February 07, 2005

Things to Do, and Why I Hate the Phone (and the Phone Company)

Now that the King is home and adjusting to the time change well, we're really starting to buckle down and prepare for our move to Hawaii in April. It's coming up unbelieveably fast (8 weeks? Can that be right?), so I've started making a list of things we need to do before we go. It's dauntingly long, and the only thing I've done so far is e-mail someone who lives in Pearl Harbor about whether we need to bring our washing machine or not. She hasn't replied yet.

We also need to do our taxes, by which I mean I need to do our taxes. They are a nightmare because I am partially self-employed, we itemize, and we're residents of different states. So it sucks. I've always done them myself (except one year when I went to the "free tax expert" at Quantico, and all I have to say about that is you get what you pay for), and this year I'm thinking about either buying Turbo Tax or going to a preparer.

So, does anyone know about how much H&R Block charges? I could just call them and ask, but I really, really hate calling businesses, so I'd rather someone out there tell me. I will do almost anything to avoid calling Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, or any of the other million companies who send us bills for things that are frequently wrong. I hate hold music, and operators who transfer you nine times, twice to themselves, and dealing with other people in general. I love those automated phone answering services that ask you to push 1, then 3, then 2342347, as long as they give you the information you want. If you want something other than one of their eleven options, you're shit outta luck, because not only will it take you three hours to get a real person on the phone, that person won't be able to help you.


twirl said...

H&R is $50-60. Not much, really.

Are you planning to live in housing? I don't know about PH housing, but at Manana (Marine Corps/Navy) you would need the W/D.

Congrats on the homecoming!

Anonymous said...

Since you have done your taxes on your own in the past, I would go the Turbo Tax route. I ventured over to H&R Block once, when I had the multiple state problem and was also partially employed. I had initially asked how much it was going to be, and I got the $50 answer. However, because of all of the various forms, it would have been over $250. Actually, I sat there while the employee plugged all of my numbers into their computer program, came up with the same numbers as I did, then told me the final bill. Luckily, I was able to refuse it all, because I was not told up front how much it was going to cost.

I am certain that you will find more people who have had good experiences with H&R Block than not, but when dealing with situations out of the norm, you might be better off on your own. Plus, H&R Block (for me at least) did nothing other than fill in numbers in their computer program. You can do that and save quite a bit on your own.

Good luck!

Nico said...

Hey! So glad the King made it home alright :-)

Taxes - I just read in the Wall Street Journal that a bunch of tax prep software tools are offering their services for free this year! Go to www.irs.gov and click on "free file". Turbotax is just one of many companies offering free filing.