Saturday, January 24, 2009

Taxes

Blech. Had forgotten about them. Feel like I was much further along by now at this time last year.

When we lived in California, we used to have this guy named Vittorio do them for us. At H&R Block. The first year, he told us we needed to get a house and a baby. So, we went back the next year the house info. The year after that, some Russian woman who wasn't as helpful. The year after that, Vittorio was back and we introduced him to Rachel. He was quite happy with us for following his advice.

All along, though, we'd watch them click and type and click and click and boy, it sure looked easy. When we moved up here, wanted to cut costs (and life had simplified) and looked at the DIY options. Imagine my surprise to see how similar H&R Block's online offering looked to the ones that the tax advisors were walking us through. So now I'm a big fan of the H&R Block online option as a quick and relatively painless way to do our taxes. The system always shows you in the top right corner how much you'll owe or get back as a refund - as you move through the screens you can see the number change and see how each little thing affects the end result positively or negatively.

And because we always get a small refund, it's fun to watch the numbers grow as we add in stuff like property taxes and charitable giving. So it ends up being a happy experience as we anticipate that number. And at the end, it files them automatically and within days (because we file so early) the money's deposited directly into our checking account. (Sadly, this year, it's going straight to the credit card.)
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