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This year I'm looking into filing our taxes online, rather than
forking over almost $200 to an accountant. Can anyone
recommend a program/place that they've been consistently happy
with? What's the average cost? The info in the archives is a
I use average1040.com. It's quick, easy and costs around $5 or
I just finished mine with Turbo Tax (http://turbotax.intuit.com)
It was fantastically easy, but we didn't have a lot of fancy
deductions. With e-file and direct deposit it was $85 in the end.
Has anyone used TaxAct (downloaded or online) to file his/her
taxes this year or in past years ?
I received an unsolicited e-mail offering the free downloadable
software (you print and mail your return for free) or the e-file
option for $7.95 (for each of the federal and state returns).
their web site is http://www.taxact.com/. is the offer
legitimate ? is the software as good as Quicken or other
commercial tax-return software ?
thank you !
This is the 3rd year in a row I've used Taxact. And what's neat
about it is that they save your information every year. So,
when you file again, the information is already there. I think
they're pretty legit.
I've used both the software and the efile versions of Tax Act.
The offer is legitimate (most people have no need for
the ''deluxe'' upgrade they'll try to sell you) and the program
works fine. Don't know what you mean by ''as good'' as the
others. They all require some effort to enter your information
from W-2's etc. and I doubt any of them have any ''tricks'' to
save you money. I have a vague memory that Consumer Reports did
a review of such programs last year or maybe it was in the
Chronicle business/technology section. You could check the
library for the former and the SF Gate archives for the latter.
I have used taxact for the past 2 years. I have been very
pleased with it. It is easy to use, and I cannot understand why
anyone would pay an accountant to do their taxes. I have paid
about $25, but I usually choose the ''deluxe'' packages
Several people recommended TurboTax on the website, but I hear
their 2002 edition has some egregious problems: six icons that
attach themselves to one's desktop, can't reinstall it without a
lot of difficulty if one's computer crashes. So what about HR
Block's TaxCut? I know it's pretty cheap, and there are some
favorable reviews on software websites. Any TaxCut fans out
Last year I switched from Turbo Tax to Tax Cut after reading
several favorable reviews. I was very happy with the program,
though I seem to remember that it also downloaded additional
programs, but I was able to remove them.
I felt that the program was easy to use, and I didn't have the
software compatability issues that Turbo Tax developed.
I decided to try filing taxes electronically this year. Has
anyone used TurboTax? Looking for any feedback on this process &
different software options. Thanks!
Yes, e-filing is definitely the way to go. I've used Intuit's
web-based turbotax for the last few years. I prefer it to the
versions you have to install on your PC/mac because the data
survives hardware upgrades/failures. If you have values that
carry over from year to year, they get automatically pulled in
from last year. Of course you get soft copies of the returns
(pdf files) that you can print.
Also, web turbotax is (or was) cheaper than the conventional
I've not had great results with the integration with financial
institutions. These are supposed to allow you to import your
taxable data (interest, dividends) into the tax software, but
this usually involves an extra set of passwords (different from
those you might actually use at the institution's own web site),
and so I just enter the data by hand.
The last couple of years I filed using Turbo Tax through
Fidelity. If you have a Fidelity account, a special price was
offered for turbo tzx. The info. is stored electronically on a
server somewhere, and one selects a password for accessing.
Recently a technology-savy friend of mine told me he would never
e-file and thinks it is foolish. Maybe someone in the network
can speak to the risks?
I love Turbo Tax. I use it for my personal business and home
taxes. I've been using it for the past couple of years and I
find it easy to use and very informative. I have learned more
from doing my own taxes about how to save money than from any
accountant I've used. And the price can't be beat. In fact,
I've just returned home from purchasing the 2002 edition. The
only problem I've had is that I just tried to refinance and I'm
doing a stated income loan. Because I'm self-employed they
needed an accountant to verify my self-employment for the past
two years. So this has been somewhat of a pain -- somehow the
bank doesn't accept that I do my own taxes.
Last year I did e-filing, also an amazing process. I had no
problems and it was almost too easy. I couldn't believe I was
doing something that involved the United States government. It
costs additional money to file electronically, but saved the
hassle of printing and going to the post office. I've also
heard you have less of a chance of being audited. But that is
hearsay. Be sure you have a good connection -- dsl or cable
modem -- if you want to file electronically. And install a
firewall on your computer that is current. I don't think I
would do it if I had a dial up connection. Also, be sure to
continually download the tax updates, because they keep updating
turbo tax fan
I've used Turbo Tax since 1998 and have been very happy with the
program. I ''E-filed'' my taxes last year and I swear to God my
State tax return arrived in my mailbox three days later.
It only takes me about an hour to do my taxes with this program.
Granted, my returns are very simple. But I imagine the level
of ''Hand-holding'' and easy to find information provided by this
software continues on through very complex returns. Check it out!
I have used turbotax for years, and have e-filed for about the
last 3 years. I have been really happy with it. My husband
runs two businesses, each with a different corporate structure,
and I have worked in various ways- employee, independent
contractor, and combination of the two. The program talks me
right through how to handle the situations. It also gives me
information on how to arrange things to reduce taxes as much as
possible. I used to use a CPA, and never used to get as
specific advice as I get from turbotax.
From: Linda (2/99)
Re tax programs: TurboTax or MacIntax (same thing for PC/Mac) is great,
fast, easy. Allows you to skip over stuff that doesn't apply to you. You
can go thru it in two ways - one, using the regular tax forms or, two, the
preferred method, letting it ask you questions. It then incorporates your
answers wherever they go. No more chasing around from Line This on Form
That! It also prompts you to think of deductions, etc., you might
otherwise miss and points out inconsistency. Tells you in a summary what
items on your return might trigger an audit. I'm sold on this product, and
the nice thing is that they really improve it from year to year. You can
check last-minute changes/get addl forms online. It also transfers all data
to your state return and prepares it for you, but you have to pay extra for
the state program, and you might easily just do this by hand. I'd use this
program for the simplest or the most complex returns. ALMOST makes doing
your tax a game. My one caveat: don't wait til the last minute. The
printing part can take a long time. Last year my admittedly complicated
return took 24 hours to print!
From: Linda (2/99)
I've used turbo-tax for years. Although I also use Quicken I don't
link the two together. We own a house and are in a couple of
partnerships. We lost the house in the Oakland fire and had some tax
consequences with that. My husband had his own business for a while
and that made things even more complicated. The accountant would give
us the business things to put into our personal return; I would then
generate it and he would double check it. He never found a problem
with what I had done.
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