For the past few years, I haven't minded doing my taxes. It meant taking a rainy Glendale afternoon and heading a few blocks to Sears where Vittorio would take all of our forms, chit-chat and we'd watch him carefully as he typed in everything into the H&R Block computer and print out our taxes. It took probably 90-120 minutes and we walked out, knowing that in a week or so our bank account would see a nice bump as the IRS and the Franchise Tax Board returned to us what was ours all along. My dad always considered refunds an interest free loan to the government, and thus, a bad thing. We considered it forced savings -- a chance to finance a larger purchase like a vacation, furniture, home improvment with cash.
This year my dad was rumbling about the costs of paying someone to do your taxes and extolling the virtues of doing one's taxes by hand, on paper! (Yeah, no opportunity to make comments on this post.) And he was offering his assistance to me!
To head him off at the pass, I went ahead and did them on TaxCut.com. Oddly enough, it looked incredibly similar to what Vittorio used the past few years. Last year he got us from the 25% tax bracket we were in to an effective 6% tax bracket. This year, I didn't have his expertise to find little deductions, but we had less income and gave a lot to churches and charities after we sold the house, I was able to take us from 15% to 2%. I'm pretty proud of that.
Now... if you haven't done your taxes yet, and like Starbucks, let me know. If I send you a referral e-mail, we both get $5 when you do your taxes through TaxCut.com.