Intuit's TurboTax is a life saver. Every year around this time, and often earlier, my wife and I take all the last year's financial papers, sort them and then push them through the TurboTax program online, counting income statements and then (crossing our fingers), hoping we have enough deductions so that the government finds itself needing to send us a quick check and thank us for our efforts.
Every year, it seems to get just a bit easier. TurboTax stores our prior year's data, and imports it so I don't have to go through the mundane tasks of telling it where I live, where I work, what my name is, etc. It assumes nothing has changed from the previous year, and gives me the option to update. Additionally, the ability to import my brokerage account data from eTrade is dramatically easier than saving the data into Excel or Quicken or some other tool, then going one by one to add my gains and subtract my losses. (Funny how all year I root for gains, and come tax time, I root for losses...)
This year's efforts took the better part of the afternoon. I had two piles - the "To Do" and the "Done" piles, and I methodically moved from one to the next, with the A's spring training game playing on the radio in the background. By mid-afternoon, we were all done for yet another year, and can store away our papers until the IRS comes calling later to see if we got it all right. But that hasn't happened yet, and we've relied solely on the Web version of TurboTax for more than 5 years. I can't imagine going any other way.
Now, in the next few weeks, I expect an e-mail to confirm everything went through, and a quick bump in the bank as the refund goes through via direct deposit. It just works!
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