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Author: JABoa Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 123156  
Subject: Re: this year is the first year that i do my tax Date: 1/24/2001 5:34 PM
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Do it yourself. It's fun to do your own taxes!!!

More importantly, by reading over all the instructions and forms yourself, you get an idea of what you are in for. If you just go to the preparers, or spend some money on a computer program, then you are sort of a robot. That is not to say you shouldn't go to them in the end; just that you shouldn't do so in ignorance.

My totally unsupported opinion is that 80% or 90% of everybody can do their own taxes. Here's what I had one year: Federal 1040, Schedules A, D, and E, W-2's, unemployment, NY IT-203 and IT-112R, MA 1NR, and I forget what else. It took maybe half a day. For those who live in just 1 state over the year, have effectively income only from your job and maybe bank interest and stock dividends, it should take half a day tops; so you choose a day when it's crummy outside.

Your W-2 should have arrived, or come in the next week. Do a practice return, and if you see you have a refund due, do the real one and send it in quick like a bunny to get that refund.

On the "doing it yourself" grounds, I would advocate using the Federal 1040 rather than the shorter 1040A or 1040EZ, even if you are eligible for them. The reason is that wading through the instructions for Form 1040 allows you to see better what our tax law is really like.

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