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I've never done my own taxes

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  • sarcolema56pay@gmai [email protected] 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 13
    Joined: 04/18/2019

    As  a high wage earner (MD) who grew up overseas, I never developed a good financial senses of the US system. I never understood it and was so busy, I never took the time. I was intimidated and never took the time to learn, sadly. I was busy in my residency in the US and just had all my taxes done by somebody else before April 15 (in the beginning, it was an H&R Block). When I became an attending, I was so busy again and just hired an accountant .

    As someone in my 50’s, I decided that it’s never too late to learn.  I feel I don’t understand enough when I speak to the accountant.

    As somebody with a reactively simple financial picture, I would like to learn to do my own taxes next year. Any recommendations for a good do it yourself online tutorial? I’m a late financial bloomer and want to start now! It’s never too late!!

    Thank you for all of your suggestions.

    #235128 Reply
    Avatar jacoavlu 
    Moderator
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 2382
    Joined: 03/01/2018

    start with last year’s return, try to understand where every number comes from. Work through the forms along with your supporting documents. Go read the IRS form instructions if you come to something you don’t understand.

    turbotax work well for most when it comes to actually doing your own taxes.

    heck maybe you could even buy a copy of 2018 turbotax and start from zero on your 2018 return, see if you come up with the same end result.

    The Finance Buff's solo 401k contribution spreadsheet: https://goo.gl/6cZKVA

    #235132 Reply
    Liked by triad
    ENT Doc ENT Doc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3523
    Joined: 01/14/2017

    Read the 1040 instructions and all instructions for the forms filed in 2018.

    #235133 Reply
    Liked by Peds
    Avatar ajm184 
    Participant
    Status: Other Professional
    Posts: 637
    Joined: 07/14/2017

    Internship with Spiritrider.  From what I hear its unpaid and bad coffee!

    #235135 Reply
    jfoxcpacfp jfoxcpacfp 
    Moderator
    Status: Financial Advisor, Accountant, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 8141
    Joined: 01/09/2016

    If you really want to understand, learn, and comprehend, prepare your 2018 taxes (or any year) by hand, then compare to the actual filed return(s). Younger folks may have trouble wrapping their brains around this (no disrespect intended🙂), but hand prep with a pencil and calculator was the method 30 years ago (even less). I realized years later that I never would have understood as much as I did about the flow of information in a tax return had I not had that experience.

    As a new sole proprietor, I also did clients’ returns by hand, set them aside to clear my brain, and then returned as the reviewer. You’d be amazed at what you can catch and learn this way. There is so much that I rely on tax software to correct today and it’s kind of sad. Software, even reading instructions and then inputting into software, can detract from the education. It’s kind of like studying how to do surgery and what steps you need to take and actually operating (with a lot more at stake, of course).

    Comments on this thread offer food for thought.

    Johanna Fox Turner, CPA, CFP, Fox Wealth Mgmt & Fox CPAs ~
    http://www.fox-cpas.com/for-doctors-only ~ [email protected]

    #235157 Reply
    Liked by RocDoc, wa2106
    sarcolema56pay@gmai [email protected] 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 13
    Joined: 04/18/2019

    Thank you for all the suggestions. I will do my 2018 and work from there. I went to the ins website and could not download printable version of the 1040. Maybe a glitch on their website. I’ll try again later.

    I live in RI but work in MA. My accountant does tax forms for both states (aside from Federal). Are the state versions a lot easier?

    #235163 Reply
    Avatar jhwkr542 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1316
    Joined: 02/15/2016

    Not usually. I work in two states and I’ve found the states’ returns have more ambiguous instructions at times and more nuance to them, especially when taking into account that you’re splitting up income across two states.

    #235173 Reply
    ENT Doc ENT Doc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3523
    Joined: 01/14/2017
    I went to the ins website and could not download printable version of the 1040. Maybe a glitch on their website. I’ll try again later.

    Click to expand…

    They’re having some trouble down at the border.  Check back again in a few decades.

    #235198 Reply

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