OT: The secret to doing your taxes is

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... have four beers before you start. Then have three more while figuring. And trust in TurboTax.
Dammit - I owe, I owe. Of all the years, I really could'a used a refund...
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On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 05:33:40 GMT, "patrick conroy"

Back when he was working as a building contractor my dad used to explain his simple system for avoiding income tax - go into business for yourself, you won't have any income, so no income tax! QED
-- "We need to make a sacrifice to the gods, find me a young virgin... oh, and bring something to kill"
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 05:33:40 GMT, "patrick conroy"

I've been using TaxCut; Intuit has lost my business with their activation fiasco a couple of years ago with TurboTax (lost sales made them reconsider that nonsense) and their absolute arrogance in sunsetting Quicken functions in order to force people to "upgrade" to a newer version that is lobotomized compared to features that were present in the equivalent grade of the current version.
Now I'm looking for a good replacement for Quicken so I have it available when I need it. Anybody have any experience with MoneyDance? http://www.moneydance.com /

Shoulda stopped at the second beer. :-)
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ The absence of accidents does not mean the presence of safety Army General Richard Cody +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 21:02:34 -0700, Mark & Juanita

I'm still using Quicken 99 Basic version. Still works the same and is entirely adequate for dealing with my meager finances. I gave up Turbotax a couple of years ago when IRS put fillable pdf forms online. I download them and use Acrobat Writer to fill them in. No way am I going to do this stuff online with the breaches reported lately.
A coupla Excel sheets handle the calcs.
Of course it helps to have no job, no business, no mortgage, no cattle feeding tax shelters and no income:-)

Not me.
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... snip

I agree with the online stuff. I don't have any desire to use e-file -- I'll continue to use hardcopy as long as possible. The tax programs just make sure I have all the appropriate information in the right places.

+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ The absence of accidents does not mean the presence of safety Army General Richard Cody +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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Mark & Juanita wrote:

...
I used the TaxCut freebie for a working copy also...works although klunky interface (but for free, what can you expect? :) ). I'd really not like the interface if I were paying for it, however.
Still (halfheartedly) using Quickbooks 99 for the business/farm although I'm reverting more and more to the old paper books for routine record-keeping and simply transferring gross information into QB--it's faster and more flexible.
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As we know from recent history, it's good to have flexible bookkeeping....
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George wrote:

Would that be Enron style or a more worldly communications approach to divulging your finances?
Or, for those in Canada, perhaps a more Liberal approach would be in order -- assuming that you find the Conservative approach too "Scary".
--
Will
Occasional Techno-geek
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wrote:

I really didn't see much difference in the interface between TaxCut and TurboTax on the paid version. It's set up with the same kind of interview interface to enter the data. It also has tabbed indices to various elements of the program.

For quite some time, I used Lotus 1-2-3 worksheets for my finances. I pretty much use QuickBooks as an electronic equivalent of paper records, it just does all the legwork and makes keeping track of accounts easy. I do the real transfers among various accounts the old-fashioned way, I write a paper check, same with paying bills.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ The absence of accidents does not mean the presence of safety Army General Richard Cody +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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Mark & Juanita wrote: ...>

Been 5 years or so since I last used T-Tax so don't recall precisely the interface (of course, it could be totally different now, anyway). What I didn't like wrt TaxCut was the insistence on building duplicates for all forms or using the "supporting document" form and not being able to simply transfer balances into appropriate fields w/o the repetitive "don't do this!" warnings and all...I don't recall it being that difficult w/ T-Tax. I only use these for estimates and double-checking the accountant for sanity, so I'm definitely not their target audience...there was, as noted, at least one missing form/schedule that would have prevented a final filing anyway w/o at least the paid version. Overall, I'd give them credit for a functional program, just somewhat more clunky to use than I'd prefer...
...

To a point, I'm in synch w/ you here...but, for the farm after trying for some time it seems far more complex to set up all the sub-accounts in QB and to enter the detail there than it is to simply use the paper ledgers...mostly because they're already preprinted and the accounting package uses them (and the accountant does remote data entry :) ). For the consulting side of the business QB works much better although I've migrated away from it there as well as there's no way to set up progress invoices in the manner my principal client requires and w/o that there's little additional benefit...consequently I've gone to an Excel spreadsheet as it allows me easier interface w/ the project manager (sugar daddy) there since they've semi-automated the proposal process using a template they supply.
Just a case of one size doesn't fit all for the most part...
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... snip

... man, what was I thinking last night? I use Quicken, not Quickbooks, I'm not a business, so QB doesn't make sense for me. [I knew yesterday (well, this last couple weeks) was a long day, but I must have really been asleep at the switch]
... snip
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On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 21:02:34 -0700, Mark & Juanita

======================================\ They lost my business for the exact same reason... although to be truthful I liked thier old DOS based programs a lot more then I did the "Winders" versions...but I never could hold them responsible for that ...
On the HOME Financial software ....Call be an antique if you will but I have been using MYM ( Managing your Money) since the 80's ...just simple to use ...and works for me...
I lost my original program disks a few years ago & could not install in on my new computer... and went into a near panic and had to use Quicken for a month or two... Gosh what a royal pain to use...
Found a set of original MYM disks on E-bay I called the seller and gave him 50 bucks for them when the auction price was only 50 cents.... He ended the auction and sent me the disks... Personally it was worth the 50 bucks ....I honestly would have paid more...
I was smart this time...I made duplicates of the originals and store them in a safe deposit box...
That said... I filed my taxes Saturday and they were accepted and I just finished printing out the PAYMENT vouchers to send along with my check... I will not write the checks until Friday.....
Bob Griffiths
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What do you guys mean by "activation fiasco" and the "sunsetted" Quicken functions?
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Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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On Wed, 13 Apr 2005 13:58:22 -0700, Fly-by-Night CC

Several years ago, Intuit decided that too many people were "sharing" their TurboTax program and instituted an activation scheme to assure that only the original purchaser was able to use the program. On the face of it,that doesn't sound unreasonable. However, Intuit's approach was heavy-handed and ill-conceived. First, they chose an activation engine that had been identified by many experts in the community to be more than just a license manager, it had also been associated with various spy-ware activities. In addition, this license manager ran all the time, not just when Turbo-Tax was activated, and IIRC, remained installed on one's system even after one had uninstalled TurboTax -- you had to also deliberately uninstall the activation manager ( that really wasn't spyware, trust us) by itself. Next, Intuit support essentially leveled accusations of thievery against anyone who had installation issues and dared disturb technical support. There were several problems. Because of the activation scheme chosen, a major reconfiguration of one's machine could flag it to the activation software as a "different machine" and thus disable one's legal copy. Upgrading one's computer during tax season could result in a similar problem, with TT being disabled. Finally, many people would do their taxes on one machine, then copy the data file to disk and install TT on another machine (for example, at work) in order to print the forms because the printers were better at the second location, but the first location was more convenient for actually filling out the forms. This activation scheme precluded the ability to do that, despite the fact that this was a reasonable, fair use of the software. Other concerns raised were problems if one was audited in the future and you had a new computer (I believe that Intuit addressed that concern by de-activating the activation requirement and unlocking the software after October something of the tax year, so this wasn't as big an issue).
As far as the "sunsetting" issue, Intuit has decided that after April of this year, all previous versions of Quicken will no longer be supported, and only Quicken 2005 will be the supported. They are forcing this upgrade by disabling the bill pay and online banking format that was present in prior versions and implementing a new interface to banks. For a really good description of the changes, check out: <http://www.gripe2ed.com/scoop/story/2005/1/18/03027/1506 .
From that article: "OK, the above is not precisely what the letter Quicken 2001 and Quicken 2002 customers started receiving last week said. I think it captures the spirit, though. What the letter does say is that, under Intuit's ever-changing , users of these two products have until April 19th to upgrade to Quicken 2005 if they wish to continue on-line banking. Thus features that were essential to many customers choosing to buy Quicken in the first place -- such as downloading account data from their financial institutions, on-line bill pay, and getting stock quotes -- are essentially being turned off for users of the 2001 and 2002 versions.
"They're doing it again," wrote one angry reader. "I just received a letter from Intuit advising that my Quicken 2002 will no longer work with any on-line features, including on-line banking. I've seen Quicken 2005 on some client systems. I hate it. It's replete with advertising and sales promos, and much of the old control-key functionality has gone away, too. I can't help but feel they really have us by the proverbial short hairs, because any realistic alternatives are more trouble than they are worth."
Further in the article, it mentions that some of the features present in one grade of Quicken are no longer there, but are now only present in the next higher grade. (for example, some features that were present in the standard version are now only available in the deluxe version -- thus the "lobotomized" comment).
A subsequent article pointed out that if you were using Turbotax, you either had to upgrade to the newer version or go through additional steps to first export your records from the sunsetted version in a different format, then import it to turbotax from that new format. <http://www.gripe2ed.com/scoop/story/2005/1/31/9545/59318
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Thanks Mark for taking the time to respond so fully - I had no idea. (I used Quicken 98(?) on an old mac and just recently got a new mac with Q'05 preinstalled. Since I don't do online banking will these Intuit tactics haunt me as well?
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The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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On Wed, 13 Apr 2005 23:06:56 -0700, Fly-by-Night CC

I don't really know, if Q05 is doing what you want, you are probably OK until they decide to sunset it for Q07 or 08. Even then, if you don't use the online features, you're OK. I'm sticking with Q2002 as long as I can -- I don't use online features anyway.
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Mark & Juanita wrote:

+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
Thanks for the heads up.
We recently switched to Quicken XG 2005 (?? latest anyway). It works fine for us -- but it has only been a month since it was installed.
We use Quickbooks (Basic) as well - recently upgraded. It too seems OK.
We never really investigated the issues pointed out as our SW was a few years old and we wanted to update. Maybe we should have...
--
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WillR wrote:

They do the same thing with Quickbooks. After a couple years they stop supporting it AND, worst of all, won't support the payroll tax updates leaving you swinging in the breeze if you have a payroll. Then too now that they've figured out a way to force you to buy the tax updates they charge either $130 or $160 per year for it. If you don't buy it, you can't use the payroll function and have to do everything manually which, naturally, they no longer explain how to do.
I dumped Turbo Tax for the reasons given a couple of years ago and went to Tax Cut. Happy with that program.
What I'd love to do is take some of the geniuses from Intuit out behind the shop with a nice oak 2x2 for about ten minutes.
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Unquestionably Confused wrote:

We don't use payroll. _No more employees._
But -- we switched machines and tried to get a new registration -- they are doing a Microsoft -- with much worse support.

We are in Canada -- where Inutit has a monopoly I think. They bought our only other Tax Software providers.

Now now!!! Try the AMT that Robatoy espouses -- it works for me. Deep breath... count to 10! Ommmmmmmm
_Then_ go whack em. -- Feels twice as good. :-)

--
Will
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patrick conroy wrote:

HR 25 (Fair Tax). Does away with turbo tax, quicken, etc. Best of all, it does away with the IRS.
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