Weekly Roundup – Tax Filing Preparations Edition

Can you believe tax season is already upon us? This time of year, prior to receiving all the 1099s, W-2s and various other tax forms, I like to do a little tax pre-planning.

  • I move last year’s tax folder to the front of the filing cabinet to quickly drop in statements and forms as they are received in the mail.
  • I make sure I’ve accounted for all investment transactions last year that resulted in a capital gain (or loss).
  • I update any personal information in TurboTax that may have changed since last tax season (address, home ownership status, etc.).

What are you doing to get ready for tax season?

The Frugal Roundup

How to Lose Weight in 2011. My introduction to Steve’s site a few years ago was his classic post on 101 thoughts on how to lose 100 pounds. Some of the best real world “dieting” advice I’ve ever read from a guy who actually did it.

Alternative Asset Classes That Are Easy To Own. I’ve often thought conventional wisdom on diversification is a little shallow. Not only should we be diversifying amongst various classifications of stocks, we should be diversifying outside of stocks into other types of assets.

How Much Income Will You Need in Retirement? Most people have the idea they won’t need as much income in retirement as they do pre-retirement. The reality is most retirees spend about the same when you factor increased medical costs, etc.

Tips For Self-Preparing And Filing Your Income Taxes. Yep, it’s that time again…tax time. I’ve been preparing and filing my own taxes since I was a teenager – even used to do it by hand with a pen and paper. These days, TurboTax is a big help!

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  1. I am going to file my taxes for the first time by myself using taxslayer. I have heard rumors that when you file your own taxes you have greater chances of being audited. One more question has anyone ever used taxslayer and how was your experience? What other companies do you recommend?

  2. I’m a big fan of entering my tax documents into TurboTax as I receive them. This year, I’m receiving more forms than usual due to a variety of different reasons, so I’ve set aside two folders: one for pending forms, and another for forms that I’ve already entered. This method seems to work best for me since I’d much rather spend 5 minutes here and there than HOURS at one sitting.

  3. My preparation is similar to yours except my folder is a manila envelope. Then I take the documents and put it on a spreadsheet.comparing it to last year to make sure I have everything. Then fax it to my CPA. I used him for 25 years and when I consider the advice I receive, it almost as inexpensive as a Turbo Tax.

  4. If you fall under the income limits, Tax Act is actually a free way to file your federal return. I’ve found it to be quite user friendly, and it will also prepare a state tax return for you using the same information you entered on the federal return, while allowing you to file both online. Filing the federal return may be free while they charge a small fee for the state return.

  5. Someone above asked about using TaxSlayer. I’ve used them several years in the past and have been reasonably happy with them. The results they gave me were comparable to what i got with TurboTax last year as I completed my return with both software, and then only filed with TurboTax. Personally, i like TurboTax better just because the interface isn’t as confusing.