I just walked in the door. It is way before midnight on Tax Day, and my returns are totally complete and in the mail! This is the first time in about 25 years that I haven't filed for an extension!
It's also the first time that I actually paid my quarterly taxes, so I didn't have to send the IRS any more money (including a fine)! And it's the first time I did my returns without benefit of a tax attorney.
For me, the hardest part was gathering all of the credit card and bank statements, and then I had to go through the shopping bag full of little receipts. Then I had to dig through the trunk of my car and look for the book with meticulous mileage records for the car. The last step in past years was getting everything onto a spread sheet - something I would do for whoever I hired to prepare the return. This is also the most time consuming part of the process.
A couple of years ago, my friend and tax lawyer who prepared my taxes for years said all he did was to feed it all to TurboTax. So that's what I did. That part of it did not take more than a few hours.
My sister's taxes are more complicated than most, and she swears by TurboTax. I knew she would be there for me if I got stuck, and I knew that I could always get them checked over and, if necessary amended by a professional if I felt uncomfortable with what I sent in. But all in all, it was pretty straight forward!
And I gotta say, I'm enjoying a real feeling of accomplishment! I did it! I could never have done it with the IRS forms and explanation booklets in front of me, but the nice folks at TurboTax are doing a real public service. Oh! And did I mention for an extra 25 bucks, you can get audit protection? I did it.
Could a professional tax preparer have saved me a couple of bucks? Maybe. But I don't mind paying taxes as much as I mind the record keeping - which by the way, is totally up to date for 2008!
I might even turn myself into a "Compulsive Early Filer"!
So if my tax guy decides to move to Florida and sell By Owner, will he feel this good if he actually pulls it off?