at least not until you get caught... Makes one wonder how many others are also guilty of one in the same?????


And IRS workers are really scrutinized. If you make one itsy bitsy mistake on your OWN taxes, even if it's minor, it's almost (depends on who you pi**ed off...) grounds for firing!

During the time I was a Fed, I heard that morale at the IRS was horrible.

JJ
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