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Old January 15th, 2014, 03:22 AM   #1
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Anyone file their taxes themselves (using turbotax, the like)?

Curious - last year I had a local CPA handle my taxes. I wasn't exactly thrilled with the 300 dollar bill in doing so. Having done my personal taxes many previous years myself on turbotax, I was thinking about trying to do my now business taxes on their this year. Anyone else use turbotax for their business?
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Old January 15th, 2014, 03:28 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone file their taxes themselves (using turbotax, the like)?

Well remember to claim your accountant's fee as an expense!
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Old January 15th, 2014, 03:49 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone file their taxes themselves (using turbotax, the like)?

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Well remember to claim your accountant's fee as an expense!
Well of course, but I wouldnt mind having the whole 300 in my pocket instead :p
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Old January 15th, 2014, 03:59 AM   #4
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Re: Anyone file their taxes themselves (using turbotax, the like)?

Sorry James, I guess that was a little tongue in cheek. I have looked at this as a time versus money decision. Sometimes I have the time to do the tax and other times I do not and have the money for someone else to do it.

Can the accountant get you a bigger refund (or lower tax bill) than the cost of their services? That is where I find the value in them.

The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) can be quite aggressive. Last year I paid the accountant something like $600 to do my personal tax as it was complicated by share trading and the like and I would have been hopelessly lost. For the peace of mind of knowing the ATO was going to come after me for an incorrect return, I felt it money well spent.

If you can believe what you see in the movies then the IRS is pretty similar.
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Old January 15th, 2014, 04:10 AM   #5
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Re: Anyone file their taxes themselves (using turbotax, the like)?

I let my accountant handle my taxes for my business, one less thing to worry about, I pay about 1500 dollar per year for this, this also includes my personal taxes. I wish I had a accountants mind though which would save me the money :) I also don't consider it that much for some ease of mind, wedding couples pay more for their wedding video and that's a one time event while my accountant has to deal with my income/expenses 4 times a year + make a year balance.
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Old January 15th, 2014, 11:41 AM   #6
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Re: Anyone file their taxes themselves (using turbotax, the like)?

I had always done my own taxes, and when I got married some years back my wife suggested we use her accountant. I said, well I'll do them on Turbo tax, and if your accountant can do better we will go with him.

I have had a professional tax accountant do them ever since.
I may know audio/video production, but a full time accountant has a much better grasp of taxes, and by the way, saved me a ton of money!
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Old January 15th, 2014, 12:54 PM   #7
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Re: Anyone file their taxes themselves (using turbotax, the like)?

Yes, I use Turbotax, though my business is pretty simple. No employees, no 1099s. Separate bank account for the business helps track expenses.

I suppose the advantage of having used an account last year is, if you insist on doing it yourself, you have an example from your accountant's year.

$300 for an accountant to do it, or $80 to buy TurboTax. Though, this year they have a deal with Amazon where you can use your refund to buy Amazon gift cards and get up to 10% extra (so $500=$550).
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Old January 15th, 2014, 02:14 PM   #8
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Re: Anyone file their taxes themselves (using turbotax, the like)?

I've used an accountant for....well since 1972. While the initial outlay may cost some bucks in the long run the money I've saved over the years has more than paid for the cost of a professional doing my taxes for me.
Things like depreciation on the gear...gas, electric, website hosting, cell phone, mileage, insurance, printing paper, business cards, home office based on square footage...there are literally hundreds of things the accountants I've had over the years have legitamitly come up with that frankly I would have forgotten and some of the computer based tax programs wouldn't think to ask has saved me thousands of dollars over the years. I had a home office before the IRS even thought about people working from home and I was challenged on many occasions but my accountants were able to prove that I really ran a business from my house.
Just my thoughts but if you are running a real business the 2 most important things you need to have is 1) a good smart lawyer and 2) a really good really smart accountant. But that's just me. YMMV!
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Old January 15th, 2014, 02:22 PM   #9
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Re: Anyone file their taxes themselves (using turbotax, the like)?

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Things like depreciation on the gear...gas, electric, website hosting, cell phone, mileage, insurance, printing paper, business cards, home office based on square footage...there are literally hundreds of things the accountants I've had over the years have legitamitly come up with that frankly I would have forgotten and some of the computer based tax programs wouldn't think to ask has saved me thousands of dollars over the years.
Don, for most pros, I generally suggest an accountant, too, though we haven't started using one, yet. However, programs like TurboTax do ask about all those things, in detail, one by one. If I reach an item that I"m not clear on, there is a button with 'more examples' or a help index with a lot more info and clarification.

And to be clear, I'm assuming we're all talking about real accountants, NOT those temporary H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt employees who do taxes for three months a year and who really just use the software, like we would.
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Old January 15th, 2014, 06:56 PM   #10
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Re: Anyone file their taxes themselves (using turbotax, the like)?

Yep real accountants. Full time that's all they do types. However many of the folks that work at the big box accountant firms are real accountants just picking up some extra work and they all have offices that are year round type places. I just don't think I'd be real comfortable using them My return gets pretty complicated since I run other enterprises under an umbrella and my wife is a W-4 employee. I keep track of things during the year, (Excel works for me) hand over the proverbial shoebox to my guy usually mid February and don't think about it again til he drops off my copies about 4 weeks later. Hell, he even electronically sends them off. For me, the only way to go. If you're good with Turbo Tax or any of the other methods, why change now?
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Old January 15th, 2014, 07:12 PM   #11
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Re: Anyone file their taxes themselves (using turbotax, the like)?

I don't know if it is the same in Canada, the UK or the US, but here in Oz by using an accountant, you get different (later) deadlines to complete and pay your tax. This can be very beneficial for tax planning as you can spread out your tax obligations to more effectively pay any taxes you may owe.

Luckily, they don't delay the refund if you have come up on the positive side.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 09:09 AM   #12
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Re: Anyone file their taxes themselves (using turbotax, the like)?

And like others have mentioned, the cost of using an accountant is a deductible expense.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 10:41 AM   #13
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Re: Anyone file their taxes themselves (using turbotax, the like)?

Yes, I use TurboTax Business. In a prior life, I was a software developer for accounting software (the type used by large accounting firms) so I have a better-than-average grasp of accounting and tax concepts. TurboTax does a very good job. But I'm an odd bird - I actually enjoy doing my own taxes and bookkeeeping, and I know that's not for everyone.

You just need to decide what your time is worth. For most small business owners, using the services of an accountant or tax professional will free up your time so you can earn money.
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Old January 17th, 2014, 02:36 AM   #14
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Re: Anyone file their taxes themselves (using turbotax, the like)?

I would say as a video production (or similar field) a CPA who knows the industry is a good idea. A big reason is they know all the advantages you can take related to working in the field (writeoffs/deductions etc.) and how those laws constantly change/evolve. Keeping up with all of that yourself seems liked it'd be difficult.
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