64

It is very helpful to understand that Free File is not actually "by" the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS does indeed offer access to the program through their website, but Free File is actually a public-private partnership program operated and maintained by the Free File Alliance. Who is the Free File Alliance? Well, according to their members ...


26

Free File is not software by the IRS. Free File is actually a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a group of tax software companies. The software companies have all agreed to provide a free version of their tax software for low-income taxpayers. According to the Free File Alliance FAQ, the Alliance was formed in 2002 as part of a ...


16

I would advise against "pencil and paper" approach for the following reasons: You should e-file instead of paper filing. Although the IRS provides an option of "Fillable Forms", there's no additional benefit there. Software ensures correctness of the calculations. It is easy to make math errors, lookup the wrong table It is easy to forget to fill a line or ...


16

I would say that all of the reasons you list in your question are valid, and I would add the following... You are in the landscaping business, not the accounting business. If you manage everything in spreadsheets, at least one of you has to become the bookkeeper and leave the landscaping to the others. Spreadsheets are "agnostic" in how you use them, so you ...


13

I'd say you have a couple options that differ by the amount of time required. Option 1: Export your checking/credit card ledgers from your banks for the unaccounted for periods you mention then import them into GNUcash. They won't be categorized, but it's a fairly simple task to go through and categorize the main ones. Anything else can be categorized in ...


10

Interesting. When you say DIY you mean pencil and paper. For most of us the choice came down to using a professional vs using the software. Your second bullet really hits the point. The tax return is a giant spreadsheet with multiple cells depending on each other. Short of building my own spreadsheet to perform the task, I found the software, at $30-$50, ...


9

This form is due March 15. This year, the 15th is Saturday, so the deadline is Monday March 17th. Keep in mind, the software guys would have two choices, wait until every last form is finalized before releasing, or put the software out by late November when 80%+ are good to go. Nothing is broken in this process. Keep in mind that there are different ...


8

My wife and I have been ridiculously happy with YNAB. It's not "online," but syncs across our phones & computers using Dropbox. It supposedly supports different locales and currencies, but I have never needed to try that out.


8

Split transactions are indispensable to anybody interested in accurately tracking their spending. If I go to the big-box pharmacy down the road to pick up a prescription and then also grab a loaf of bread and a jug of milk while there, then I'd want to enter the transaction into my software as: one single transaction for the total amount, but some part of ...


8

The state income/sales tax deduction is an itemized deduction, located on Schedule A. If this taxpayer didn't have enough deductions, the software would have chosen the standard deduction instead. If this is the case, then it wouldn't matter if they change the amount of the sales tax paid, because with the standard deduction, it would have no effect. Take ...


7

Maybe learn a bit more before plunging in with your own money, buy some good books on the subject and on technical analysis. Open up a virtual account and test your strategies first, develop a trading plan and include risk management in it, think about what the worst case scenario will be on each trade. Learn about position sizing and where to place your ...


7

The key to understanding where your money is going is to budget. Rather than tracking your spending after the fact, budgeting lets you decide up front what you want to spend your money on. This can be done with cash envelopes, on paper, or on Excel spreadsheets; however, in my opinion, the best, most flexible, and easiest way to do this is with budgeting ...


7

Regardless of the source of the software (though certainly good to know), there are practical limits to the IRS 1040EZ form. This simplified tax form is not appropriate for use once you reach a certain level of income because it only allows for the "standard" deduction - no itemization. The first year I passed that level, I was panicked because I thought ...


7

As a workaround I made a shortcut key for deleting transactions. With GnuCash closed, I modified the accelerator-map file. In GnuCash 2.6 and older: C:\Users\username\.gnu-cash\accelerator-map In GnuCash 3.0 and newer: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\GnuCash\accelerator-map Ubuntu: /home/username/.local/share/gnucash/accelerator-map I changed the ...


7

Free File Fillable Forms is the official way to submit your tax form for free electronically to the IRS. If you already have a PDF of your 1040 filled out, you can use Free File Fillable Forms to type this information in and submit it electronically. As to why the IRS does not simply accept PDF tax returns via e-mail, it is for security reasons. E-mail is ...


6

You'll have a certain number of shares of each fund in your pension. You purchase a certain number of shares with the "pension" portion of your paycheck. This will be different each time because the share price fluctuates. To see the changing value of your pension, you update the price(s) of your fund(s). How often you do this is up to you, though if it'...


6

I think your reasons are good. Fundamentally accounting software is built to ensure you record your accounting data effectively with minimal mistakes and good auditing. But you still need to use the tool properly to get the benefit. One other advantage is that many accountants are familiar with, say QuickBooks, and can do your accounts more effectively if ...


6

Publication 519 discusses the filing requirements for resident and Nonresident aliens. If your income is subject to U.S. tax, you will owe income tax based on the dollar value of the bitcoin when you receive it. This value may be different for each sale as the value of bitcoin in dollars fluctuates. However, if you set a price in both dollars and bitcoin, ...


5

Before you decide on moving into trading, whether you have experience or not, you need to sort out a couple of questions. How much do you really understand about the markets ? How much money you have and what would be the maximum loss you may be able to take ? What supporting Eco-system you have to help you in terms of trading i.e. hardware, software, ...


5

I found an answer by Peter Selinger, in two articles, Tutorial on multiple currency accounting (June 2005, Jan 2011) and the accompanying Multiple currency accounting in GnuCash (June 2005, Feb 2007). Selinger embraces the currency neutrality I'm after. His method uses "[a]n account that is denominated as a difference of multiple currencies... known as a ...


5

The forms get updated every year, and the software providers need to get approved by the IRS every year. "Form is not yet finalized" means that this year form hasn't been approved yet. IRS starts accepting returns on January 31st anyway, nothing to be worried about. Why are you nearing a deadline? The deadline for 1120 (corporate tax return) is 2 and 1/2 ...


5

In contracting Non-off-the-shelf software is software that has been modified or developed for you. Microsoft office is off the shelf. Paying a company to develop an add-on to MS office would not be off-the-shelf. How it is delivered isn't relevant. It could be purchased from a physical store, or delivered by the post office, or downloaded. A subscription ...


4

Here's what the GnuCash documentation, 10.5 Tracking Currency Investments (How-To) has to say about bookkeeping for currency exchanges. Essentially, treat all currency conversions in a similar way to investment transactions. In addition to asset accounts to represent holdings in Currency A and Currency B, have an foreign exchange expenses account and a ...


4

I spent 5 years with a vendor servicing the property management industry. I can give you the names of software I'd seen in my time there, and you can investigate to see if any of them can work for you. Tops Buildium Yardi VMS edit: I left Quickbooks off this list since you already said it doesn't have the features you want, but a lot of the small PMs use ...


4

$1000 is certainly not enough cash to begin to day trade with. Brokerage will eat your bankroll, even if you do manage to do well. If you can get cheap brokerage (say $5, which is lower than any I've seen) you're still wasting 1% of your bankroll every time you trade in and out. Given that on a good day you might make 2-3% on your day trades and on a bad ...


4

second column doesn't equal 1.0. Year 2014 should be 0.1152 of 314. Yes, year 4 and 5 will have same depreciation expense amounts. Tax Year % Amount of Depreciation 2010 20.00% 314 63 2011 32.00% 314 100 2012 19.20% 314 60 2013 11.52% 314 36 2014 11.52% 314 36 2015 5.76% 314 18 100.00% 314 You ...


4

It seems to me that an in app upgrade to ad free is a prewritten change to the software license and would effectively constitute an upgrade of prewritten software. Below is what seem to be the relevant link and excerpts. https://www.tax.ny.gov/pubs_and_bulls/tg_bulletins/st/computer_software.htm Sales of software upgrades Generally, the sale of a ...


4

I have also tried Mvelopes in the past, and my experiences match yours. I currently use the desktop version of YNAB:You Need a Budget (YNAB 4), and I like it much better. Where we failed after a while with Mvelopes, we are succeeding with YNAB, and have been now for the last 3.5 years. I don't want this to sound like a commercial for YNAB (I will give ...


4

It comes down to the resolution you want to have on your personal finances. A package like GNUCash allows you to easily answer questions like "Exactly how much do I spend on interest per month/year/decade." Same with pretty much any other expense, liability or asset you have whether it be taxes, utilities, your home equity or your net worth. The other ...


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