Home > Tax-o-rama 2005

Tax-o-rama 2005

January 31st, 2006 at 05:50 am

Well, we e-filed taxes last night. It wasn't bad but it wasn't easy-peasy either.

I went on the site, looking for free file. Found at least thirty sites and software areas willing to do it as long as you didn't make that much money. However, we file in Washington state (WA). WA has no state income tax, which is somehow a weird twist. At least two thirds of the sites wouldn't do a WA state filing, including the big famous ones like TurboTax. I picked one that would do WA and started up. I didn't like the interface particularly, so when it bailed out on me because I had an IRA, I was relieved. (Too complicated a return, it said. Wow. No wonder no one wants to save for retirement. Smile)

The second site ( was a lot better. It looked more organized and felt like the tax software I used last year when I volunteered for EITC, and I used a lot of the skills from that here. For example, no matter what, fill out the 1099s & W2s completely, match it exactly to the form down to the 0s! The program asked for the forms you had first (1099INTs, 1099DIVs, 1099Rs, W2), then pitched the questions based on what you had. I took awhile before the IRA question came up but thankfully it didn't think that was too complicated.

Turned out you could do your state taxes, too, for an extra fee. That's probably why few of these sites really wanted a WA filer. No take for them. The site I picked really tried, though: it claimed that I have to file WI taxes. All for 137$. I'll look into it. (and I did - I would owe 7$. Come and get it, guvner.)

We're getting a $539 refund, yay IRA, so of course I had to come up with the routing/ account numbers. No fee for that either.

The last item necessary is a bit tricky. I had to dig out the 2004 form because the AGI on it was going to work as an e-file ID. Sent it off into the queue, and I'll look in on it in a couple of days. You can track your file to some extent.

Saved a .pdf file of the 2005 1040 to print in a couple of days. Later, when I get my financial USB drive started up, that's one of the first files going in.

All told it took about an hour and a half. Not as easy as claimed, but it does take the drama out of it. Remember only ten years ago when all the post offices were bedlam in early April? Waiting in incredibly long lines to get forms, then at the end racing in to get your filing postmarked by the 15th?

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