We used TaxAct this year, just because is does your federal file for free (you have to pay to use TaxAct on state taxes) no matter what your income is, and we make too much to do free file with anyone else.
Having said that….TaxAct was adequate, and gave us an accurate return, but their online program is super clunky and annoying.
My husband’s dad does people’s taxes every year (as a seasonal employee) and he usually does DH’s taxes, but I’m used to doing my own taxes. So this year, Darling Husband and I did them, his dad did them, and we compared. Our refund was within $40 of the same amount and we get a pretty huge refund this year–and the only reason it was different is because Father-In-Law remembered a charitable donation we’d done (related to our wedding) that Darling Husband and I forgot.
We have pretty complicated taxes, since I own a house that I collect rental income on, I have student loans, I’m an educator, I have charitable donations, and I was a partial resident this year in a state that has state taxes, and one that does not have state taxes. We have 5 w2’s between the 2 of us, and we also have to claim the income from DH’s investments, retirement accounts, our savings and MM acounts, etc. And THEN we have to figure in the fact that Darling Husband works in one state (that takes state tax) and lives in another state (that takes state tax), but was a partial resident in each state this year. And we got to deduct our relocation expenses and some professional development expenses.
So honestly, it could hardly be more complicated. Except next year, it will be because most of that will be the same, except we’ll also be employing a nanny and we’ll own a second house. (sigh).
Even so, it took us only 2-3 hours from start to finish, once we’d gathered all of our statements.
Totally worth it to do it on your own, and not pay someone to do it. A monkey could follow the questions they ask on the programs like TurboTax or TaxAct. =)
It helps that Darling Husband and I are both motivated to save as much money as possible, so as soon as we hear about a possible tax deduction, we look into it (like for energy efficient window installation, or for tax-sheltered commuting expensese, etc.).