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My first employed tax return.

My first employed tax return.

Old Feb 5th 2018, 2:54 pm
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Default My first employed tax return.

I filed a 1040EZ last yr for 2016 just so I had a record of filing one. H&R Block looked at it and said as I hadn't worked in the US that yr, and had earned below the threshold in the UK (I was only there for the first few months of 2016) that it was adequate.

Fast forward to 2018. I have been working since May 2017 which involved relocating to a new state and my employer took out taxes for a full year, so I believe I will be due a nice sum back.

Anyway, having never filed anything more than the simple 1040EZ showing little or no income before, I'm confused over the best process. My wife just wants me to hand the process over to H&R Block which I can understand, but at the same time I've been told using their online software or Turbotax is very simple and if I can do it myself it has 2 benefits of my understanding the process and also paying less to do that than H&R Block to do it. The plus side of getting them to do it, is it's stress free for me.

So given I have no complications with UK investments etc and simply will be owed tax back from over paying in 2017, along with adding HSA details & relocation expenses, what do expats recommend I do?

Is one online filer preferable to another?

Is it hard to file online?


Thank you.
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Old Feb 5th 2018, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: My first employed tax return.

Originally Posted by Harveyspecter View Post
I filed a 1040EZ last yr for 2016 just so I had a record of filing one. H&R Block looked at it and said as I hadn't worked in the US that yr, and had earned below the threshold in the UK (I was only there for the first few months of 2016) that it was adequate.

Fast forward to 2018. I have been working since May 2017 which involved relocating to a new state and my employer took out taxes for a full year, so I believe I will be due a nice sum back.

Anyway, having never filed anything more than the simple 1040EZ showing little or no income before, I'm confused over the best process. My wife just wants me to hand the process over to H&R Block which I can understand, but at the same time I've been told using their online software or Turbotax is very simple and if I can do it myself it has 2 benefits of my understanding the process and also paying less to do that than H&R Block to do it. The plus side of getting them to do it, is it's stress free for me.

So given I have no complications with UK investments etc and simply will be owed tax back from over paying in 2017, along with adding HSA details & relocation expenses, what do expats recommend I do?

Is one online filer preferable to another?

Is it hard to file online?


Thank you.
Both TurboTax and H&R Block downloadable software are easy to use. They take you through a question and answer approach.

Another option is to get an H&R Block office to do it this first time then you will have a guide to follow for doing it yourself next year. It really depends on your comfort level.
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Old Feb 5th 2018, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: My first employed tax return.

I did mine and my wife's using H&R Block online as you can E-File.

My first ever time doing it and it was really, really easy. Much like immigration forms, if you can read then you'll be hard pressed to do it wrong. Ours consisted of both our W2's and a 1098-E and a 1098-T for my wife's college stuff.

Give it a go, if you're comfortable reading and typing in numbers then it really is very simple.

Best of luck
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Old Feb 5th 2018, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: My first employed tax return.

I've used TurboTax since 2003. It walks you through everything step-by-step.

Works well for me.

Just finished my return and I owe $33. I consider that a result
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Old Feb 5th 2018, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: My first employed tax return.

Thank you guys.

Ben, yes I'm an engineer so feel confident with all that. I'll give it a go tonight. I'll probably go with H&R block as although TT has support, with the former I can physically go to an office and speak to someone in person.
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Old Feb 5th 2018, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: My first employed tax return.

Originally Posted by Harveyspecter View Post
Thank you guys.

Ben, yes I'm an engineer so feel confident with all that. I'll give it a go tonight. I'll probably go with H&R block as although TT has support, with the former I can physically go to an office and speak to someone in person.
The local H&R Block office will know nothing about their on-line software. If you hit a snag you will need to use their on-line chat or telephone call, just like TT.
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Old Feb 5th 2018, 3:18 pm
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Default Re: My first employed tax return.

Ok, good to know. Well from what I've read online H&R seems cheaper than TT, so I guess it;s really down to personal preference?
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Old Feb 5th 2018, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: My first employed tax return.

I'm not sure if TurboTax is the same but in H&R Block with each step it updates your refund (or amount you owe). After filling in my wife's college stuff our refund jumped up from $480 to just over $2000 which was pretty nice to see. I'm sure if TurboTax does the same thing but I'm sure someone can clarify!
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Old Feb 5th 2018, 3:31 pm
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Default Re: My first employed tax return.

Originally Posted by BenK91 View Post
I'm not sure if TurboTax is the same but in H&R Block with each step it updates your refund (or amount you owe). After filling in my wife's college stuff our refund jumped up from $480 to just over $2000 which was pretty nice to see. I'm sure if TurboTax does the same thing but I'm sure someone can clarify!
Yes, it does. I start off very quickly with a large amount owed as I'm self employed and don't feel like giving the government a free loan. Then I do my damndest to get those numbers down as low as possible

Not used H&R Block but TurboTax is great.
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Old Feb 5th 2018, 4:02 pm
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Default Re: My first employed tax return.

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Yes, it does. I start off very quickly with a large amount owed as I'm self employed and don't feel like giving the government a free loan. Then I do my damndest to get those numbers down as low as possible

Not used H&R Block but TurboTax is great.
Mine was the opposite. After entering most of the info, I was due over $3,000 refund. When I entered my wife's W-2, it changed to $33 owed.
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Old Feb 6th 2018, 6:16 am
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Default Re: My first employed tax return.

Agreed for TurboTax, worked great for us, and it was nice entering my college information and seeing the refund go up!
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Old Feb 6th 2018, 2:11 pm
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Default Re: My first employed tax return.

Wife and i filed ours last night using TurboTax.

Went down the free filing route, and they're sneaky - get right to the end and about to file and it says 'Oh, you need to upgrade to this version because your combined income is over $100k' which apparently cannot be done on the 1040A/EZ forms. No mention of that at all before you start, so they wait until you've done every last bit and then tell you.

So i had to pay $40 to continue :/ either way, we're due a $3.5k refund this year so i can't complain.
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Old Feb 6th 2018, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: My first employed tax return.

Apparently CreditKarma's free offering was pretty damn good according to a colleague. I'm still happy with H&R Block, but may be worth a look to others who haven't filed yet!
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Old Feb 6th 2018, 3:57 pm
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Default Re: My first employed tax return.

I've just been through my return on TurboTax and it was remarkably easy, they put everything in language that someone with no experience of the US tax system can understand.

Contrast this with a Deloitte portal that my employer laid on for me as part of my relocation package which was so complicated that I gave up trying to use it and I'm really tempted to just pay the $40 to TurboTax to just get it filed and my return processed.
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Old Feb 6th 2018, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: My first employed tax return.

Originally Posted by jammiie View Post
Contrast this with a Deloitte portal that my employer laid on for me as part of my relocation package which was so complicated that I gave up trying to use it and I'm really tempted to just pay the $40 to TurboTax to just get it filed and my return processed.
Funny you should say that as I was speaking to my cousin on Friday who is in the US on a work visa and his company assigned him Deloitte too as part of his relocation package, and he said they're absolutely useless!
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