Blog Post

Open Thread: How Do You Handle Your Taxes?

One our most valuable assets is our time. Come this time of year, one of the major time sinks in many of our lives is preparing and filing our taxes. As web workers, we have many factors to consider when it comes to our taxes such as: do we really qualify for a home office deduction, which tax tips are good to follow, and how to track and manage all our business expenses.

When we’re ready to file our taxes, we have three main options, 1) hiring a professional CPA to do it, 2) using TurboTax, or some other tax preparation software, or 3) braving the quick shops such as H&R Block. It appears more and more Americans are discovering online tax filing is a good way to go.

As a busy web worker, how do you manage your taxes? Do you find ease in handing them off to a professional, or does the do-it-yourselfer in you propel you to fire up TurboTax?

We look forward to a great discussion in the comments.

16 Responses to “Open Thread: How Do You Handle Your Taxes?”

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  2. Last year I just used H&R Block’s online service. I’m going to attempt the same thing this year, but I’m not sure what I’ll do next year. Do you guys file yearly or quarterly estimated taxes?

  3. The time I save having a CPA do my taxes more than makes up for his fees. Like mentioned before I used to labor for days on my own taxes and was never quite sure I dotted every i, crossed every t nor caught every deduction. If time is money a CPA is the way to go.

    To keep my finances in order over the course of the year I use a combo of Quickbook for expenses and Freshbooks for invoicing. Hate Quickbooks but for a small biz it is a necessary evil.

  4. luckily, my wife is a tax accountant. and while my business is just starting up, she’s getting me on the right track to not have any surprises come next april.

    planning is the key here, especially if you have many different sources of income.

  5. I only went freelance in January, and yesterday I met my new accountant for the first time.

    I’ve used HR Block for several years, and now that things are getting a little more complicated, I wanted a CPA. I suck at math, and it is SO worth it to me to hand everything over to someone else.

    He’s also provided invaluable advice with recent financial decisions I’ve had to make.

  6. martha in mobile

    I actually enjoy doing my taxes. Like Logical Extremes above, I keep a folder system throughout the year: personal tax records, business income, business expenses. I’m easily amused, evidently.

  7. I’m trying to figure out how I will do my taxes this year. Last year I used Turbo Tax but it seemed such a waste for something I could have done on my own. With more complicated taxes this year, I might hire a CPA. But it doesn’t seem to make sense for my smallish income. At the moment I’m considering hiring a CPA to teach me how to prepare my own returns, and to get me on top of record-keeping for the current tax year. I figure it’s worth the $$$ if I learn how to do it myself!

  8. About ten years ago, I attempted to do my taxes with Turbo-Tax, and it was a disaster. That year the program was buggy as hell, and there were also some tricky changes in the IRS regulations that were being debated in congress right up to the filing season. Since then I’ve had a CPA do my taxes and it pays for itself many times over. When I see that Susanne sets aside 2-3 days….that used to be me, and I hated every minute.
    We’ve subsequently moved from a sole proprietorship to a Subchapter-S corp and I now have the CPA do our personal and the corporate taxes, and I have a bookkeeper in twice a month or so to wrestle with QuickBooks.

  9. I’ve done my own taxes all my life. In the past, I also did many relatives/friends taxes. When doing your taxes online became available, I jumped on that bandwagon in a hurry. I usually set aside 2-3 days just for taxes and nothing else.

  10. I’ve always done my own taxes. Started using software when it became available, and now do it online. But, every few years, I like to do it manually just to keep up with the changes in laws and procedures. At the beginning of each year, I start a folder for tax records, so when it’s tax time, everything is in one spot. Easy.

  11. I’m a relative small-fry so I choose to do my taxes myself (w/o TurboTax). The number one thing I can recommend for taxes is a business credit card. Anything you can do to keep business expenses separate from personal expenses pays huge time dividends come April.