No. of Recommendations: 1
A few years back, I got Quicken with a new computer, got all excited, and decided to keep records on computer. An hour later, I gave up. I've always paid bills and filed financial paperrwork (i.e., taken stuff out of envelopes and thrown away the inserts) during TV ads. Works great.

Here's a realistic breakdown of my time spent on taxes:

1) Over the course of the year, I collect about 20 tax deduction receipts (property tax bills and charitable contributions) which go into an envelope. Takes about 1 minute per receipt, or 20 minutes.
2) Around tax time, I collect W-2s plus 1099s and brokerage statements, a total of 7 items, which get placed in tax folder (along with envelope and last year's leftovers): about another 10 minutes.

Then, when filing time comes, I add up numbers and fill out forms:

3) I jot down add up the tax deductable receipts and enter them on Schedule A. About 10 minues.
4) I enter the information from W-2s and bank 1099s (7 entry points), about 5 minutes.
5) I enter the more complicated stuff from brokerage statements in various places, notably Schedules D and B, at the outside 15 mintues.

So, up until the main part of playing with the pencils and filling out the forms, I've spent about half an hour total over the year filing tax information and half an hour at tax time doing initial data entry on tax forms from the gathered information.

6) I fill out the forms, do the arithmetic, double check, sign, etc. Tedious as this is, it doesn't take more than an hour, even with the new added tasks.

I can attest that this year, like previous years, I easily completed steps 3-6 plus state taxes during a single NCAA Tourney game, while drinking beer and watching the game action (which accounts for about 25% of TV coverage time).

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