Tax Software, which one?

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I used TurboTax for the last 10 years. Use the "Premier" version as I had a rental property I owned.

Things I like:
Deduction Wizard / Its deductable for charitable contributions - Makes it super easy to figure out how much the mountains of stuff we give to good will every year are worth.
I like how it adjusts your return number at the top after every change. Makes it easy to see how different answers impact the bottom line.
It just works, import works great from prior year. Does the state really easy. Taxes take a few hours and you are done.


Things I don't like:
It asks you alll kinds of irrelevant questions. Once it knows you make too much money for a deducation it should mark it as red so you don't have to bother entering it in. For example if you can't qualify for student loan interest deducation, it shouldn't ask you about that.
The rental property sections work, but for owner occupy you need to be VERY CAREFUL not to double count some of the deductions. I made some pretty bad mistakes using this and had to have a pro help me correct it.
It can be hard to go back to old returns. I always forget to save a copy and prior to about 2006 I didn't print and save a pdf. So I have to find an old CD, install it and then use that to open the .tax file. Every version should load and print any prior version. Just lazy programming.
The AMT section is pretty much useless. I have to do additional research every year and it makes you enter stuff directly into the forms. I have no idea if this is right, but its not worth paying a pro to look at it. (The sections I don't get have to do with Foriegn Tax credits, But its never very much $$)
State returns are much weaker than the Federal (not surprising). In the past i have had to have separate spreadsheets to do some of the calculations for them (such as number of days worked for % of income allocation to different states).


I personally love doing my own taxes. I find it kinda like playing a video game.
My boss is almost 60 and she has always done her own taxes, she fills the forms directly, no software (and she makes a 7 figure salary). Its a mojor point of pride for her.

With Block, you can go line by line and see what decisions they made as they make them, with TurboTax, There's was not(when I switched) an easy way to line by line through the forms as they were being filled out.

Like many others, I do my own(paper/Spreadsheet method) prior to running through the software.

ablang said:   Does TaxAct online allow you to do free federal & state returns?

Federal is free to prepare and file but with limitations:

"You qualify for free tax preparation, printing, & e-filing if your adjusted gross income is $51,000 or less and you are age 18 through 57 years old. Offer valid in all states. Extensions e-filed free."

https://www.taxactonline.com/s_online_tax2012/index.asp?sc=12050...

"TaxAct Online offers one of the lowest priced State returns. Only $14.95 with free e-file!" So basically $15 to prepare the return then its free to file it.

kinggofg said:   Things I don't like:
It asks you alll kinds of irrelevant questions. Once it knows you make too much money for a deducation it should mark it as red so you don't have to bother entering it in. For example if you can't qualify for student loan interest deducation, it shouldn't ask you about that.
With student loan interest deduction, TurboTax tells you that you are over the limit for deducting student loan interest but, if you want, you can still enter it because states have different income cutoffs.

The AMT section is pretty much useless.I agree. It asks you to enter adjustments to the AMT without providing any context for the questions.

nagemnna2 said:   ablang said:   Does TaxAct online allow you to do free federal & state returns?

Federal is free to prepare and file but with limitations:

"You qualify for free tax preparation, printing, & e-filing if your adjusted gross income is $51,000 or less and you are age 18 through 57 years old. Offer valid in all states. Extensions e-filed free."

https://www.taxactonline.com/s_online_tax2012/index.asp?sc=12050...

"TaxAct Online offers one of the lowest priced State returns. Only $14.95 with free e-file!" So basically $15 to prepare the return then its free to file it.


What are you talking about adjusted gross income... for federal return??

http://www.taxact.com/taxes-online/free-online-tax.asp?s=OLSTD
Their own website side it is It's true! FREE to prepare, FREE to print, FREE to e-file - no income or age restrictions. FREE for Everyone - No restrictions or gimmicks

And you can download their application to do the tax also for FREE and include free Federal e-file
http://www.taxact.com/taxes-online/free-online-tax.asp?s=STD

I remember when TaxAct was ShareTax. Lol. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-11967411.html

I've always used TurboTax. This year I need to file form 8594 and was surprised to find TT doesn't include this form in any level of their software. TaxAct does, and it costs less. I'm switching.

I use TurboTax Deluxe. The download version includes 5 returns with eFiles. Also included are State returns preparation (1 state), but only one eFile of state return, AFAIK.
I also run the numbers through free TaxAct to verify the result of Federal return. Numbers should match if everything is done correctly.

I have been filing with TaxAct for over 4 yrs now (once my returns $ matches with TurboTax), as TaxAct been little cheaper than TurboTax. I thought that TaxAct addresses any IRS audit support for free for customers. Unlike other years, this year I got the below message:

Tax Audit Defense takes the audit worry out of taxes

There's always a slight chance the IRS may question or even fully audit your tax return - even if you've done nothing wrong. Let Tax Audit Defense handle everything for you.

•Submit your tax return and relax -- you're covered
•Save thousands on representation fees if you happen to be audited
•Audit experts correspond and negotiate on your behalf - no hassles for you!

Don't leave it to chance: Tax Audit Defense is only $39.95 & covers you for as long as your return can be audited. A small investment for peace of mind.

"No Thanks" or "Get Protected w/ Audit Defense" button (Risk free - Cancel within 30 days for a full refund)


Can some one confirm how the audit support fee in TaxAct / TurboTax?

It is depended on what tax form your are filing filling.

cme10ae said:   I've always used TurboTax. This year I need to file form 8594 and was surprised to find TT doesn't include this form in any level of their software. TaxAct does, and it costs less. I'm switching.

Are you sure? http://turbotax.intuit.com/small-business-taxes/forms-business.jsp



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