Income Tax Preparation SHOCK!

United States
February 27, 2008 5:02am CST
A few days ago I went to H&R Block to get my taxes done. I have been going there for many years and this time I got the shock of my life. I did not expect a very large refund but still every little bit helps when you are only on Social Security with a couple of small pensions. Last year I got approx $350.00 filing the short form. This year I decided to itemize result approx $280.00 I was shocked so we compared to find out why it was even lower to file itemized..result some new tax changes for 2007 filing! OK I have to accept that, then comes the shock..preparation fee, with a $20.00 rebate, $270.00!!!! so I really only get about $10.00 back and H&R Block gets the rest!! No way ...not from my money. I refused to pay took my few receipts and went home and checked out http://www.irs.gov/ To my joy I qualified for free E filing as I earned less than $54,000.00 per year. It was great... the site even helped me pick out which company to use. You can file paper or electronically, short form or itemized, (I tried both). It was so easy!! I filled out the forms, they were sent to IRS, within 3 hours I had a confirmation receipt that it had been received and accepted by IRS, printed it out, and was finished. End result I get the same amount back as H&R Block calculated but I get to KEEP it all. For all the seniors or disabled on Social Security who make less than $3,000.00 earned income but must file to qualify for the one time government rebate you can also do this type of filing for free! So for all you folks out there check out the IRS website before you throw your money out the window. Will this information change how you file your taxes??
6 people like this
16 responses
@MySpot (2602)
• United States
27 Feb 08
Just as you, my husband and I filed our taxes with H&R Block (for 10 years!) and they charge an absorbent amount to file. (over $300!!!) I really wanted to try e-filing this year, per suggestion from other friends and relatives but was unsure because this was the first year I've worked in the past ten years. I was doing the stay-at-home mom thing until both kids were in school. Your discussion has given me new hope for next tax year though. I've heard of using irs.gov and other free filing and I was soooo close to using Turbo tax for only $30. I was astonished at how H&R suggested against us itemizing, considering the fact that we just purchased our first home in 2007... we were told to wait until next year and I'm not sure if she was just being lazy or if it was really not advantageous for us to do it this year. This year has been the smallest refund in the past ten so that's a little depressing but next year I'm planning on pocketing at least an extra $300 = )
• United States
27 Feb 08
It is so easy and you can go back and amend it it if you forget something, so why even pay $30.00 if you dont have to.
1 person likes this
@Riptide (2761)
• United States
27 Feb 08
I haven't filed my taxes yet,but I was not going to go to H&R Block this year, I wanted to go Jackson Hewitt,because I think H&R messed up on us last year. I did the Turbo Tax online just to see how much we would get back and if Jackson Hewitt has the same results, I know I did it right and I will be doing it online for free next year.
2 people like this
@nova1945 (1614)
• United States
27 Feb 08
I checked out Jackson Hewitt for my husbsnd's return. He files a simple short form and has only 1 w2. They wanted $90 for that. Since he owes $93 in taxes, it hardly makes any sense to use them. Anyway, my point is the price of tax preparers has gone up a lot and there are so many software packages out there that are free or nearly free that ask for the exact same information from a filer.
1 person likes this
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
27 Feb 08
I am glad that you did not give them your money. You can spend it in better ways than that. I am sure that alot of people on here will learn by what you have told them and avoid the large fees.
2 people like this
@Sillychick (3279)
• United States
27 Feb 08
I have gone to tax preparation place in the past, like H&R Block, and it is nice if you are desparate for money right away. But otherwise it is not worth it. My tax return is pretty simple, so there is no reason I need to pay 20% of my refund, or whatever they charge, to have someone prepare it for me. I buy turbo tax, which much less expensive, and I know they are done right. Plus I can prepare returns for others who need help, like my parents.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Feb 08
Why buy Turbo Tax or any other software when you can do it for free? You do not get your money any quicker unless you want pay interest on borrowing your own money when you get immediate refund offers!
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Feb 08
I use turbo tax because I have a business. Turbo tax has other benefits like doing a year-to-year comparison, helping find more deductions, doing an income and expense analysis. Plus it stores all of my information over the years and I can import all of the current year's information from quick books. It is a wonderful time saver, and time is valuable. On top of that, it checks for errors and things that are likely to catch attention and increase the chances of an audit.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Feb 08
That makes sense. If I had a business or a really complicated tax return to do then I would probably try Turbo Tax as well.
@bagumbayan (2707)
• Philippines
27 Feb 08
Basically we have different mode of filing our income tax. Usually government workers the taxes are deducted outright based on your earnings (which should not be). So at the end of the year our forms are ready to be printed with all the earnings we earned less all deductions and what remains is our tax. There are some refund or additional taxes to be paid, depending on the reasons. As to private worker, if they are working in only one company, taxes are also deducted based on earnings. There is a schedule of rates to be paid based on the gross. Those who need accountants to do the filing for them are those businessmen who have lots of earnings from different sources. Basically filing income tax is an easy task.
• United States
27 Feb 08
Our taxes are automatically deducted as well. No matter where you work, unless it is "under the table".
1 person likes this
@raydene (9874)
• United States
27 Feb 08
This year I will file with the husband but this will be my last year doing this. Next year I will do it on the irs site. xoxoxoxxoxo
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
27 Feb 08
yes I think that is the best way to go they charge way to much to file for you Think the kids filed for next day cost around $400 hen they didnt get it for 3 weeks for some reason they dont know and the filers still got that money. I do beleive they will do it on line next year!
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
27 Feb 08
I am so pleased that you did not just accept and went to check it out Well done on you
1 person likes this
@mizrae (587)
• United States
27 Feb 08
My son used FreeTax (an online service); and already has received his refund check! The service is free (and very easy to use) for the short/easy form to file and print a copy. However, there are additional charges to file and print the state copy. Since I always buy a tax program, I told my son we'd do his state taxes then.
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
29 Feb 08
We do our own taxes every year. We, it is more like I do the taxes LOL. I use TaxAct because it is free, regardless of income, for federal, and they track every year. So if you decide to upgrade they will actually fill in all the information from years past on your return, even the W2 information if you are at the same job. For free they track your year-to-year and do comparisons, give you tips on how to save money and avoid paying high taxes and show what you got back in comparison to others in your income bracket.
• United States
17 Mar 08
Thanks for the info I will check them out for new year's returns.
@lingli_78 (12844)
• Australia
19 Mar 08
i always do my tax return by myself and never wnat to use an agent because they will ripped me off... i can send it through paperwork or online... the amount of money i will get will still be approximately the same... even though some people say that i can get more if i use the agent... but i never willing to give part of my tax money to them... and you are right... why let them have your money when you can do it yourself for free??? good on you to do it yourself and get to keep all of the money for yourself...
@irisheyes (4373)
• United States
17 Mar 08
I filed electronically once and it was quite easy but I later had trouble getting a signature form to them and I think they blocked me from further electronic filing. The devil is always in the details!
@red158 (333)
• Canada
28 Feb 08
I have always done my own income tax, but with the internet it has become so much easier. In Canada you can use ufile.ca and under a certain income level it is free, but I believe the top level is still under 20.00. My girlfriend use to take hers to HR Block, or equivilent and she not only does she normally owes money they were charging her a pretty penny to file it. I never quite understood why she did because she use to be an accountant. This year she took my advice and used ufile, it cost her under 40.00 to file for her and her husband. The best part is by e filing you normally get your refund in under 3 weeks.
@GardenGerty (104423)
• United States
28 Feb 08
We are not having good results with tax software, or with doing it ourselves, so far. We will try some other angles. I sure am glad we have not been to H&R Block in three years. Could be partly because they sent a letter wondering why we did not file with them the previous year, when we had used them. Not only that, the print on the form letter was slanty and crooked, not at all professional looking. We decided that if they had lost our records from that previous year, they could screw up even worse than that if we let them. Thanks for the link we will check it out.
@mummymo (23707)
27 Feb 08
Well sweety the system here in the Uk is very different but I loved the fact that you found out how to do this without having to pay a ridiculous fee! Well done and congratulations for sharing this info with others in the same position! xxx
• United States
27 Feb 08
I think H&R Block was ripping you off, I would turn them in for what they tried to do. A lot of people here use H&R but only pay $20 to $40 and that includes e filing. I do my own taxes every year right on line.