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Old 04-17-2018, 01:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
Xist
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I asked on Facebook and a friend linked IRS.gov and said it was free.

I am sure people do fill out the forms themselves, but why?

I stuck with TurboTax last year when I needed to upgrade to the most expensive package and still owed more than $3,000. Perhaps I should have tried one or two other sites, but I did not think about it. When I accepted my last job I calculated how much I thought I would make the rest of the year, how much I would pay in taxes, and estimated that I would about break even, not needing to pay taxes when I filed. Unfortunately, somehow I was horribly wrong. I sure wish I could figure out how!

I am not sure how to search for free file providers that include the 1099-Misc, but FreeTaxUSA does. They charge $13 for state. However, I did not feel that it was as complete as TaxAct or TaxSlayer. Only TaxAct told me that $2,500 is the maximum deduction for student loans (I paid over $3,500). 1040now.net did not skip anything, so that was tedious. DIY Tax (freetax.com) seemed to have all of the features that I expected except retirement and health insurance deductions on my W-2. I talked to someone named Xiaojun who seemed to try to tell me to not worry about it, they took care of it. When it checked for errors it found four and six warnings. TurboTax always reviewed sections in question. DIY Tax told me where they were, but not in a useful way. I was not able to resolve all of them.

Credit Karma says they have a free tax service and maybe it is, but you cannot file your taxes through them without signing up for credit monitoring, and when it tried to scan my return from last year, it messed up all of my personal information, and I needed to go back and redo it, but I felt the credits and deductions were more straightforward than other sites. However, everything is on one screen, and you need to scroll past everything you completed to move on.

H & R Block Basic, DIY Tax, and Credit Karma said that I owed about twice as much as TaxAct and TaxSlayer. FreeTaxUSA and 1040now.net are closer to the low end than the higher end. TaxAct kept having "pro-tips," which I wish I could have turned off, having done my taxes before.

I wanted to print (to PDF) each return to try to figure out the differences, but I needed to pay first. I did not feel that it made sense to hire the team that told me what I wanted to hear and then get audited.
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