Sunday, April 15, 2012

So Very Confused

I do my own taxes. I see no reason to pay someone to ask me the same exact questions that I can read for myself. So I've used Turbotax in the past. This year, originally, Turbotax imported the wrong amount for my total income. That's pretty disturbing because since Texas teachers don't pay into Social Security, that's a big difference in the total amount. In addition, it didn't pick up the taxes I had paid in. As a result, Turbotax had use owing money-very disappointing considering that my husband hasn't had a job for over 18 months and our income has been slashed by over 55%.

Just for the sake of argument, I tried H&R Block online. This is not an ad for them. But they did end up getting us nearly twice what Turbotax said we owed. I have gone over the data THREE TIMES on both programs and the input information is exactly the same. So why does one make us pay and the other does not? Now keep in mind, on both our audit risk is low because frankly, we don't make that much. But, having used Turbotax for the last five years, I am going to be mad as hell if we overpaid our taxes for years.

Yeah, yeah, I know, accountants want us to go to them. But I took my Mom to a clinic where there were a roomful of retired CPA's and depending on who you talked to this deduction or that was disallowed. This leads me to my final observation-our tax code is far too unwieldy. Millions of dollars are spent on trying to avoid paying taxes when by simplifying taxes and lowering them, MORE people will willingly pay. This also gets into the area of needless accumulation of paper. Why must we collect and retain copies of paper for years and years when the IRS has them on file? Why must we send them in? It's ridiculous. It's busy work.

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