Wednesday, April 04, 2007

TurboTax Fun

So I figured out the TurboTax depreciation dilemma after some very diligent Google-searching. I happened to come across a page mentioning how to access and edit forms that are not in the TurboTax interview. I thought everything would be taken care of in the interview.

So, if you ever need to look at a tax form directly, you can access from the menu, Forms -> "Show My Return" (or "Open a Form"). Right-clicking on a field gives a menu that includes an "About" description, and "Data Source" that tells you where it's calculated from.

To enter an asset for a rental property that is not the land nor the building, and which falls under some other mysterious depreciation schedule, you need to open the "Asset Entry Worksheet" for Schedule E, and fill one out for each asset. (Or some other schedule if it's something other than a rental property.)

To see mysterious depreciation schedules for different categories of assets, such as "7-year property half year convention", check out Appendix A of this handy IRS document, IRS Publication 946, How to Depreciate Property. And this document will also help explain mysterious acronyms such as MACRS (modified accelerated cost recovery system).

So yay, my brain now still works enough to do taxes. If I can no longer figure out how to debug application servers, maybe I can do mindless tax preparation for a living. Although I recall a former coworker mentioning that his brother made only around $4000 working for H&R Block one year.