Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Taxman Cometh...With Good News

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 ;)


8 comments:

  1. A check for $1100 is pretty good. Congratulations! Thanks for pointing out the ItsDeductible info. I'm going to use that from now on.

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  2. Yay refunds! Congrats on finishing

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  3. Still haven't started mine. I need to sit down with my spouse and block out a weekend on our calendars to do it.

    I hope I get back $1100 too! Last year with child tax credit, EIC, and mortgage interest write-off, we cleaned up.

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  4. Well done! That Itsdeductible site sounds good, I will have to check that out in the future.

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  5. You are finished AND you get a refund?! Congratulations!

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  6. Does it make me a jerk to point out that we shouldn't be happy to receive a refund? After all, it's an interest free loan to Uncle Sam. That's okay, I was also very happy to receive a $2400 refund!

    If I may blatantly promote my site here, I wrote a post specifically about this on my blog.

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  7. Not necessarily a jerk, but I *am* happy despite the disappointment about having loaned the gummint my money all year. I adjust my witholding every year to aim for even. I can't really predict how much I'll donate and my paycheck fluctuated so much this year that I'm happy it was that close before donations.

    I have several posts that blather on about using the IRS's witholding calculator, in particular one of my first posts.

    So, I get your point, but I'm pretty well on top of my witholding, you just can't always nail it. (and yes, I'll be adding a witholding allowance this year in hopes of getting closer)

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  8. So much better than mine. I owed $78!!

    You can feel free to donate a couple bucks to a fellow debtor, if you have trouble spending it!!

    Take care!

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