After three years of doing my own taxes, you'd think I'd have this figured out by now. My biggest problem seems to be staying organized during the year. I save receipts, I keep my pay stubs, I collect statements of various accounts, I record my mileage, and I keep track of my teaching income. It's bigger things - professional development, health receipts, donations, gig money, and business expenses (phone, internet, etc.). A combination of W-2s, 1099s, and self employment between two states doesn't help.
After a full Saturday of sorting papers, crunching numbers, and cursing the software that kept "not responding" (without real curse words, of course), I completed my federal return and two state returns. Yes, I owe money to all three. I wasn't quite ready to file them, however. I like to wait until Steve does his taxes so I can correct my mistakes. "Did you answer 'yes' to question #43?" He asked. "Yes," I answer, tentatively. "You shouldn't have." He says, then explaining the rationale. By the time I get back to my taxes a few days later, I have a list of things to correct. Foolproof, right?
I am happy to report that as of this weekend, I have filed my federal return and one state. I will mail in my MA return this week.
Maybe next year I will avoid this hassle and buy myself the luxury of a real accountant!