TAX TIME- By hand?!

Mrs. Bradbury

It will ALWAYS be the PeopleMover!
Joined
May 11, 2009
That said, I used to do my parents' taxes on paper when I was in HS and college (was the easiest way for me to make sure it was done and have the info in a timely manner for doing my FAFSA). It's really not that complicated, so I think you would be fine. Especially since you are an adult, good at math, and have filed taxes before.
I used to file my parent's tax return on paper back when I was in HS also! I would go to our local post office and pick up the blank forms and instruction book - you know, back when the earth was still cooling. :hippie:
 

Kestryl

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
i have used tax hawk for years. mine is a simple tax claim but their website says fed filing is free for advanced or simple returns. they do charge $12.95 for state filing.
That would be great! I’m in a no-income-tax state, so I don’t even have that to file.

Free fillable forms are easy to use, I have used them for a handful of years. Slightly more complicated last year because they changed the forms but overall you can refer to the tax instruction guide which should answer most questions. Sounds like you should be able to use your forms from last year as a guide. Biggest challenge is ensuring you have any special forms as it won't guide you to add any additional forms. Free fillable forms does do some of the calculating for you. Maybe try free fillable forms and if you get overwhelmed or can't figure it out get one of the programs.
I didn’t know the fillable forms did the math. Wish that was more widely advertised!

I thought most of the online ones have a free version. I know you said it's prompting you to do the paid/deluxe version, but if you know you're not going to itemize or have credits or rental income you should still be able to just use the free one.

Also, I'm not sure how they still work because I always e-file, but I know in the past it would let you get all the way to the end and if you wanted you could just copy all the completed information onto a paper form and submit it that way rather than paying and having it processed online. So you may be able to use the assistance of an online program to walk you through the paper forms if that would make you more comfortable.

That said, I used to do my parents' taxes on paper when I was in HS and college (was the easiest way for me to make sure it was done and have the info in a timely manner for doing my FAFSA). It's really not that complicated, so I think you would be fine. Especially since you are an adult, good at math, and have filed taxes before.
There are free versions- there’s just an income limit, which I am blessed enough to not qualify for. But I am also stubborn enough to think filing taxes should be free for all, ha.

I've done by hand and with software. I'm using TaxHawk currently. Free for federal e-filing, no AGI limits and also includes small business and rental property income. You'd pay if you want audit support or to do your state filing.

If you have a template to reference, doing by hand with the fillable forms is a good learning experience. I didn't find it much different time wise when I was doing by hand. But I like the sanity check of the software doing a calculation so I don't typo or something so I started using TaxHawk a few years ago. Used TurboTax, H&R Block online, TaxAct, and probably someone else before. Each has their quirks but if you have a good idea of the actual forms it's easy to spot a discrepancy and figure out how to fix it. Or at least spot something wonky and call support.
Is it weird if I say it may be therapeutic to see how all the numbers actually work? I followed along with my own taxes a few years ago and it was satisfying to figure out where it was all going, ha.
 
  • tzolkin

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2008
    There are free versions- there’s just an income limit, which I am blessed enough to not qualify for. But I am also stubborn enough to think filing taxes should be free for all, ha.
    TaxAct's free version is for a basic return (not an income limit). You also can "start for free" on the deluxe or premier version and walk through your info, but stop short of submitting and paying for it. This would at least give you an idea if your paper return was completed correctly. My sister used to double check hers that way before sending it in.
     

    clutter

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2001
    There are free versions- there’s just an income limit, which I am blessed enough to not qualify for. But I am also stubborn enough to think filing taxes should be free for all, ha.
    Are you talking about tax prep or tax filing?

    Check out deals that any airline, bank or credit card companies you use may give. I saw some for $ off. I use SW to get the 1,000 miles. I'm a CPA, so I know what I'm doing, but I prefer to use something like TurboTax for convenience sake.
     

    wvjules

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2001
    The ease of electronic software outweighs any reasonable fee they may charge. By hand? No way, no how. And I'm a CPA. lol
     

    traces7

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2005
    I used to use the IRS Free Fillable Forms all the time. It wasn't too hard. Just took some time. Than a few years ago I started using H&R Block's Free File. I believe it is free no matter your income. It's very easy to use. (I still file DD's taxes using H&R Block).
    The last 2 years I've taken mine & DH's in and had them done, because with our DD in college, I just wasn't sure about the college tax credits and such.
    And if they are similar to last year, just use that as an example, that's what I always did.
     
  • tinkerbelletreasure

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2010
    It’s really not as daunting as people think. When I was in college I took a personal and a business tax class. At the time, my ex and I owned a small business and I did those suckers by hand....once! But the individual 1040’s are pretty self explainatory. Especially if you are doing the standard deduction.
     



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