I Filed My Own Taxes This Year…It Wasn’t So Bad!
I filed my own taxes this past weekend.
For years I have dreaded certain adult responsibilities like getting new tags or filing my taxes. I didn't learn how to do those in school, and -- despite my best efforts to learn or understand for myself -- I tend to forget during the yearlong gap in-between.
Well, with tax-filing season upon us, I decided to be a big boy and try filing myself this year. Last year I worked with an agency in St. Cloud and -- despite their knowledge and help -- was overwhelmed by my own lack of understanding and their unfriendly standoff-ness.
I did my research first and found a great article titled "The 7 Best Tax Software Programs to Use in 2019." My sister used the #3 rated program TaxAct this year and spoke highly of it; my dad used Turbo Tax and also confirmed that it was easy to use. Despite their advice, though, I opted for the #4 rated Best Free Software Credit Karma simply because it was free to use. If they all do the same thing, I figured, I'd rather use a free program for my first time around. I'm glad I did.
To my relief, filing my own taxes -- at least through Credit Karma -- was fairly easy. It was time-consuming -- I spent about an hour and a half -- but that included some pauses for details I didn't have immediately have on-hand or to call my dad or sister for some advice. Should I do it myself again next year, I expect it to be a lot faster and smoother. That said, Credit Karma anticipated all of my needs and questions with a step-by-step, user-friendly format.
My only disappointment was that our Federal tax return is significantly less than it was in years past. But after checking with my dad, I'm pretty confident it's a reflection of my family's career and expense changes in 2018 compared to previous years rather than a reflection of using Credit Karma.
For a first-time self-tax file, I'm pretty pleased with my experience.