sophie wrote: ↑
Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:56 am
Honestly, both of these systems create so many problems in the name of preventing you from filling out forms directly. They've essentially tried to build a language layer on top of the tax forms, so instead of learning to understand the forms you have to learn the Turbotax (or HRB) language. prime example: the backdoor Roth contribution. It involves two separate sets of interviews in two completely different sections plus going through the final review step where they figure out that your IRA contribution was nondeductible. It would be infinitely easier just to fill out the tax form by hand.
The one reason I like Turbotax is the ability to import data from W2, banks etc. My ideal system would take care of that, and then lead you through the forms themselves letting you enter numbers directly, perhaps with redirects to worksheets or calculator pages where you can enter collections of items to be added up, plus links to IRS instruction pages or other sources of info, while automating the lines that are data transfers or calculations. Is there a system out there that works like this?
If there is one but without autoimport, that's ok because I could simply use turbotax online to do the importing, then export the data and import it to that system.
I just used H&R Block to complete someone else's return. I NEVER use the interview process. I clicked on where I wanted the amounts to appear on the return. And, if it was not possible to directly enter the amounts on that line I chose the "Jump to Related" option to bring me to where I was to enter the information. Many times it is like this so that there is only ONE point of entry for a piece of information which then allows that piece of information to properly flow to all other places in the return that it appears.
I've never tried an import of yearly tax information into H&R Block software. It's not that time consuming to enter all the information by hand, especially when you've imported last year's return into this year's return, thereby filling it all the basic information on you and information returns (W-2's, 1099's) that are the same as the prior year.
I think your dream process may be a dream. Filling out a tax return is not all that simple a process and it is not possible to create tax software that could fathom your particular situation so as to lead you through all the forms particular to you.
It basically comes down to three options:
1) You give all your information to a tax preparer (who presumably knows what he or she is doing)
2) You know what you are doing, don't have to use the interview process at all, and you enter as much as possible of the information directly into the forms.
3) You need to rely upon the software to fill in your gaps of tax preparation knowledge. Then you have to deal with BOTH having to determine how the forms are supposed to be filled out AND how to get those forms filed out using that software.
I'm basically category #2. I might be a #1 if I really was a #3. Or, I might take it as far as I could and then bring it to a tax preparer to finalize it.