Many people have literally fell back in horror when they find out that I do my own taxes. For the past 4 years my former neighbor and close friend from Hunter and I have had a tradition of either going to each other’s houses and doing our taxes together on our laptops and once I moved across the Pacific via phone.

The truth is unless you have alot of investments, properties and all that jazz ,doing your taxes is not complicated.

Gone are the days of running to Jackson Hewitt or HR Block and paying $300 or more to have some person who simply took a course complete my taxes for me (no pun intended). Many times the tax preparer would move so fast we barely had any chance to totally review what was being input into the system except for our name and social security numbers. We then were stupid enough to get sucked into rapid refunds paying even more money just so we could get less money back faster.

Then a few years ago I saw that I could log on through Military One Source and use the free HR Block Software for the military at no cost. I logged on and literally within minutes I began my tax prep by myself for the first time while my my husband was deployed. I believe people think doing taxes is like what you see on tv, subtracting lines from lines and adding totals from another line and so on. In actuality the software is what I call “Stupid Proof”. You log on create an account and start off by entering names and dependents social security numbers. From there you enter the information exactly as is from your W-2 and the guide leads you. If you don’t understand something, there is a guide button for everything literally. Even the section for entering combat pay was easy. As you are going along you can see the money you either owe or are receiving back at the top, which makes it more entertaining to do it yourself. Furthermore it feels good to know that if I am getting a refund back that it’s all coming to me and I won’t be paying anyone to do it. The only part of my taxes I did pay $29.00 for was the state portion .

I realized doing it myself that it didn’t take any longer to get our money back , within a week we always had our refund back via direct deposit. Once the tax season begins a schedule will be released of what dates to expect your refund back , based on the dates you filed.

The software also saves your information from the year prior so that you don’t have to enter the next year. You receive ample  opportunities to review your tax return before submitting it and you also may save it should you need to come back to it.

To utilize the HR Block free software you must go through Military One Source …You can sign up and get all the details at:

Turbo Tax is another good free one for military, but I haven’t used them so I can’t share my opinions on it as of yet.

This years W-2 for active duty army comes out on January 24, 2011. For those new to this you can find the W-2 via your spouse’s Mypay account.

All other branches can view the W-2 release schedule at :



Powered by Facebook Comments

10 Comments on Gasp! Yes I Do My Own Taxes

  1. I have been using TurboTax for the last few years. It’s all online. It’s free to use, you just pay a filing fee. I don’t know if there is another avenue to go through for military to get some of that free though. Last year was the first year we filed together. Turbo Tax has been pretty good so far. It got a little weird when I had to change some information that it used for past returns, but in general it’s really simple.

  2. Thanks for the info! This is our first year filing taxes with military pay. Will the W2 just show up on hubby’s MyPay or do they send a hard copy?

  3. We file our own as well. I can’t imagine paying someone. I’ve heard the H&R Block types aren’t even all that knowledgeable so when it comes to harder tax filing it’s not even a good idea to go there.

  4. Melissa, you can download your hubby’s W-2s on the MyPay website where he downloads his LESs. I’ve been doing our taxes thru the One Source’s link too…even with three rental properties, as long as you have all your papers in order (that’s the key), anyone can follow the menus. A few times sentences popped up that I didn’t understand, so I just googled those.

    Recommend filing in the middle of tax season….better chance of not being audited…higher percentage of being audited if you do it early or if you do it right before the deadline:-)

    Groan, thanks for the reminder Crystal….still hate doing them!

  5. I wouldn’t even know where to begin in how to fill out my own taxes. Hubbies yeah that is simple. “Insert amount from w-2 box a” such and such. But this year I became an independent Passion Parties Consultant and because I am not an actual employee of the company and don’t recieve a w-2. I have know idea how to fill out my earning and expenses and my deductions for mileage. It’s all jibberish. Maybe I should take a class or something. Oh well.

    • I recently became a Passion Party Consultant too. I am wondering how to handle my taxes for next year as well. Did you figure it out?


    We’ve been filing our taxes using Turbo Tax for the past 3 years. It’s really simple to use. We also file our state taxes for free using Wisconsin e-file. I just can’t see paying someone 100’s of dollars to do our simple taxes (just hubbys W2, and some school info for me!).

    I have to say that I stumbled on this website a few months back and have really enjoyed it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.