Turbo Tax Newbie

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
cjniemiec
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:04 am

Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by cjniemiec » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:11 am

Trying to muster up the courage to TT it this year - can someone dummy down how I can punch in my tax info from 2016 (using my return) to confirm that I have the intelligence/ability to do 2017's taxes with minimal headache.

I'm lead to believe one can do their 2017 taxes with TT and make the decision to pay after viewing the results of your information - is this accurate?

Do I use the online version - or go to Costco and pick up a disk?

It looks like there is a way to download my 2016 return - safe as a PDF - and then upload it to simplify the process for 2017?

Perhaps I should just call the TT support line - but figured I would start here due to the level of sophistication that floats in and out of here.

Thanks in advance!

User avatar
tfb
Posts: 7936
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:46 pm
Contact:

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by tfb » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:06 am

cjniemiec wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:11 am
Trying to muster up the courage to TT it this year - can someone dummy down how I can punch in my tax info from 2016 (using my return) to confirm that I have the intelligence/ability to do 2017's taxes with minimal headache.
The best way to practice is to buy a 2016 program on eBay (under $10). Use the supporting documents (W-2, 1099, ...) from your 2016 stack/folder, you can try to use TT to reproduce your 2016 return. Along the way, print the forms out and compare with your actual return. See what's different. You are not using TT to file your 2016 return (it was already filed) so you won't mess up anything. You have a target to shoot for -- your actual filed return. After you successfully practiced on 2016, buy a disc from Costco. Your 2016 file can be imported to the 2017 program, which will also make it easier for your 2017.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

User avatar
brother7
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:48 pm

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by brother7 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:44 am

What is your income? If under 33k (66k if military), you can use Turbotax Freedom edition and e-file Federal and State for free.

soccerrules
Posts: 803
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:01 pm

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by soccerrules » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:55 am

Yes you can use turbo tax until the very end before you click file (without paying)
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.

wfrobinette
Posts: 670
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:14 pm

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by wfrobinette » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:31 pm

cjniemiec wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:11 am
Trying to muster up the courage to TT it this year - can someone dummy down how I can punch in my tax info from 2016 (using my return) to confirm that I have the intelligence/ability to do 2017's taxes with minimal headache.

I'm lead to believe one can do their 2017 taxes with TT and make the decision to pay after viewing the results of your information - is this accurate?

Do I use the online version - or go to Costco and pick up a disk?

It looks like there is a way to download my 2016 return - safe as a PDF - and then upload it to simplify the process for 2017?

Perhaps I should just call the TT support line - but figured I would start here due to the level of sophistication that floats in and out of here.

Thanks in advance!
I gave up on the disks in 2012 and switched to the online version.

TT is so easy. Just go online create an account and fill in the info. If you don't like the results don't pay. The first year will be the hardest because you'll need to enter some stuff from your 2016 return to make 2017 work correct. (state refunds, etc.) The software walks you through the entire process and explains things along the way.

Just grab your tax docs (w2, 1099, 1098's, etc.). You can even import these via the web. Last year, I did my fed taxes in less than 30 minutes and I had 3 w-2s from two states, stock options sales, 2 1099-r's (Roth conversions), 3 1099-div, 3 1099-R, and an un-reimbursed causality loss. Spent another 5 minutes on each state answering questions and 5 minutes to file electronically.

Unless you have some weird tax stuff it will be a breeze. If you have some uncommon items it will still be easy because it's all built in. In my opinion, trying to duplicate the 2016 return would be a waste of time.

If you were smart enough to find this place, you'll be smart enough to do this.

cjniemiec
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:04 am

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by cjniemiec » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:03 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts - I especially like the comment, "If you are smart enough to find this place, you are smart enough to do TT".

Is it safe for me to assume that TT covers the ROTH conversion process smoothly? I am smart enough to do a ROTH conversion - but undoubtedly question my ability to understand how or why it works.

Hopefully TT get me through this part of doing my taxes.

Thanks again.

User avatar
oneleaf
Posts: 2343
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:48 pm

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by oneleaf » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:24 pm

TT asks a lot of questions to guide you. Your 1099-R when entered will undoubtedly prompt TT to ask you if you converted an IRA and will walk you through. It’s very easy.

cjniemiec
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:04 am

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by cjniemiec » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:33 pm

Thank you for providing some reassurance

mega317
Posts: 2554
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:55 am

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by mega317 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:51 am

cjniemiec wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:03 pm
Is it safe for me to assume that TT covers the ROTH conversion process smoothly?
2016 was my first backdoor Roth. You have to answer the questions correctly so be clear about terminology. Conversion, rollover, and recharacterization are all different. If you did a Roth conversion you didn't contribute to a Roth. Etc.

cjniemiec
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:04 am

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by cjniemiec » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:17 am

Thanks - this helps - this is the clarification I was hoping for. I appreciate the head's up.

My confidence is slowly improving.......

User avatar
rustymutt
Posts: 3730
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:03 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by rustymutt » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:27 am

I use it each year, and love it. I do multi Federal returns for family and friends. I love the downloadable Tax forms from Vanguard feature. Makes my life simple, and that's worth it to me for the 21.95 dollars I paid for my TT deluxe, online downloaded to my PC. I do less than the 5 free federal returns offered.
I'm amazed at the wealth of Knowledge others gather, and share over a lifetime of learning. The mind is truly unique. It's nice when we use it!

RetiredCSProf
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:59 pm

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by RetiredCSProf » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:44 pm

I have used Turbo Tax for many years, either bought the disk at Costco or downloaded. This year, I ran into a snag -- 2017 Turbo Tax apparently does not run under the Yosemite operating system on Macs, so I need to upgrade my OS before I can run it. Or, use the online version of TT.

User avatar
htdrag11
Posts: 1079
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:22 pm

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by htdrag11 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:35 pm

I used to use Turbo Tax until 2014 (?) when they raised the price by a large percentage but has switch to H&R Block at a much lower cost.

No regrets.

GL.

User avatar
tennisplyr
Posts: 1755
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:53 pm
Location: Sarasota, FL

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by tennisplyr » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:32 am

Have been using TT for several years and have been satisfied. After filing, the next year they will import the prior years info and you can import data online from financial institutions. I'm sure others can but I like TT.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

ubermax
Posts: 1434
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:19 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by ubermax » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:39 pm

cjniemiec wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:11 am
I'm lead to believe one can do their 2017 taxes with TT and make the decision to pay after viewing the results of your information - is this accurate?
Have used online TT for years and like it ; you have to pay before you can see and print the actual tax forms and any worksheets filled in - you can view your inputs at any time but not sure what value that would be without seeing them in the context of the tax forms themselves - now I'm just speaking about online TT premier , others may have different info wrt the CD version and/or a different TT product , e.g. Deluxe, etc.

And like I mentioned in another post I think it's really important to fully understand your own tax situation so that the output from TT is what you anticipated and if not equally important know TT well enough to get it to do what you want and expect .

User avatar
Peter Foley
Posts: 4498
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:34 am
Location: Lake Wobegon

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by Peter Foley » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:56 pm

Regarding a Roth conversion. First Turbo Tax will ask if you withdrew money from an IRA, then it will ask you what you did with it, if you select something other than spent it, it then asks you for more details. It is pretty straight forward on Turbo Tax if you answer the question what did you do with the money correctly. You do need to know your IRA balance as of December 31, 2017 as that is one of the questions.

cjniemiec
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:04 am

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by cjniemiec » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:20 am

Is it safe to assume if I have my return from last year...and all the info for this year...that I should be able to essentially replicate what was done using TT?

My tax situation isn't overly complicated:

Married
3 kids
Both of us teach
403bs
ROTH Conversions
529 plan
Dividends from brokerage account
One long term stock sale
The part that intimidates me the most....we own rental property - that hasn't been rented in a number of years due to an issue - I don't understand the concept of depreciation and how it applies to taxes

Please convince me I won't pull my hair out next weekend when I dive into this task.....

User avatar
Peter Foley
Posts: 4498
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:34 am
Location: Lake Wobegon

Re: Turbo Tax Newbie

Post by Peter Foley » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:58 am

cjniemiec

We had a situation similar to yours including Roth conversions, dividends, capital gains, and a rental property with depreciation. Turbo Tax Deluxe was able to handle it all. There will be a lot of information to enter the first year you do this but in subsequent years it will be very easy.

Post Reply