Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Taxman Cometh, and Goeth...

If doing taxes were only this entertaining...

I actually did my federal taxes electronically, via TurboTax this year, because of the free federal filing option. (I've used them a couple of times before, and the program works fine.) Admittedly, the only reason I filed electronically was to get my refund back fast. Of course, nervous nellie that I am, I did my taxes by hand first, then did them electronically to see if I got the same result, which I did. I always do taxes by hand first when I file them electronically, to see if I get the same results with the two processes.

However, I did my state taxes manually, and decided to check the status of the refund today. Uh oh. Marylandtaxes.com says that it's having a backlog because of fewer state workers to process them! So, that check will come ambling in, whenever, apparently.

I could never, in good conscience, recommend H & R Block to anyone. After all, their tax preparers aren't CPAs, so if you get audited, then what? Years ago, I went to the blockhead (my one and only time) to get them done, because my financial situation was highly different from the previous year. Waste of time. Not only did the company take my money, but didn't do any better than I could, as the preparer didn't ask many questions, so how could he find out how many deductions/credits I might have been eligible for? TurboTax asks more questions than an H & R Block tax preparer! (And I owed money that year. Ugggh!)

In fact, with all the tax forms, publications, and toll-free IRS number available from the IRS website, it's possible to do your taxes with less fear and trembling. (That toll-free number comes in handy for getting hold of an IRS employee to translate its terms into English.)

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Of course, if you owe taxes this year, you'll soon be singing this classic tune, although the way the economy's been the last few months, you may have been singing it anyway! From Mr. Johnny Guitar Watson, A Real Mother for Ya.

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