Saturday, July 14, 2012

This report that H&R Block messed up their joke Bruce Wayne-vs-Peter Parker tax comparison by totally blowing the charitable-deduction rule -  you can't deduct more than 50% of your adjusted gross income with charitable contributions, you can only roll the excess over to later years - doesn't exactly fill me with confidence in their tax-preparation service.  I've been using their cheap online service for the last four years, since it's relatively quick - takes a long afternoon - and the results *looked* good.  But now I worry about what might happen if I get randomly audited and it turns out that their code is based on wild guesses instead of solid tax advice.  I've never understood the way the "Making America Work" deduction works in their online software, for instance - did they screw that up somehow? 

I don't have a complicated financial life - mortgage, single, not that many charitable contributions, local and state taxes, no real income outside of work, few medical expenses - so I'm not *seriously* worried.  But... concerned, maybe.  Does anyone else have a favored, cheap tax-preparation service?  I can't see actually hiring a CPA, I just don't have that sort of cash flow to justify it.

(BTW, I saw that gag tax ad on a comics webzine a couple weeks ago.  Laughed, didn't think much about it past that.  But there's a difference between a webgag and a for-real advertisement for tax preparation services.  Screw-ups are fine for the former, all good for a laugh - but if you're selling your expertise?  Argh.)

via the usual.


which_chick said...

Why don't you just do your own taxes? I use TurboTax and it helps me file the 1040 long with a boatload of complicated crap (several schedules, subchapter S pass-through income, etc.) in about two hours. It's pretty easy...

Mitch H. said...

Because I thought that I had been using H&R Block's free federal/cheap state online service to, more or less, do my own taxes - the form I submit is also the 1040 long, I haven't done EZ for about half a decade now.

How much does a TurboTax license cost? Probably not much more than the $30 that the H&R Block online service costs for state tax filing. Even TurboTax includes a raft of tax-law-interpretation assumptions inside of its code, and that's the stuff I was worrying over, really.

You definitely have a more complicated financial life than I do, with all that business and loan income you have to juggle. I was mostly just being cranky about tax-preparation software in general.