Two hours and several hundred dollars poorer, it will be an experience that I will never ever replicate again. How does a tax preparation service get you? By completing a form or worksheet and not necessarily a form I watch the tax preparer used. The software used by the tax preparer is smart enough to complete the form on its own behind the scenes. Each form and worksheet had a fee. Boy, did it love me. Plus, I was not happy with the tax preparer. He looked at me to asked how he should be entering my W-2 info. Well, once I told him, he was suppose to be the expert, he didn't ask me again. He got up and asked a fellow tax preparer.
I've always completed my taxes on my own. First the paper forms the government is nice enough to send you each year. Then I upgraded to tax software. Several years ago, I upgraded to an online service. Why? Online service was a lot cheaper and my company offered a discount. It was great. Gotta save the dollar here and there for something more worthwhile.
An unperk of working for my company is multi-jurisdiction taxation. Whatever state I work in, I have to pay the state taxes. Last year introduced a new state. I tried a new online service because it was cheaper. After it noodled all the entries I made, I did not like the results. So, as it was getting closer to April 15, I decided that I can afford to splurge a little and have a well-known tax service do it. My SIL uses them, and she's a CPA who refuses to do her own taxes. It can't be all that bad.
Never again! I guess the tax software was right because it came up with the same numbers the tax service did. And it costed me a whole lot more than it did my SIL. I'm going back to do my own next year even though I know already that I'm going to have to deal with another new state -- 3 states for tax year 2008 so far.
Well, it time to pay two governments -- the Fed and my Home State. Hopefully see the tax dollars get put to good use.