Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Happy Tax Day

We all pay taxes.  Property tax.  Sales tax.  Payroll tax.  Federal and State income tax.  It seems to never end.  And every year come April 15 there are big stories about "Tax Day is here".  Of course, this year since April 15th was on a Saturday and Monday was a holiday, today is tax day.

Preparing and submitting your taxes has become big business.  Recently, the National Society of Accountants (NSA) conducted a survey which showed that the average cost of professional tax preparation is $261. This is price that most tax preparers will charge for a 1040 Tax Form with itemized deductions (Schedule A) plus a state tax return.  This is an average and if your taxes are little more complicated you might be paying a lot more.  Even for simple forms that can be prepared by software such as Turbo Tax, it isn't cheap.  So no wonder that so many people yearn for simpler tax schemes that will reduce the burden of complicated tax preparation.

Usually most folks on either end of the age spectrum have pretty simple taxes.  When we were younger we used TurboTax because I didn't have complicated investments or other issues involving write offs.  And as we entered retirement, things got a lot simpler and turned to TurboTax again.  But in between we had a professional tax preparer do our taxes.  And it wasn't cheap.  One of the reasons is to make sure you're taking the maximum allowable write offs so as to minimize your tax.  Of course, you need to know what a write off is...

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