what to do about taxes, please help!

vacuumfreakFebruary 26, 2007

Hi there. I am truly shocked. I just went to H and R block and they told me the fees for doing taxes start at 85 dollars and go up. They said they wouldn't be able to tell me how much it would cost until they finished the process and the computers told them the fee to charge me. I used H and R Block 4 years ago and the fee was only 25 dollars. What happened? In the meanwhile, I was dating an accountant so my there hasn't been an monetary fee for doing my taxes the past few years. I have 3 W-2 forms and no deductions and made about 21,000 dollars last year, so it should be easy enough for a 10-40 EZ form. There is only one problem... I'm an off and on student and last January I received a grant for $946.00 I don't know how to put that in (I think I've decided to turbo tax it myself, but I don't see where students can put their information)... do I just count that as extra income when I claim it? What happened to tax fee prices in the past few years? Last year I got back $1500.00 with a personal accountant, so far turbo tax says I am getting back $300.00 and I made the same amount of money both years! I live in Florida if that makes a difference... I'm 23 y/o single male living on my own. Please help me, and thank you!

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zone_8grandma

$85 is outragous to charge for a 1040EZ form. You can do it yourself.
Whether or not you have to list the grant depends on the circumstances. You may not even have to disclose it
see
http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=106193,00.html

you can do it online fee at turbotax.com

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 5:57PM
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joyfulguy

vauumfreak,

If you're with others in the education milieu, are there others near who have had similar grant? And know how it relates to tax liability?

Quite likely the IRS people can tell you. Once you get to their office.

At no charge - you pay 'em, after all!

But it may cost to get there.

Don't they have 800 numbers?

Probably a good idea to call early rather than later - if you value your time. "Your call is important to us ... is being held in sequins ...." ("sequence" - drat that keyboard!).(1)

Probably call three times - you'll likely get three answers ... make sure you get the name of the person who gave you the one that you prefer.

Grandma,

Does turbotax charge a fee?

Or free?

o j

1. Whadda ya bet ... the next time you hear that message ... you'll remember this thread (if you haven't thought of that scenario on your own ... can't you just visualize a call [girl?] in sequins??).

o j

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 7:14PM
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kudzu9

If you go to the H&R Block web site, you can do your federal from online for $9.95. You should also ask whoever gave you the grant what the tax treatment normally is.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tax Cut Basic

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 8:42PM
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coolmama

Try Jackson Hewitt next time.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 5:51AM
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jlhug

I suspect that the $25 fee was a one time promotional fee that you were able to get that one year. Block's fees haven't been that low for years and years. Jackson Hewitt and Liberty ususally run in the same range too.

The grant may or may not be taxable to you. Was the grant used to pay tuition? Did you drop out of school and receive some of your tuition back?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 7:12AM
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kurtg

I wouldn't be so quick to file a 1040EZ. If you were a student and paid tuition, there are education learning credits that you may qualify for. I think it was upto $1650. It sounds like and eligible tax credit will increase your refund a lot.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 7:40AM
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quasifish

If you have questions about taxes, try calling the IRS directly. I've had to call and ask questions a few times over the years and have always found them very helpful and extremely nice. They want you to do your taxes, and do them right!

You could also try looking around the IRS website and downloading publications that should be able to clarify the situation with your grant.

Your taxes sound rather straightforward so you shouldn't have too much trouble with them, I wouldn't think. If you have copies from your return last year, take a look at that as a guide.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 2:30PM
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juanital

You can Efile for free thru the IRS site...Income is under 52K....
Pub. 970-Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants and Tuition Reductions has info you'd need....
If you were a degree candidate and paid it to an 'eligible educational instituion' the tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment (course required) It would be tax free...
Link below...If you link to Scholarship and Fellowships...will take you to Table 1.1 which shows what is qualifying, tax free and taxable...also suggests to read the rest of text for complete details, but it sounds pretty clear cut to me, too....And copies of your previous year would be helpful, for a guide....

I remember paying H&R $25 first year of filing back in '78...As their fees increased, I became more defiant and decided to try myself...Made sure I had IRS PUB 17...I used them about 5-6 times more, the last time was because we had three states to deal with...No way was I gonna touch that!

Publicaton 970- Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants....
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch01.html#d0e1153

juanital

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 10:44PM
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hilltop_gw

My daughter, a student, recently had a similar problem. H&R charged her nearly $300 but it was a little more complicated due to income in several states, a little farm income, etc., etc. She had to file by March 1. Anyway now on her campus they've started posting that accounting students will help you file taxes (can't remember if it was free or for a nominal fee) so you might want to check with them.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 8:45AM
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telly2

I used Jackson Hewitt up until 2 years ago, when I was disgusted by the fee, especially when you consider that they're not doing anything I can't do myself with Turbo Tax. Never again ! Especially now that I see how easy Turbo Tax is...love it !

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 1:51PM
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housenewbie

If you go to the IRS website there are links for free online tax filing. It goes thru all the usual suspects--HR Block, Intuit, etc--your choice.

Your income is low enuf that you'd definitely qualify. And e-filing, you get money back really fast.

Phooey on these outrageous tax fees. It's not rocket science. I'm terrible at math, and yet I can do it no problem.

Here is a link that might be useful: irs free file

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 12:48PM
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