Today we take a brief detour from all this talk of food...
Its already February, no doubt your W-2's have already made their way to you. So dive in and get things going. Jim and I are huge fans of Turbo Tax. We've used it for years without problems. It helps that our finances are fairly straight forward and uncomplicated. However, the program seems to have the capability to take on far more complex tax returns with its easy interview style and copious help screens.
If you've begun to twitch at the notion of doing your taxes period, consider this very simple way to make future tax times infinitely easier. Start by setting up a file folder to put tax info that you recieve during the year. If you make a charitable donation, put the reciept into the folder. If you do an energy improving home repair, it might net a tax deduction, put the receipts into the folder. Medical bills that might be necessary at tax time go in the folder as well.
Having everything in one place at tax time helps ensure you get all the deductions you are entitled to. It also makes sitting down to do the taxes a much less daunting task. Besides, even if you chicken out and decide to take your taxes to an accountant, he'll be grateful for your organization.
As for actually submitting your tax return, we think filing online is the way to go. Its quick, its convenient, its reliable and, even though there is a charge for it, it gets you your refund significantly faster.
One final note, in our opinion it ain't frugal to fudge! Take the deductions you're entitled to this year, make changes to your payroll deductions if you wound up owing but don't take deductions you aren't entitled to! For me, the stress/guilt of knowing I fudged would far outweigh any extra money recieved. Besides, those penalties really add up quickly.