I started doing my taxes on January 31st and only just finished them tonight (whew!). I had started by entering my data into TurboTax Online so I could assure myself I wouldn't owe. But after doing a price comparison of several tax filing services, I chose a cheapie cheap mccheapster option to give it a whirl. Well, eSmartTax left me high and dry unable to serve up their own pages even in early February (and I absolutely hated their interface), so I chose to go the lazy route and finish what I had entered into TurboTax Deluxe.
All I had left was to enter in all our non-cash donations to hopefully beef up my $500+ refund. I had no idea we had donated so much stuff in 2005! We made 8 donation trips last year and according to ItsDeductible! donated goods worth $1881 (we always used to undervalue goods, now I make sure to use ItsDeductible).
Putting in the detail on our non-cash donations basically doubled my refund and I'm now expecting a federal refund of a little over $1100! I chose to e-file in hopes of getting that money via direct deposit very quickly. I entered my HSBCDirect account so it heads right into an interest bearing account, but I'll have to make a decision about whether to use it for the emergency fund or jump starting my 2006 Roth (you know how I love to get my Roth-O-Meter on).
Oh! And right before I paid TurboTax, I found out that as a Fidelity customer I could get $10 off the federal preparation fee. So my total tax preparation costs were $34.90 total which wasn't too bad. (I had to log in via the Fidelity link a few times before the right price registered).
Unfortunately I do owe state taxes but I won't have to pay that $297 until April. I know your heart bleeds for me ;)