Minister's Tax Preperation

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by TomVols, Jan 10, 2002.

  1. TomVols

    TomVols
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    What software do you fellow pastors find helpful in preparing your own taxes? I used Taxcut last year but found it cumbersome at times.
     
  2. Rev. Joshua

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    I usually use Tax Cut. It's menus aren't very intuitive sometimes, but my returns look (depressingly) similar each year, so it's worked pretty well.

    Joshua
     
  3. TomVols

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    I did one return by hand and one by TaxCut. I submitted the Tax Cut return to the IRS because it showed me owing more than the one by hand (Just to be safe). The IRS corrected the return which was identical to the one done by hand. Maybe I just entered something wrong. But I'd prefer a system where you can simply go in and type everything line-by-line. Tax Cut seems to take it as a personal affront if you try to do that :D
     
  4. bb_baptist

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    For nonaccountant pastors I would recommend TurboTax as the most user-friendly tax preparation software.

    However, in many cases it makes sense to go to a tax preparer (most churches have accountants who prepare taxes on a regular basis for a small fee). Tax software can cost anywhere from $35-$75. For that much you can get a professional to prepare your taxes and won't have to worry about it.

    Tax laws for clergy members (IRS term) is quite complicated - even for accountants.

    If you have any specific tax questions, feel free to ask them in the "Money and Christians Forum" and I'll try my best to answer them.
     
  5. TomVols

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    I should've posted this earlier: I do my own taxes because I have had abysmal service from tax preparers, a couple of which were so-called ministerial tax experts. One of these experts told me that there was no tax value to having a housing allowance :eek: After losing thousands in possible tax benefits, I began to study up and do my own.
     
  6. Rev. Joshua

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    NO HOUSING ALLOWANCE BENEFITS???

    That person should be beaten with their own slide rule. That's the benefit. Everything else is gravy.

    Joshua
     
  7. TomVols

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    I know. Another "genius" told me that you cannot count business mileage as a minister. And this guy had an MBA.
     
  8. TomVols

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    Anyone else had any experience with TaxAct software or Turbo Tax?
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    I have used turbotax on line for the past couple of years. If you make less than a certain amount you can do it for free. I qualify though I am don't remember what the amount is. It has been pretty good I guess. I haven't found any errors. It is a bit hard to work at times, especially over a dial up connection but it works.
     
  10. TomVols

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    I have used turbotax on line for the past couple of years. If you make less than a certain amount you can do it for free. I qualify though I am don't remember what the amount is. It has been pretty good I guess. I haven't found any errors. It is a bit hard to work at times, especially over a dial up connection but it works.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Do you find that TurboTax is clergy friendly? That is one of my criticisms of TaxCut. Also, TaxCut takes it personally when you have to override an entry it makes on your behalf, which you have to do sometimes because it is not Clergy-friendly.
     
  11. bb_baptist

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    If I had more time, I'd volunteer to do all BB pastors' tax returns for free.

    I have been doing my pastor's taxes for a few years now and am quite familiar with tax laws for pastors.

    As mentioned before, tax laws for pastors are complicated even for accountants. Be careful if you're doing it on your own.

    If anyone has any specific questions, I may be able to help. Just post the question in the Money Forum.

    [ January 15, 2002: Message edited by: webmaster ]
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TomVols:
    Do you find that TurboTax is clergy friendly? That is one of my criticisms of TaxCut. Also, TaxCut takes it personally when you have to override an entry it makes on your behalf, which you have to do sometimes because it is not Clergy-friendly.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    At times it is not as friendly as it should be, IMO. I had a hard time with housing allowance and that kind of thing. It is difficult to maneuver sometimes. Last year, I messed up something, I couldn't fix it and then had to start over. When I started over, I got the same number but it printed out different forms for some reason. I never did figure it out. But since it was August 14 and my extension was running out, I didn't have time to mess with it. I would rather have someone who knows what they are doing do it, but since I don't have the kind of jack that it takes to get someone to do it, I do it myself. I probably pay more than perhaps I would have to. I don't know.

    BTW, how many pastors here have opted out of the Social Security?
     
  13. TomVols

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    I have not, simply because I took Pell Grant money to help me get through Bible College. To say that I'm against SS would be hypocritical, IMHO. But I'm not relying on it for retirement, I'll tell you that.
     
  14. Circuitrider

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    I opted out of SS in 1973.

    I have used TurboTax for several years, about 5 I think, ever since they bought out Parsons tax program. For the most part I have found it easy to use and seems to prompt me for clergy benefits. However, like the other program mentioned it is not always friendly to changes which are not its idea :rolleyes:

    April 15th is coming! But so is the rapture!!!!

    [ January 15, 2002: Message edited by: Circuitrider ]
     

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