Tax Pro vs. Turbo Tax - Where's the bigger refund? - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

Tax Pro vs. Turbo Tax - Where's the bigger refund?

By Jennifer Warnick - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - I've often wondered if I was doing taxes correctly and if an accountant could get a bigger refund. This year I went head to head, comparing my work on Turbo Tax to a professional accountant. We will be itemizing a federal return for a dual income couple, with a mortgage and two children. 

I start with Turbo Tax. I'm not the quickest on a keyboard but it's pretty simple to get through. The questions are clear and I'm able to answer everything it asks. The Turbo Tax Deluxe Edition costs $49.95 to file both federal and state. It takes a while to get through, but I'm able to complete it. 

So I take my paperwork to Hopewell Accountant Doreen Creel-Wood. She's been crunching numbers professionally for 18 years. She can prepare your federal and state returns for $65. Her fingers move much quicker than mine and before I know it, she's done. 

"The average person's returns are not complicated," said Doreen. 

But she's found a flaw in my work and it's one of the more common mistakes. 

"That's a more mild mistake than others," she said. 

I've deducted medical premiums that come out pretax, a "no-no" in the eyes of the IRS. So I go back to Turbo Tax to fix the error. Turbo Tax made no mention of the specific details I needed to know. 

"If you don't know what you're doing Turbo Tax can get you in a lot of trouble," Doreen said. 

So here's how it breaks down, the Turbo Tax refund is $3,792, the accountant's total is $3762. Turbo Tax costs about $52 with tax, the accountant was $65, both will cover state and federal returns. Turbo Tax is going to save $43, but it you have to consider what your time is worth. It took me 3 and half hours to finish, it took Doreen 30 minutes. 

Plus, an accountant can give advice on savings for next year's taxes. Not to mention, she caught a mistake that could have resulted in an audit. 

"You cannot put a price on peace of mind," Doreen said.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

  • More Bang for Your BuckMore Bang for Your BuckMore>>

  • Post-holiday deals: What's on sale in January

    Post-holiday deals: What's on sale in January

    Friday, January 5 2018 4:36 PM EST2018-01-05 21:36:28 GMT
    Source: NBC12Source: NBC12

    The holidays are behind us, but the sales are not. These products will have the biggest price drop during the month of January.

    More >>

    The holidays are behind us, but the sales are not. These products will have the biggest price drop during the month of January.

    More >>
  • Are you a 'yo-yo debtor'?

    Are you a 'yo-yo debtor'?

    Friday, December 1 2017 2:30 PM EST2017-12-01 19:30:39 GMT
    Source: NBC12Source: NBC12

    You’ve heard of yo-yo dieters, people who lose weight just to gain it back, then start the dieting cycle again. Experts now warn the same type of up and down cycles are happening with too many people’s credit cards.

    More >>

    You’ve heard of yo-yo dieters, people who lose weight just to gain it back, then start the dieting cycle again. Experts now warn the same type of up and down cycles are happening with too many people’s credit cards.

    More >>
  • Deal Diva: How to master online discounts

    Deal Diva: How to master online discounts

    Wednesday, November 29 2017 11:26 AM EST2017-11-29 16:26:12 GMT
    Learn how to master online shopping discounts.Learn how to master online shopping discounts.

    Just because Black Friday has come and gone, doesn't mean the online deals are over just yet.  You really don't have settle for full price when shopping online, there are a few tricks and hacks to help you save online, not just during the holidays, but year-round.  

    More >>

    Just because Black Friday has come and gone, doesn't mean the online deals are over just yet.  You really don't have settle for full price when shopping online, there are a few tricks and hacks to help you save online, not just during the holidays, but year-round.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly