I received all of my tax forms this week, save my broker’s statement from ETrade. Those don’t go out until February 15. They are gonna suck, because I had some significant capital gains this year.

Thus begins the worst time of the year: tax season. I need to close the 2021 books on my businesses, then begin the process of figuring out how much money I owe the IRS.

My wife and I both have jobs. I collect a pension. Between us, we own 4 businesses. We have interest and investment income. In years past, I have paid a CPA. My wife wants me to try to do our taxes myself and save the $600 a year we were paying her. I’m going to give it a try.

Categories: Me


Eric Wilner · February 5, 2022 at 1:26 pm

I’ve always done my own taxes. Used to be, my father would do his own, but a few years back he had them done by a professional, and since then I’ve helped him.
Last two years, what with the move, and sale of former residences, and everything, we both should really have had a professional dealing with everything… but, pandemic. With my father being firmly in the high-vulnerability demographic, it’s been time for staying at home and not having visitors.
I think we’re still on DIY this year. At least my taxes ought to be pretty simple. (And we no longer have to deal with any sort of state income taxes – yay!)
For the coming year, I have at least some hopes for getting my business going again, so by the end of the year I should definitely have an accountant lined up. Especially since I haven’t entirely figured out how business taxes work here.

Jerry Johnson · February 5, 2022 at 1:26 pm

One important thing about that $600 stipend for the CPA is the Errors and Omissions insurance she carries. With the adversarial nature of the National Theft Agency, quaintly referred to as the IRS, that insurance and professional tax preparation is a hedge from malicious audit. And her fee is included with the deductions.

Jonathan · February 5, 2022 at 1:28 pm

I think your CPA is overcharging you if all they do is your taxes.
I know several good CPAs or tax professionals who would do that job for $75 to $160.
I’m in the same boat as you; most of my forms are not in yet. I won’t be able to file until mid March at the earliest.
Last year was a VERY good year for us, the drawback is that I expect to owe over $200k.

joe · February 5, 2022 at 2:20 pm

i’ve used someone the last few years…with most of the tax cuts gone for us normal folks, going to do my own from now on and save some $$…probably have to pay again anyway…

Wishy Washy · February 5, 2022 at 2:56 pm

What’s the deal with that IRS face ID thing? If you file electronically will you have to snap a selfie and send it to that firm that the IRS contracted to keep track of face IDs?

    Eric Wilner · February 5, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    An interesting question, and one that’ll determine whether we e-file or send in paper forms this year. I’m leaning toward paper regardless.
    The IRS has some questions about my father’s return for 2020. They sent a letter with a number he’s supposed to call. There aren’t enough people to deal with the calls, so instead everybody’s supposed to use the Internet. But…
    Dealing with the matter over the ‘Net means using the fool ID.10t third-party thing, which is fundamentally broken – starting with the assumption that a phone number is a unique and permanent personal identifier (“You can’t use that phone number. Someone else used it three years ago.”), and continuing with the inability to recognize a Tennessee non-driver ID card.
    And expecting someone his age to deal with this, well, that’s just nuts.

yeah right · February 5, 2022 at 3:40 pm

I pay $750 annually…..for multiple businesses. SMO, well worth the monies paid, as part of services include representing to the IRS – I dont speak, I dont see without him present.

The Freeholder · February 5, 2022 at 4:14 pm

Just say “No!”.

At $600, your CPA works cheap and is cheap insurance. Audits suck.

it's just Boris · February 5, 2022 at 5:06 pm

As a tax preparer once told me… Having to pay capital gains taxes means I made money. (Not always strictly true, or easy to set aside the estimated tax fraction, if one gets a large cap-gain distribution from a mutual fund.)

Matthew · February 5, 2022 at 8:16 pm

OK, after you bash your way through all those forms (twice, because you’ll be figuring things out as you go and will be backtracking and redoing all of them at some point) I want you to ask yourself how much of a check you would write to go back and just call the CPA.

I’ll wager right now it would be WAY more than $600.

Noveskes Rock · February 5, 2022 at 9:40 pm

If you value your own time at $50/hour, can you do your taxes – and be comfortable with the results – in 12 hours? If not go to the CPA. Calculating your foreign tax offsets from stocks and dividend income, identifying carry forward offsets, cost segregation for accelerated depreciation and other fun math leads me to my accountants door.

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