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Best Tax Program to use?

Old 02-16-09, 10:07 AM
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Best Tax Program to use?

I think I'm gonna try to do my own taxes this year since I didn't have to itemize last year(my write-offs were less than my automatic deductions). The two I always see are Turbotax and Taxcut. Do these programs work? Do they cover the latest deductions available to us?
The guy I used last year seemed to do a good job(he is in the same profession) and has done them for years. He told me I was better off going without my write-offs. I figure if I don't use the long form than I could do them myself. I just wondering if these programs work,if so which one to use?
Old 02-16-09, 03:16 PM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

If you're not itemizing this year, then the 1040EZ and 1040A forms are your huckleberries, and there's hardly any reason at all to buy tax software to help you with those. They're pretty straightforward.

Just look at the items you *would* be itemizing (home mortgage interest and state and local income taxes paid are the two biggest), add them up, and compare them against the standard deduction for your status (Single, Married-Single, Married-Joint, Head of Household). If you're close, I'd go ahead and pull down a copy of 1040 Schedule A and fill it out. It will tell you whether you're gonna be itemizing this year or not. If the standard deduction is bigger than your itemized deductions, you'll be an -EZ or -A filer, and could probably knock your taxes out for free in an evening.

If you're certain you want software help, go to www.taxact.com.... their software is free.
Old 02-16-09, 04:32 PM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

I believe TaxACT's state return is not free.

I've used TaxCut for years. It has some printing glitches on occasion, and it can be hard to find a form you've already completed, but it hasn't made any mistakes. (Any errors are usually mine.) I bought it again this year. I've never used TurboTax to compare.

It seems to me the 'short form' is now longer than the 'long form.' I understand the standard 1040 'long form,' and my familiarity helps me complete the task.
Old 02-16-09, 06:36 PM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

both taxcut and turbo tax have free online internet versions for FEDERAL e-file, assuming you meet certain criteria. state, you have less options for free e-file, but it's still there.

IRS e-file info:
http://www.irs.gov/efile/

Arizona e-file info:
http://www.azdor.gov/Eservice/individual.asp
Old 02-16-09, 07:00 PM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

TurboTax and Taxcut both work very well and ask you extensive questions as you go. I really like them when doing my own taxes. I prefer TurboTax simply because you can export entries from Quicken. This is important to me because I use Quicken Home and Business to track business deductions, etc, throughout the year and it speeds things up.

That said, you still need to look over your returns with a keen eye. Software is no replacement for smarts, and it won't catch everything. But the easier your situation is, the better the tax software will work for you.
Old 02-16-09, 10:01 PM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html

quite a few free links for those that made an AGI of $56,000 or less.
Old 02-17-09, 08:03 AM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

I use TurboTax every year and find it to be an excellent program. You could do it all yourself, but I like the convenience of the program doing the math for me and printing out all the forms, especially when it comes to filling out the Schedule C, etc. I've never had any problems with the program.
Old 02-17-09, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Manos View Post
I believe TaxACT's state return is not free.
The only money you pay with TaxACT is to e-file your state return ($13.95). The program itself and federal e-file are all free.
Old 02-17-09, 09:36 AM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

I buy Turbo Tax at Costco, they had a coupon
Old 02-17-09, 11:42 AM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

Originally Posted by Chew View Post
The only money you pay with TaxACT is to e-file your state return ($13.95). The program itself and federal e-file are all free.
I double-checked. State is NOT free -- it costs $13.95. If you don't have any complex tax issues, the federal program is reliable and easy to use.
Old 02-17-09, 12:05 PM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

Since this thread is in Hot Deals, anyone want to share any deals on TurboTax?
Old 02-17-09, 08:56 PM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

Originally Posted by Michael Corvin View Post
Since this thread is in Hot Deals, anyone want to share any deals on TurboTax?
Best price I've found on TurboTax Premiere + State+ E-File is Amazon at $59.95 shipped. Ordered it today.
Old 02-18-09, 09:56 AM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

TurboTax Basic Online Free, Deluxe FEDERAL ONLY $19.99


http://turbotax.intuit.com/lp/ty08/o...ode=4537700000
Old 02-18-09, 08:02 PM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

I always use freetaxusa.com

It's worked wonders for Fed and State the last few years or so.
Old 02-18-09, 08:37 PM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

Originally Posted by nickdawgy View Post
I always use freetaxusa.com

It's worked wonders for Fed and State the last few years or so.
Just used that this year, as it looked to be the cheapest, and it was just as good as using H&R and only $9.99 for state.
Old 02-19-09, 03:49 AM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

Turbotax wanted to charge people to print documents this year (since rescinded) and that made me look elswhere. I used TaxAct online and ended up only costing $11.95 through a link I found on Fatwallet for Fed/State. I was satisfied with their software. Again, this was online. I don't feel the need to download or buy a disc.
Old 02-19-09, 08:31 AM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

Can any of these other programs import last years info from a TurboTax save file? All my info is the same only the numbers are different, which makes it pretty easy with TurboTax.
Old 02-19-09, 06:24 PM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

Guys thanks for all the great info I will have to look into these,the cheaper the better I just don't want to lose out on any $$ I'm entitled to.
Old 02-19-09, 08:46 PM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

I use Tax Cut. Best Buy had a deal for $39.99 for Federal, 1 State download, and Federal Efile (had to pay for the state e file when I did it) and you got any DVD $19.99 or under for free.
Old 02-19-09, 10:48 PM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

I steered clear of TurboTax the year they added spyware (CDilla) to their software. Yeah, they got a much-deserved public black eye for that, but companies need to know that that sort of behavior is going to *permanently* push customers away from them. I'm not the only one who refuses to use TurboTax as a result.

CDilla Linky: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...,821479,00.asp

For me, I use TaxCut.
Old 02-21-09, 12:33 AM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

2nd time TaxACT user here ... free federal all the way -- no software cost, no e-filing cost, no direct deposit cost. Fortunately I live in Illinois where you can e-file absolutely FREE on the state's Department of Revenue website. 2 years ... taxes have cost me $0.00.

Some of my co-workers and I tried an experiment last year. I used TaxACT. One used the H&R Block program (TurboTax?). One took her taxes to an H&R Block office to have them filed. Using the "professionally filed" as the control, I plugged her numbers in to TaxACT. We also used the unlocked H&R Block software to calculate her return. And, just for shits and giggles, I figured her taxes by hand (using the fed booklet). Guess what ... not one bit of difference. Every method came out with exactly the same answer (as they should!). So, my FREE return, a co-worker's $15 (e-file cost) return, one co-worker's $40 (or so) return, and a 40 cent stamp (or whatever they cost -- the only thing I mail is my rent check, and I only do that 6 times a year) all would have netted the same result.
Old 02-21-09, 06:44 AM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

Do you know if TaxAct's "free" federal filing applies to all income levels or is there a maximum limit? I know many programs offer the same thing but not if you make over a certain amount.
Old 02-22-09, 09:31 AM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

I believe TaxAct has no limitation for free federal filing. That's why I started using them a few years ago. And I also use my state's (Virginia) website to file my state returns free. It only takes me about 10-15 minutes to do the state return, I couldn't imagine any reason for paying to do it unless I had more complex issues on my return.
Old 02-24-09, 12:30 AM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

As a head's up -- with almost every step of the way, TaxAct will try to get you to purchase an upgrade. As long as you can keep saying "no" you will be free all the way.. In fact, it is kind of funny -- at the end it asked me if I wanted to upgrade to have TaxAct compare our filing status (married filing jointly vs. if we filed separately). I said no, then it asked me if I wanted to try it for free anyway! I did. Love it! But then I can say no all day long if it gets me a deal!

I imagine the other free ones are the same (you know, kind of like having a time-share salesman do your taxes for you) ... anybody have thoughts on that?
Old 03-01-09, 09:30 AM
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Re: Best Tax Program to use?

I used Turbo Tax Online again this year, I posted a link before for %15 off if you pay with a Visa card and it's still working:

officialpayments.com

You can start by using the free filing and it will switch you to the pay version later if you don't qualify.

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