jst3p: Wessoman: Fubini: sleeping8008: Or really, anytime someone else like your employer or accountant doesn't do the majority of the work for you. Preparing four course meals for a family is a snap, especially when you hire a professional chef to do all the work.Or really, any time you can follow well documented, explicit, simple instructions.My worst tax year was the one where my wife was given a 1099 for a substitute teaching position. It was god awful- took all of four hours or so to do the paperwork.The hard part isn't the tax forms, or understanding the tax forms, it's 1) understanding the nuances of the tax forms and 2) not having documentation you should have kept around anyway. It all boils down to understanding what can be claimed as a deduction, if it gets too hard you can always just say f**k it and keep better records for the deduction next year.Some deductions are just stupid. My wife could theoretically claim the educator's deduction, up to $250, but doing so would require keeping receipts as justification. The amount you save (25% on $250, in her case) is hardly worth the bother from a year-end point of view, and given the odds of those receipts surviving for seven years in the event of an audit it isn't worth the hassle.The Educator deduction isn't stupid, but it is a stern reminder that most teachers have to pay out of pocket for certain classroom materials that school districts should pay for. Trust me, auditors are really looking at Schedules C, D and E shennanigans. If you are self employed and running a Schedule C and E, you best keep all your reciepts, and that IS a pain.Worst deduction of all: Mortgage interest. Because if you are a rich fark who owns a lot of property, just write it all off. Honestly, I think the Mortgage interest deduction should only apply if that is your primary residence.As far as I know it is limited to two homes.
clowncar on fire: Not every deduction is a loophole.
DeaH: This year, I did my taxes for the first time online, mostly because I didn't have the forms I thought I did. I didn't care for it. I really did not like entering all the W2 information, and I really did not like not seeing the calculations. It actually took a little longer than filling out the forms and doing the calculations myself. If there was a way to access my W2 online and use it to auto-fill the forms, and if there were something that made the tax calculations more transparent, I would tilt toward doing it online. I plan to use forms again next year.
UberDave: Yeah...it's easy until your god damn tablet won't load the Schedule-A PDF!!/smashes something
Without Fail: serial_crusher: Taxes are hard for people with a lot of things to tax. They're less hard for the average American.Actually, taxes are easy for everyone.Finding loopholes is hard.
runwiz: Figuring out the amount of taxes you pay and thus the amount you either owe or get refunded has never been complicated. It takes maybe 30 seconds. Just find your taxable income and go to the tax tables. The complexity is figuring out your taxable income. That's why proposals such as a flat tax do nothing to simplify the process. Simplifying would mean getting rid of most deductions and people don't want that.
Fubini: I'm also weird though, because I've always opted for the standard deduction. Every year I run the numbers on the deductions to see if I should itemize, but it's never been worth it. No mortgage interest is the big thing.
Stailure: I think most people get confused by the sheer number of line items on the front and back of the 1040. I mean seriously how many returns actually have a figure in the "certain business expenses of reservists, performing artists, and fee based government officials" box.Oh, and also when income is high enough that the credits/deductions start getting phased out and AMT becomes an issue./tax preparer.
Wellon Dowd: Payroll withholding is the most brilliantly evil idea devised by the mind of man.
jaerik: For the vast majority of Americans, there is no need to file a tax return at all because there are no itemizations or deductions that the IRS doesn't already have from your employers, banks, insurance, investments, etc. You're just telling it everything that it already knows.We could do like some countries in Europe and Asia do, and let you just sign to accept what the IRS already has (or amend it if you wish), but the GOP (and Intuit) has blocked it for decades saying that if they made taxes less painful/expensive, it wouldn't be as good a political football.
Great_Milenko: Plus, Turbotax and H&R Block would lose billions in sales if the average joe didn't pay them $50 to fill out a one page form.
monoski: I think H&R spent all their money on commercials this year. I have hard time believing that even if 10 million people used that service it could possibly offset the cost of that barrage of TV ads.
ongbok: You ever notice that there are a disturbingly high number of people in this country that will intentionally try to make everything they do as complicated as they can? These people are especially represented when it comes to doing their taxes. It is just amazing how many people make the process of just doing your taxes yourself or finding someone to do them for you an ordeal.
Gary-L: Have fun arguing, but FWIW, there is no excuse for the Tax Code to be needlessly complicated.
Gary-L: http://www.fairtax.orgHave fun arguing, but FWIW, there is no excuse for the Tax Code to be needlessly complicated.
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