2017 Taxes – TurboTax

It’s hard to believe it’s already February. I for one am not complaining though – the quicker winter goes by, the better. Now that February has begun, I can’t help but think that I need to get started on my taxes. I know they aren’t due until 4/18 this year, but I feel like my financial statements have been begging me to be entered into tax software.

If you haven’t read my bio, I was a tax accountant for the last two years at a Big Four Firm and also interned with another firm in college. This is my first time in four years not being in a busy season and it sure feels good.

While I have been doing others taxes for the past couple of years, last year was the first year I did my own. I ended up using TurboTax and found it very easy to use. The software acts as a questionnaire that guides you through the process of filling out your taxes, both for federal and state returns.

TurboTax Intro Screen

TurboTax Intro Screen

Being new to the software and also entering my data for the first time, it took me about 2 hours to complete my Fed, PA, & NJ tax returns. While I am by no means a tax expert, I felt very comfortable with the final product and the refund I was getting. Finally, for a fee, TurboTax also took care of electronically filing my return so I didn’t have to worry about mailing in a paper copy.

When to do it yourself

If your financial situation isn’t super complicated (ie – you just have a W-2, some 1099s, charitable deductions, etc), you will likely be able to save some time and money by doing your taxes yourself. Even if you do have a couple of questions, TurboTax also has a lot of information to help you fill out your return(s) like this Tax Preparation Checklist. However, if you don’t have an accounting background, you’re not super savvy with finances, or you don’t have time, it might be a good idea to hire a professional.

As a previous accountant, I think it’s wise that everyone be familiar with how income taxes are completed and how your refund/how much you owe is calculated. If you have the time, I highly recommend trying to fill out your tax returns on your own, even if you don’t necessarily file it yourself. You can always go to an accountant for a second opinion or even confirm your work.

Best of luck and may the tax refunds pour in!

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