For my entire “adult” life I have done my own taxes. I have dealt with marriages, a divorce, buying and selling homes, sole proprietorship and partnership business taxes, moving expenses, dependents, college expenses, owning rental properties, foreign earned income… I feel like I have become pretty adept at dealing with the IRS codes and figuring things out. I’m sure I have made mistakes along the way, but all I have ever paid for is the $10-$30 for tax filing software.
This year I used the services of H&R Block.
I used their portal for expats in India to upload my tax documents and pay records and to answer some pretty basic questions about our circumstances. I had a number of followup emails with the staff member that was working on my account — our situation with Jacob’s adoption is a little tricky since we do not yet have a Social Security Number for him.
After everything was uploaded (it was a long wait for my forms from my mortgage) I pretty much just had to wait, answer some questions, and then print, sign and send back to H&R Block the second page of my return.
Was it easier than doing my taxes on my own? Definitely.
I can make it a little easier on myself in the future by naming our payslips better and storing them in the same place… since they are emailed to us I had to search through plenty of old mail and then download the slips only to then upload them all individually. Next time I will store them all in a spot and then combine them to make one payslip file for me and one for my wife. I’ll also keep better track of any expenses for the rentals we have because trying to find them amid our credit card statements is tough. I might use a feature in Mint to label them all.
I would definitely recommend H&R Block for expat tax services.