Filing your 2018 tax return? How's it going?

Filing your 2018 tax return? How's it going?
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#188

“free fillable forms” is software, no?
And it doesn’t do state taxes.


#189

You have to fill out the forms online, just as you would with paper forms. There are no questions to answer. There are links to instructions for all the forms. Most of the math is done for you. When you’re done, you file your return electronically. I print out a copy of my return when I’m finished.

Yes, it’s only for federal taxes, but my state has free online filing. I file online for local taxes, too.

Our taxes are not simple, either. But if you start using the actual forms when they are simple, it’s just a matter of learning how to fill out additional forms as your situation changes.


#190

I’m just pointing out that you are using software. Yes, it’s simpler and free than TT or TC, but it’s still software.


#191

Technically, yes. But it’s not dumbed down. “Do you have a number in this box on this form? If so, enter it here.” No offense to anyone using question and answer software intended. :grinning:


#192

I have been using the “forms method” since I started using TurboTax more than 20 years ago. Any software can make mistakes, and so can humans.


#193

Personally, this is exactly why I use two different software each year. This year I went through the interviews with TT and CK (both free).

Since their numbers agreed for both Federal and State taxes, I concluded that I was ok with the probability of both of the software and myself making the same mistake twice in different interviews. For my return to be substantially wrong, I’d have to be consistently misunderstanding the interview questions and how to fill the forms OR two unrelated pieces of software would have had to have the same error in filling the forms from my interview answers. To me, that probability seemed much lower than the chance of me messing up a manually-filled 1040 form once, especially taking into account the time I spent on filling.

The only misgiving I have about my filling method is having my tax information known to two different online companies. That’s why in the past, I was using desktop software versions only but considering the slew of recent breaches in the past 3 years, I’m confident that my SSN and other personal information are probably readily available online already so I may only be setting myself up for more free credit monitoring service.


#194

Just because some of your information may be out there does not mean you should give up trying to protect it.

And credit monitoring is already free for everyone.


#195

Agreed. In this particular case, I just thought that CK already had a lot of my information (certainly anything related to my credit report) from me using their credit monitoring service. And I had used TT before to prepare and efile taxes so TT may already have most of my information as well. And if they did not, I think they are likely way more diligent about data safety since their entire businesses depends on your trust in them handling your data securely. So I didn’t think I was risking much more exposure by using either services online.


#196

The only thing common between taxes and credit report is your PII – name, address, SSN, DOB. You gave them a whole lot more for taxes.

I thought the same about Equifax. And Anthem. And OPM. These entities should not exist if they can’t secure our data.


#197

Thought the 2018 return was really smooth – easy to collect all the relevant documents, amount owed matched almost exactly the spreadsheet I prepared throughout the year with expected income/tax, e-filing went fine and all seemed to go fine.

Then I discovered that I own a paper Series EE savings bond which reached final maturity in December 2018 and is no longer earning interest. Triple-checked Publication 550 on this and per IRS rules I owe tax as though income were accrued when the savings bond reached final maturity, i.e. I have extra income for the 2018 tax year.

So now I need to

  • mail in a paper 2018 Form 1040X amended federal return along with about a $20 check
  • mail in a paper state tax form with the new total income (savings bond interest does not change my tax owed at the state level)
  • cash the paper savings bond at a bank, who will mail me a 2019 Form 1099-INT, then when filing taxes for the 2019 year, follow the special IRS rules about “U.S. savings bond interest previously reported” (which I can do by hand on Schedule B or which e.g. TurboTax will do fine)

Fun times.


#198

I am thinking about IRA contribution for spouse ($5500). Is it still possible to contribute for 2018 IRA. What is the income limit and quick way to check if we are exceeding this limit?

Thanks


#200

Yes, it is still possible. Your other post included more info about your situation, so I will just link to my reply on that post.


#201

Now we are getting standard deduction of 24k. Itemized deduction seems to be redundant even with 10k+ property tax and $7k mortgage interest. If i am not going to do itemize, I can just file it online without going to tax expert. Is there any one in similar situation.

Thanks


#202

Am very happy camper.

Looking up thread it appears I filed about a month ago, perhaps a day or two short of that. And everything was paper and USPS, twentieth century style. Anyway, I was hoping my refund check (yes, a paper check) might arrive by snail mail next month, in May.

Imagine my surprise when a sweet check for the full amount of my refund was in yesterday’s mail. I could scarcely believe it. The IRS is really taking wonderful care of us fossilized filers. Perhaps with everyone else filing electronically, and there being so few of us fossils remaining, they have an overage of workers processing our paper returns. Whatever it is, boy, I surely have no complaints!

I want to thank the people of Ogden, UT and the wonderful USPS. Kudos to you all!

Oh, and the check itself? Scanned and deposited instantly, using the net, at Alliant. There comes a point when I no longer seek to cultivate an old-fashioned image.:wink: I save the old-fashioned stuff for the IRS.


#203

Can we send paper file on Monday which is last date of tax filing deadline. Or do we need to send them in time for IRS to receive by 15th April.


#204

A Monday postmark will work just fine.


#205

You’re saying that you only needed to see a “tax expert” just for Schedule A?

I’d guess there are a few million tax payers whose itemized deduction used to exceed the standard deduction before the change. I doubt many of them would stop getting help simply because of this one change.


#206

Just completed my April estimated tax payment and . . .

Q: Discussion of estimated tax is off topic here. No?

It’s my thread. I’ll allow it. :rofl:

Anyway, no change in service. Used Pay1040 because it remains the least expensive option. So now all my April Federal tax obligations have finally been met. Whew!

My quarterly estimated payment went down by hundreds of dollars compared with last year. So sweet. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::heart_eyes:


#207

It is amusing how people look at things differently. A buddy of mine was boosting he paid almost a million more in taxes last year compared to the year before. I’d rather be in my buddies situation then yours :slight_smile:


#208

I used to go tax expert to help with itemized expenses (property tax, mortgage interest etc…,). Now standard deduction is 24k, looks like there is no need of tax expert help to account all my itemized expenses.