I’ve pretty much always done my own taxes. They started out very straightforward – just income. Then I had income and student loan interest. Still not hard. Then I got married, now it’s two incomes. Then we bought a house – mortgage interest, property taxes, charitable contributions – wait, I can feel good about donating to my favorite causes and pay less taxes?
And we kept adding things to our lives that made our taxes more and more complicated every year. Kid, job expenses, rental property, another kid, a blog that turned into a business, 401(k), Roth IRA, college savings, got rid of the rental property, and all the way through I did our taxes. True, two of those years I hired a CPA to do our taxes, but I reviewed and found they totally missed huge things. Zero expenses for the blog? Really? You missed that huge stack of receipts I gave you? Oh, the office clerk missed those? Wait…why am I paying for a CPA if the office clerk is doing my taxes? And then I had to find the specific IRS code that saved us thousands of dollars. I found it and told him. And I still paid hundreds for the tax preparation.
That’s when I realized I was good at this stuff. I had a knack for it. And I enjoyed it. It’s like a puzzle with an unknown number of pieces, lots of ways to put it together, and my goal is to find the smallest end result. Now it’s time to share my knowledge and help other families find their way through the tax puzzle. Life is complicated, your taxes don’t need to be.