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Taxes: CPA or file yourself?

Posted

Specializes in Med-Surg, L&D.

Do you guys think it's best to have a CPA file your taxes or do you guys do them on your own? I have always used the free edition of TurboTax but 2014 was my first year travelling.

A random CPA is a bad idea. Use a travel tax specialist. TravelTax and Kobaly are two I know off the top of my head, but I think the useful links on PanTravels lists a couple more. They are both familiar with multistate taxation as well. You might want to let them do your taxes for one year and then Turbotax will be fine. Atl least visit TravelTax to learn about deductions. PanTravelers has some excellent tax articles as well.

If you use hr block or turbo tax make sure you use the deluxe version. The free version leaves out a lot of what you need/can include and deduct. I used turbo tax deluxe version and it did everything I needed. This travel nursing stuff isn't as hard to figure out as it initially seems.

revkev007

Specializes in Med/Surg, ER, Tele, Ortho, Travel Nurse. Has 5 years experience.

Find a good CPA. I got way more back than when I did it using TurboTax.

jen80rn

Specializes in ER/Trauma, ICU. Has 13 years experience.

As a relatively new traveler I am attempting to do this using turbo tax deluxe, which I have used in past years. When I enter the info from my w2 it appears to be taxing me on my total income, not my taxable hourly. Any suggestions as to how to avoid this? I read that you should only input your hourly and not the total on the w2 but im not sure that is right. Any help is appreciated, as I live in a rural area and really dont have time to wait on the online process with a travel nurse tax specialist.

You have three and a half months to do your taxes. How much time do you need? What does rural have to do with it?

I'm clueless about entering your hourly pay, that is not a W-2 item. You enter your box 1 wages when TurboTax asks for it. If you believe your agency had wrongly included tax-free stipends in that box, you will have to take that up with your agency. Do the amounts agree with your pay stubs?

jen80rn

Specializes in ER/Trauma, ICU. Has 13 years experience.

rural has a bearing because there are no tax prepares in the area with experience with travel nursing. and I need to file quickly because with 6 children and being in the process of purchasing a house I desperately need the money. my wages for 13 weeks are almost 15000 so it does include stipends.

To me, $15,000 for three months sounds like it could be right for taxable pay. That is about $30 an hour total if you did not work any overtime which would be extraordinarily low (like unheard of) for total pay including per diems and housing. Travelers almost invariably make more than $40 an hour including all compensation.

Look on your last paystub. Do the categorized numbers match your W-2? If they don't, you definitely need to talk to your agency. Only they can correct your W-2.

jen80rn

Specializes in ER/Trauma, ICU. Has 13 years experience.

To me, $15,000 for three months sounds like it could be right for taxable pay. That is about $30 an hour total if you did not work any overtime which would be extraordinarily low (like unheard of) for total pay including per diems and housing. Travelers almost invariably make more than $40 an hour including all compensation.

Look on your last paystub. Do the categorized numbers match your W-2? If they don't, you definitely need to talk to your agency. Only they can correct your W-2.

You are exactly right. I just thought to much into it hearing all these nightmare tax stories. My taxable rate now is much much lower than it was an that contract and it threw me off. Thanks!

Argo

Specializes in Peri-Op. Has 10 years experience.

I use a CPA and have for about 9 years. He has done my business taxes in the past and does quite a few travel/contract workers of various professions, nursing included. I am happy to pay and not have to deal with the BS.

If you don't know what you're doing hire somebody. There are CPAs you can use online, like the travel tax guy. You just send him your stuff and he'll make sense of it. Otherwise your begging for an audit. I've personally never used the travel tax guy because he never answered my off season emails, but I have my own CPA back home and we correspond via fax and email. You don't have to be limited to local tax people.