Talking Taxes

My taxes for 2007 are going to be a total nightmare. I tried to figure them out on TurboTax a few months ago before getting my official W2s, but I’m afraid I’m missing major deductions that I should be taking (or taking deductions I shouldn’t be taking).

That has led me to seek out a CPA. So far the one who has written back to me charges $155 an hour with a two hour minimum. Eeks. And I thought $80 for TurboTax was pricey.

While $310 for an accountant to do my taxes won’t be the end of the world, it still sucks. I feel like I should be able to figure out taxes for myself given that my overall earnings for the year was less than $35k. Unfortunately that $35k came from a bunch of different places.

Meanwhile, my uncle – who I do some small amounts of freelance work for – told me that while he’s not sending me a 1099 form I have to report the earnings. Of course I have to report the income, but I thought that he also had to report the earnings. So I’m a bit confused about this – if he doesn’t report the earnings will I get him in trouble if I report them?

Do you guys think it’s worth $310+ to have someone prepare my tax returns? Or should I just do TurboTax and hope that I don’t majorly mess anything up?

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4 thoughts on “Talking Taxes”

  1. $155 an hour and 2 minimum, that's a lie. My accountant did this years for only $130 flat and I never even met with him. Just go to HR block or any flat rate accountant, if necessary, file an extension but there is no reason to give into that $155 an hour. Unless you are a business with 20 employees, there is no reason to pay by the hour.As for 1099, as far as I understand, the IRS only requires you to recieve a 1099 if you make $XXX or more in a year. Your uncle would have to report what he paid you. If you didn't make more than $XXX a year, he is not required to give you a 1099. You would still be responsible for reporting what you made though.(Note that $XXX is because I am not sure if it's 400 or 600 but its a couple hundred for sure).

  2. I used TurboTax and I had very good luck with it. It's very self-explanatory and it takes you through every possible income source and deduction source. My dad's been doing my taxes for years on TurboTax. I always have 1099s for dividends and stocks too. So a vote for Turbo Tax but if you want peace of mind, go with the pro this year and they maybe do it yourself next year.

  3. Agree with Markand TurboTax seems to be a pretty good option if you're careful. Go with that… and read up on anything you're not sure aboutOnce you're done, sit on the taxes for a day, go back with a fresh head and review them to check the numbers and figures again and second guess yourself on things you're not sure aboutI think that software also prompts you about extra deductions etc

  4. I got mine done at H&R block and it was more than $155, but less than an hour. I tend to err on the side of caution so I was willing to pay someone to make sure that I'm in compliance completely… like you my financial situation is complicated (I believe I had 5 W-2s to hand in) and while I'd like to learn to do my taxes myself someday, this wasn't the year. If you feel up to the task though, why not?

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