This post is brought to you by TurboTax. While this post was sponsored by TurboTax, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.
I’ve typically used a CPA to file my taxes. I’ve always kept records in Excel or some other accounting program, then reported the income and expenses to my CPA. I mean, if you have a business, that’s just the way you do it, right? Or do you? This year, I wanted to take a crack at filing my own taxes. Why you ask?
A few reasons:
Know How Stuff Works
I’d like to have an idea of what personal and business expenses I can deduct at tax time. The best results for me not only mean having the smallest tax liability possible, but also using software that will help me separate, organize, and categorize my expenses. Why? Well, that’s how the tax software (I’m using TurboTax this year) works. It helps separate my personal and business expenses and categorizes them uncovering business expenses I didn’t even know I could deduct and helping me easily file my taxes and save money.
My Personal Finance Expert BFFs Recommended It
My curiosity about DIY tax filing was piqued when I rounded up 15 personal finance blogger buddies to weigh in on whether or not DIY tax preparation was a good idea. To my surprise, about half of the people I interviewed said they used TurboTax or a similar tax program to prepare their own taxes! I was stunned. Some people even had pretty complex situations: investment and retirement income, rental property, business incomes, etc. No matter what it was, they were confident that doing their own taxes had been a good call. After that, I just knew I had to try it. (If you are interested in reading my post on whether or not you should do your own taxes, it’s worth a read when you get a moment..)
The most clear reason! My CPA is reasonable, but, I found that preparing and filing myself could save our family some money. Not only is doing my taxes with TurboTax cheaper than paying an accountant, but TurboTax helps me find deductions and credits I may have not previously thought about.
DIY Tax Preparation & Filing with Turbo Tax Results
So, I found my way to the TurboTax website where a super-quick survey pointed me to the version of TurboTax that I needed. There’s even an option to choose their new TurboTax Self-Employed product for people who have businesses. Note: TurboTax Self-Employed can be used if your business is not a corporate entity. (Read more about TurboTax Self-Employed and get a 10% coupon here..)
Once you’re in the secure the TurboTax portal, the interview process is very easy and straightforward. TurboTax will ask a series of questions to determine exactly how to complete your tax forms for accurate filing. Another neat feature is the ability to snap a copy of your W- on the mobile app. TurboTax can securely import tax information directly from more than 1.3 million employers and financial institutions, eliminating data entry on your end. The process was pretty painless and took about one and a half hours from beginning to end. (I had to fetch a few papers and supporting documents. It could go faster if you have these things on hand: W-2s, social security numbers of dependents, etc.)
When I was finished, I knew the exact amount of our refund and had the option to file electronically from the TurboTax portal as well. It looks like I’ll be using TurboTax from now on to prepare and file my taxes!
Overall, the user interface is intuitive and user-friendly. The questions are thorough and designed to help reduce your tax liability to the utmost based on your answers. TurboTax even guarantees that you’ll get the maximum refund you deserve.
If you are not yet convinced that you could do your own taxes, here a few other neat features to consider:
- TurboTax allows you to connect on demand via one-way video to a tax expert or credentialed CPAs and enrolled agents to get your tax questions answered.
- Expense Finder™: TurboTax Self-Employed automatically finds deductible and industry-specific business expenses. It can scan your bank accounts and credit card statements and recommend potential deductible business expenses.
- Customers can snap a picture of their W-2 with their phone or tablet.
- The TurboTax mobile app is available for iOS/Android, on both phones and tablets
- CompleteCheckTM delivers a comprehensive and streamlined review of a customer’s return, checking for missing, incomplete or conflicting information and guiding them to easily fix errors before they file.
Really! TurboTax 2016 combines on-demand help of a tax expert and the power of technology to give customers a smarter, more personalized filing experience – you can have an expert guide you on screen! With expert, on-demand help, if and when taxpayers need it, TurboTax customers are in charge, but never alone as they prepare their taxes. Customers who file with TurboTax can be confident their taxes are done right and they’re getting the maximum refund they deserve.
Ready to take control of your finances, starting with your taxes?
Start for free here: TurboTax