Are there any other alternatives other than TurboTax or hiring an account?
DH and I have 3 out of state forms to submit - and this is where TT hits hard with fees. Our accounted wants $250.
Any advice appreciated.
A bunch -- depending on your situation. If all you have to file is the equivalent of 1040A or 1040EZ, there are a few Web sites which allow you to fill out forms and submit them electronically. It probably would cost a few bucks to submit out-of-state forms (or you could choose to do them on paper; the Minnesota short form is ridiculously simple), but it shouldn't cost $250. Do a Web search for on line tax filing and you should find them. This is not a good option, IMHO, though, if you have a complicated return.
There also are alternatives to TurboTax for on-your-own-computer tax software. I've used TaxCut (I think they call it H&R Block at Home now) without problems and may still buy it for doing my parent's taxes (ours are complicated enough that we're using an accountant).
I have used TaxAct for several years and like it a lot. Very easy to use, and our returns are complicated. I used it for our 1120S also.
Agree with steve_o on the state returns. Maryland has a simple form that you just plug in your numbers from your W-2 and 1040. I use that for my son. I would check the states websites where you want to file.
Ditto TaxAct pretty easy, allows you to enter all the relevant info, pay extra for the state filings though. Also keeps your info from the last year(s).
I'd go with a qualified tax accountant. In your case, you want to make SURE he/she is certified in the states where you need to file.
$250 for what you describe is actually a very good price. My accountant charges us that just for filing our federal and state tax forms (and DH and I really do all the work usually--he just has to plug in the numbers on the right forms). And it's well worth it, at that--my accountant's expertise is tax accounting, and we've never had a problem with our return--even the few years we've had tricky situations.
While you're in his office? Take the time to ask him how you can legally reduce your tax liability. It's too late for most of the things you can do to lower your 2010 taxes, but get the advice for what you should be doing for 2011--there are a LOT of things you can do that are legal that lower your income or the tax you pay on it. Take advantage of his expertise and make those loopholes work for you.