Filing tax by our selves vs tax agency

LabCorp / IT
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LabCorp IT

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Amazon
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Mar 17 19 Comments

I am in H1B visa, I am filing with a private company and they are charging me $250.

I was worried about post filing support , if there is a audit query happens even as random pick. I wanted professional guidance hence filing with private company as of now.

But my friends are filing using taxact , turbo tax etc..for like $50 - $100.

I would like to know the pros and cons for filing ourslef using app vs professional company.

I don't own business. I usually have W2, mortgage and stocks.

Thanks for the Inputs.

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TOP 19 Comments
  • Twitch RbOv54
    Why don't you try turbo tax cause it's free Input all your info. You only pay when you press submit your tax form. So spend an hour to do this shit, and if you feel after an hour that it's too hard or turbo doesn't provide enough to do what you need, pivot and go to an accountant
    Mar 17 3
    • Twitch RbOv54
      If there is an audit, you're still on the hook. Not like an accounting firm will make that any better.

      And if you really wanted, you can buy the audit guarantee stuff on turbo tax too.
      Mar 17
    • Twitch RbOv54
      Honestly this tax system is a joke. They deliberately make it look hard and scary so people don't file this shit and lose out on the money they can get back. Most of your w2 and info can now be imported. Don't understand why it has to be this hard
      Mar 17
    • Google camelCase
      You are right, this is deliberate. The IRS could calculate this all automatically, but they are barred from doing due to lobbying by tax preparation companies.
      Mar 17
  • Amazon / PR jefe_bezos
    If you don’t have your own business and classify yourself as the normal 95% of the people who simply get W2s make normal investments, just do TurboTax or something equivalent. Or... do it yourself for free.
    Mar 17 1
    • LabCorp / IT
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      LabCorp IT

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      Amazon
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      OP
      Thanks for the input.i really appreciate it. I will have W2 , mortgage and stocks..
      Mar 17
  • Bloomberg SDLCSlayer
    With the recent changes in tax code, you wouldn’t even do an itemized deduction, so it’s easier to file yourself using any of the free/paid self-filing options.
    FWIW, I went through my regular tax guy again, and he got me approx $4k extra refund from AMT credit (form 8801). I wouldn’t have known about it had I filed on my own.
    Mar 17 4
    • LabCorp / IT
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      LabCorp IT

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      Amazon
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      OP
      These are the things that i thought we might not be aware of it as the tax things keep changing ..
      Mar 17
    • eBay / IT
      manorama

      eBay IT

      BIO
      Coder
      manoramamore
      Is this AMT credit due to paper gains triggered for a startup company ?
      Mar 17
    • Bloomberg SDLCSlayer
      Nope. Filing as an individual. It is based on your prior years’ AMT payments. YMMV when it comes to whether you get a refund and how much.
      Mar 19
    • eBay / IT
      manorama

      eBay IT

      BIO
      Coder
      manoramamore
      You get AMT refund only for paper gains . Not for regular gain
      Mar 19
  • Google camelCase
    I always do it myself filling in the PDF form by hand for free. Makes me more knowledgeable about all the different credits and deductions to optimize for. Would never pay anyone to do it for me.
    I sometimes use tax software to double-check my numbers. This year the software missed excess VPDI contribution which should have been refunded (I wouldn’t know if I didn’t do it myself).
    Mar 17 4
    • eBay / IT
      manorama

      eBay IT

      BIO
      Coder
      manoramamore
      What is VPDI contribution ? Also how do you go about filing taxes via PDF ? Any link or starting point to begin this filing is appreciated
      Mar 17
    • Google camelCase
      VPDI is disability insurance in California.
      irs.gov has all the forms in pdf.
      You just fill them following their instructions, print it and mail it.
      https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-1040
      Mar 18
    • eBay / IT
      manorama

      eBay IT

      BIO
      Coder
      manoramamore
      How much days or hours it takes to fill it manually?
      Mar 18
    • Google camelCase
      I allocate a weekend to do this for both federal and state.
      Mar 18
  • Homeaway ppMg64
    If all you have is income coming from your job. Have a mortgage and sell stock, most online filing options (TurboTax etc) are more than enough.

    Yours is a simple tax situation and once you fining entering all data TurboTax also tells you, how likely you will be audited.

    Fill your W2 info, fill in your mortgage interest and tax info, log in via these sites to your brokerage account and they can pull in and auto-fill your 1099s.

    That’s it, there is hardly any complexity to your tax situation to warrant paying someone 250 bucks for it!
    Mar 17 1
    • LabCorp / IT
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      LabCorp IT

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      OP
      Thank you so much for this input. It is really helpful. I am getting a clarity on turbotax.
      Mar 17
  • New / Eng
    errfileno

    New Eng

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    Microsoft
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    Senior Software Engineer. 15yoe. Seattle. $205k TC
    errfilenomore
    How much of your time and attention is $200 worth? Is it enough time to really understand the tax code enough to confidently file? If not, hire a CPA.
    Mar 17 0