Banking

April 15: Tax day for the IRS and tax programs -- How does it affect you?

April 15th is the day of reckoning for many tax payers in the United States, and tax preparation programs have a huge impact. Do they affect you? What do you think of them?

April 15 is the day of reckoning for many taxpayers in the United States, and tax-preparation programs have a huge impact. Do they affect you? What do you think of them?

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I'll make this initial disclaimer: I hate April 15 -- Tax Day. I've vowed to keep politics from my User Support Blogs, but considering the fact that my posting deadline (Wednesday) just happens to fall on the same day as my tax deadline (April 15), I must admit that I'm torn between the two. Treading ever-so-lightly on the political aspect of my disclaimer, I should probably say this as clarification: It's not that I don't believe we should pay taxes, because that's not the case at all. Taxes are necessary to maintain a functioning government. But rather I don't believe they should be based on one's income, one's productivity, and the time one must spend earning a living. I would much prefer a consumption tax base over an income tax base. I'd also prefer a simpler tax system -- one that provides room for few loopholes and even fewer mistakes.

But I digress from the intent of my piece. Without naming names or boundaries, I wanted to throw out for discussion tax-preparation software.

A month or so ago, I received a phone call from someone for whom I've provided computer support, who asked me which tax-preparation program I thought was best and which one I used myself. Being a computer support professional, I suppose I was considered to be an expert on which one was the best. But I hedged. I must admit -- I have no idea. I don't use one now, nor have I ever used one.

Over the years, I've set aside a couple of hours over the weekend immediately preceding April 15, and an hour or so on the evening of April 14 to trudge through the tax-preparation process the old way -- manually -- with the forms and manuals provided by the IRS. I always wait until the last minute, not because I procrastinate, but I simply schedule the work to be done the week of April 15. And in years I have to write the IRS a check, which is most of them, I have an added incentive to wait until the last day -- letting my money work for me as long as possible.

I think I might be among a dwindling minority of people -- those who not only figure their own taxes but do it manually, neither calculating or filing electronically. Out of about 135 million tax filers, over 70 million of them use professional tax preparers; I've read that upward of 40 million taxpayers will use some sort of tax-preparation program to do their own taxes; and I've read that over 80 million returns will be filed electronically. (Those numbers mostly come from my recollection and are no more than estimates, but they are probably close enough for illustration and discussion.)

Personally speaking, I've never found the tax-preparation process to be all that difficult, but perhaps that's because I've kept up on it year after year, and my returns aren't really that complicated. The time spent writing the numbers versus entering them into a software program are about the same, and it doesn't take that long to double-check my math, so why spend the money for a software program I'll use only once? But a lot of people do.

Moreover, I'm not sure about a lot of things concerning tax-preparation software. Are they totally secure? Are they reliable and accurate? Do they all meet IRS standards and approval? I've read that the IRS neither tests or approves any tax-preparation software, but rather provides only limited testing criteria that all software developers must follow and include when developing their test scenarios. (Source)

What about the other risks of using tax-preparation software, ones not only concerning accuracy but reliability and security as well? And the IRS is even discussing how tax-preparation pricing affects electronic filing. IRS Deputy Commissioner Linda Stiff agreed with all the GAO’s recommendations and outlined the actions that the IRS would take. "By February 2010, we will consult with Chief Counsel and develop a document summarizing whether and to what extent IRS is authorized to involve itself in the software industry's development of tax preparation software, what actions IRS could take to drive software companies to make changes and under what circumstances, what sanctions IRS could impose on software companies that refuse to make requested changes, and what additional authority IRS would need to do all of the above," she wrote. "Based on this information, IRS will determine its subsequent course of action." (Source and full context)

What would be worse is the IRS NOT providing oversight or mandating that they will provide oversight? To me, that seems like bad news -- worse news. The bad news is that they don't. The worse news is that they might.

Those are my thoughts on tax-preparation software and electronic filing. What are yours?

Oh well, I'm off to mail my tax returns (and my check) -- the ones I completed last night, by hand and on printed forms.

As an afterthought and just for fun, I included the following poll:

(I wonder if I'll be the only one who doesn't do it electronically.)

53 comments
JCitizen
JCitizen

If you use a secure browser, and use rock hard anti-spyware/anti-keylogware. I find it curious that folks seem not to be concerned for the cost of hiring a manual preparer when you have to figure the relative costs. You can go to H&R Block and hope for savings but pay big bucks that take a bite outta your wallet; or do it your self with cheapo suits like TaxACT and you might not get yourself the biggest decuction but the filing cost might make a whopping difference compared to the cost of hiring someone to do it. It just seems odd to me after putting a calculator to it - pay uncle sam a little too much - or pay the tax preparer a whopping too much!! Doesn't make sense to me. I'd rather uncle sam got the difference than the tax lawyer.

jsaubert
jsaubert

I've always electronically filed since it's been stable but I've never tried my hand at programs like TaxCut or TurboTax. My taxes are fairly straightforward with only a few deductions and the like. (Plus my Mom was an accountant for years and would probably disown me if I couldn't manage my own taxes.) A lot of folks I know seem really intimidated by tax time and figuring out their taxes. Last year I even had one friend offer me $20 to walk her through her taxes and show her how to electronically submit them. I spent half an hour with her, made $20 and she felt confidant enough to do her taxes by herself this year. I think that people just doubt themselves and need a bit of a "pep talk" to get though.

JCitizen
JCitizen

I'm curious what it costs you to do your submittals?

jsaubert
jsaubert

The Federal one is free via TaxAct (http://www.taxact.com/). I found that site through the IRS website. I don't have to worry about State income tax (I'm in Florida) but the fee for submitting State tax is $13.95, which I think is cheap but I've never used it so I can't say if it's as good as the Federal system.

JCitizen
JCitizen

I feel TaxAct saves me just enough that switching to more expensive methods would be a net loss actually.

v-tuggle
v-tuggle

I usually do my taxes a couple or three times with different software packages. TaxAct is the one that gives me the best results and also asks the most questions (so I feel like the results are accurate). I really should get around to investigating them more thoroughly, but I have been quite pleased with TaxAct. I found them through the IRS website also.

ElijahKam
ElijahKam

First, replacing progressive income tax with consumption is a bad idea for two reasons. The first is that it imposes a higher tax rate on lower income people and the effective tax rate goes down as income goes up. The second is that in times of recession, a progressive income tax provides an immediate tax cut to everyone without the need for government intervention as people go down in the brackets. A consumption tax imposes approximately the same tax rate or higher tax rate in recession as people are unable to save and use their entire income for consumption. To get back to tax preparation, I used TurboTax for quite a few years and it was okay. However I now have 64-bit Vista and TurboTax would not work on it. Why could they not send me a patch to make it work? So I went to a Windows XP computer not connected to the Web. TurboTax worked until the end but refused to print out a final return unless I went online, which I couldn't. I do use a tax preparer because I have to file 1041(trust) returns and I can't figure those out myself, and ordinary tax software like TurboTax won't do them. I do recommend doing at least a draft of your taxes with software to compare with the results of your tax professional as they are not infallible.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Otherwise I'd think you could easily do the K1 forms on a regular software package. Even Tax ACT makes this somewhat easy, if you look for the forms.

classiccomputer
classiccomputer

Ahhhh the elusive, fleeting tax season? My favorite time of the year! Luckily my business niche is accountants and supporting tax software. Originally SCS/Compute Inc. Tax Machine which ran on Xenix and Unix, used terminals, serial connections and oh yes, some of the old downtown Miami buildings had a bit of a rat problem, they just loved the smell of that cable, just about as much as I loved the smell of solder in the morning. At any rate, SCS eventually succumbed to GUI (much to my ex-partners chagrin) who was pretty much a Unix genius, which came in handy when debugging this complex, volatile program. No we were never compensated for program suggestions or fixes, but the clients were happy and that?s what counted. I love my accountants, they are a funny breed. For the most part I have seen them come and go, usually to other firms I support. They rotate and almost inevitably come back. The bright ones start their own companies. I?ve seen many an auditor and bookkeeper, get their CPA license, marry, divorce, bear children, all whilst business partners come and go. They are a resilient breed all their own, probably because they have to deal with the IRS on an almost daily basis. Yep those three letters that usually strike fear in the hearts of normal Joes. But more impressive they smile patiently when that one client who hasn?t filed in over 4 years comes in with a haggard shoebox of receipts expecting no interest or penalties. As if the Tax Codes aren?t enough to make an accountant shake in their boots, the price of the software will surely rot your soles. I have noticed over the years the price didn?t slide up that hill but made leaps from year to year, making it very difficult for budgeting purposes (and we all know how accountants like budgets). CS ThompsonReuters, CCH ProSystem, Lacerte, all high end tax suites have come a long way. Some now running on SQL; most offering a bevy of tax preparation, document management, payroll processing, practice management and much more. Despite the weekly updates on IRS Codes, AICPA notes and general patches, most run pretty smoothly. The professional accountants which I have had the pleasure of serving are not scrambling the last day but planning their ?happy hour?. After all, they?ve invested allot of money, time and sweat into their practice, hardware and software and most importantly, we have an agreement: ?I won?t do taxes (because I?ll surely get you audited) and you don?t fix your pc or pda (because it will take me longer to fix it after you have boogered it all up). On a last note: I don't do my own business and personal tax return, I'd rather leave that to a professional. However, I must admit I do my parents tax return (in their 80's and yes they still get about $99 bucks back). I do it by hand with the IRS booklet. Which I must say is enough to cure an insomniac.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Even the state charges seem reasonable to me. Wished I had started using them earilier. I was a transient and moved a lot and ended up losing two or three years worth of tax records at a critical time. I was selling my house and could have made advantage of a lot of tax avoidance if I had been using TaxAct and retrieved the electronic portion of my past. The IRS wants well over a hundred dollars to retrieve the same records. If you ask me THAT is the robbery here! It shouldn't cost the government that much to store binary information. Although I'm not sure if any of it actually is stored that way from manual records. None the less even a bit map of the original document shouldn't be a problem. Remember it is called the Internal Revenue [b]Service[/b]...NOT!! If the government would treat the taxpayer with some respect, maybe there wouldn't be so many "TEA" parties going on this year!! Anyway, back to the subject at hand, I would have had to do the tax that year with a manual preparer, because I couldn't make heads or tails about the questions TaxACT put to me in the Q&A session. They assume you actually know or care about obscure economic and tax terms; I got enough verbage I gotta remember without going there - shoot I've forgot more Russian than I know about tax economics!

bret.miller
bret.miller

Until this year, I've used TaxCut repeatedly. The advantage of using the same program is that it remembers a lot of the information so you don't have to re-enter it. But there were no really good deals this year, so I went looking for cheaper. TaxACT did a fine job, e-filed everything and I'll probably use it again next year.

debbie.lafollette
debbie.lafollette

Another whole topic, for those who support PC users, is the install of tax sofware programs and saving of tax returns on company PCs .... yes, they will do it!

Joe_R
Joe_R

(And I disclaim that this is more of an editorial opinion.) So many have commented on getting a refund, or a bigger refund, etc. Getting a refund only means that a person has provided the government an interest-free loan. I would much rather write a check - one small enough to avoid a penalty, that is - than receive a refund. I've even known people who actually adjust their withholding so that a large refund is guaranteed. Put it in the bank every month instead, and earn a few dollars interest. (Of course, you'll have to pay tax on that interest - gotta love it!)

joybrz
joybrz

You are correct that the refunds are just interest free loans we have given the government and we are just getting OUR principal back (if we're lucky). It seems as tho most people don't care, they just want that big check, although they do realize that it is their money they are getting back.

v-tuggle
v-tuggle

I know that the "smart" thing to do is to adjust your withholding so that you do not get a huge refund at the end of the year. I also know that it is "better" to have the money working for me rather than for the government that does nothing (except provide social programs and protect us from invasion). But I can't know from year to year that I am going to be able to afford to "just write a check". Life is too unpredictable for me to assume that I am going to be able to shell out a couple of hundred dollars in the middle of April.

rubendlct
rubendlct

I have always filed my taxes the old way; by hand. I tried H&R Block in 2002 and almost lost $1,000.00 on my return because they use Turbo tax and their program did not have all the entitlements and exceptions for veterans returning from overseas SEPARATIONS. By the way, I was trained by IRS while in Europe and was the Military Post Tax Officer there for a few years. I had to bring H&R Block an Email from the IRS office asserting my claims. Needles to say they were surprised.I got my papers, filed and got every penny back to me!

Joe_R
Joe_R

People seem to either love it or hate it.

peperry
peperry

I worked for a large professional tax preparer this year and found the software used in the office was more detailed and comprehensive than the retail software packages. The in office software had better error checking and alerted me to alternative solutions to figure the best possible solution for a taxpayers situation. For people needing to figure a Schedule C, E, F and other forms beyond a basic 1040 and a Schedule A, you're better off going to some one who knows what they are doing. Even with a retail software package, unless you know the tax code and how it applies in your situation, you can still do your taxes incorrectly.

joybrz
joybrz

I also have worked for a professional tax preparer, until I finished school. Throughout the years I personally have used H&R Block (1 time & Never again!) & Turbo Tax. When I became a professional tax preparer myself, I found using ProSeries one of the best. I can do any type of tax return needed, e-file fed & state for free, which keeps my customers' costs down. Motto-Let's try to make doing taxes a Joy!

Joe_R
Joe_R

Which hallucinogens do you provide for your customers?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

This from a guy with 'Starry, Starry Night' as his avatar? :D

joybrz
joybrz

Which hallucinogens do I provide for my customers? The best I can get LOL. Seriously tho, I try to get my customers the most possible back legally, as painless as possible.

mla_ca520
mla_ca520

This year, I uses the H&R Block online service. Last year I used TaxAct. Both have a secure website and H&R Block is free for the federal return. I had intended to mail in my state return, but then at 11:30 pm on april 15th, when I readying myself for a good night's sleep, I remembered that I hadn't mailed my return, so I logged into the H&R Block website finished my state return online and paid the $30 fee for filing a state return. I like using the software, because it catches deductions that I have missed in previous years and because I received a check from the IRS within 14 days of filing.

cdiazb
cdiazb

In 2001 I bought a copy of Turbo-Tax for $39.00 After doing the paper work and sent to IRS I gor a letter from the telling me I owe $1,200.00 Since then I pay a CPA $100.00 to do the stuff. They know.

dshorn
dshorn

I used to use a professional. Over the years my return became more complex and therefor more expensive. (Regular job, side job, investments, farm and so on). I also began to notice that my professional was using a canned software program. As I looked around, I realized that Hewitt-Jackson and the others were all using software. So one year I tried TT on line. 1/3 the price. Nice refund. Been doing it since then.

mervillec
mervillec

TurboTax is so easy, even a CAVEMAN could do it. Really! Personally, since it's less INexpensive than TaxAct, I use T-Tax to get my figures right, but T-Act to actually submit the return (approx. $13 state & federal). State refund in about 3 days, fed in a week. All before the end of JANUARY. It's that EASY. Embrace technology appropriately! You could drive everywhere, but you sometimes fly, don't you?

shafjo
shafjo

Have only used TT, but find it very user-friendly, no problems in 4 years now.

Cisco-SA
Cisco-SA

I have used both TurboTax, TaxCut and both are useful. But neither are good. I prepare taxes for about a dozen people, some are simple, but a few of them stretch the limits of Tax Prep software. Using the TaxPrep software saves the the time&effort of slogging thru the IRS forms and instructions. When I do near the edge of the TaxPrep software understanding of the IRS rules, I can always fall back to my reading and interpretation of the Federal Governments oddly worded description of how to take money away from citizens. Anyone who has run a Business, Sole Proprietorship, Limited Partnership, income/loss from derivatives....I didn't want this to turn into a rant of the multifaceted ways that the government takes money away from citizens. Anyway, If you want to fill taxes the old fashion way, simply switch the Tax Prep software to show the Forms. This gets you the best of both, the ability to see exactly what will be filled with the IRS and letting the computer handle the calculations/math. I too usually owe more and wait till April 15 but still electronically file because I don't want any more uncertainty when the IRS translates paper back to computer.

Joe_R
Joe_R

You said, we [i]don't want this to turn into a rant of the multifaceted ways that the government takes money away from citizens.[/i] Okay, I'll resist the temptation. (But what a rant it could be!) Thanks for sharing your insight into tax preparation software. That's good information.

baldwia
baldwia

We used Turbo Tax in the past because an accountant friend of ours told us that's what he used for his personal taxes...It worked great until our taxes got too complicated. When we started getting sales bonuses as options instead of cash, with all the vesting issues and partial capital gains...we gave up. Even with turbo tax it was a nightmare. Now we gladly pay a cpa because getting it right will still be cheaper than getting it wrong and paying penalties. Who wants to be audited? I agree that the tax code should be simplified, but it's complicated. There are so many tax incentives built into the tax codes, that dumping any of them will have far reaching social issues. If we stop having mortgage int. deductions, the whole housing market will bust again...and on and on. If there is no deduction for donations, will donations go down? You bet, and all those charities that actually help people like soup kitchens or cancer awareness will suffer. There is no easy answer.

byu1980
byu1980

I'm a tax professional. This year I had to look for a low-cost preparation package & ended up with the professional version of the one that H&R Block uses. I found it severly deficient in many areas--it didn't even include a state extension form for my state, & many limitations aren't calculated.

tonycopp
tonycopp

I've used TurboTax for at least four years now and I am hooked..you can see what-if scenarios in a flash ..like sale of an investment property and see what % rate paid by including then excluding..and it exhausts host of options ..maybe it's deficient but I'll take it over my limited desire to keep up or paying for really top-notch professional help not just an order taker.

dmmillr1
dmmillr1

I'm younger, married joint income with no investments and no mortgage. My taxes are easy, and I used to do them on paper. I live in IL so we can efile state taxes for free, which means its even cheaper for me to use turbotax online and it takes way less time than it used to, and I dont have to worry about fat fingering the calculator

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The IRS web site will link you to third-party services that will let you file your Federal return electronically for free, in the hopes you pay to have your state taxes done for a fee. You can do the the Fed and then opt out of the state portion. I only do the state by hand because I can't do it electronically for free. How about adding a "I do some taxes electronically, some by hand" option to the poll?

Joe_R
Joe_R

I added that answer. However, at first glance, all the answers thus far suddenly didn't register. Perhaps it just has to catch-up with the edit. We'll see. (Editing polls has often caused a problem for me.)

pdr5407
pdr5407

I used MS Money to manage my account balances and track spending in '08. After re-installing Windows in '09 I use an Open Office spreadsheet to keep records. For taxes I manually completed the forms and mailed them in because they only take me an hour or two to finish and I don't have any itemized deductions or adjustments to enter.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Like I said, if you'll visit the IRS web site they'll link you to free on-line tax prep services. It may take the same time to do the 'paperwork' either way, but by filing electronically you get your refund faster. If all you have is W2s and a short form, it's the way to go.

Joe_R
Joe_R

I can't see the logic of paying $50 or more to save the small amount of time it takes to fill it out. In fact, it doesn't even save time - write it down or enter it into the program, it's all the same.

Joe_R
Joe_R

In regards to the original blog piece: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/helpdesk/?p=562 Those are my thoughts on tax preparation software and electronic filing. What are yours?

MarkinMD
MarkinMD

I usually use one of the freebie packages that the IRS site points to, and so far they've worked fine...ok, maybe some minor bugs or frustations where I couldn't figure out how to make the software do what I wanted, but for the most part I've been very satisfied with the ones I've used. What worries me is that I started doing my taxes with the short forms and as life changed over the years I worked my way into the long form, schedules, etc., learning how to do them step by step and keeping up with the changes in tax code year by year. For years I've said that I can't imagine learning to do the long form and schedules just by jumping into it. Now another facet of that concern has hit me... If you always do your taxes with the software (from the beginning of your working life) will you really understand the tax code, structure, etc.? I have serious doubts that anyone would learn what's going on in the background if they're using tax software. BTW - I laugh when someone tells me they save money with tax software (my mom for example) because if that's the case they weren't doing their taxes right in the first place! I wonder if we need to require a one semester tax class to graduate from high school. Better yet, make it a whole year of personal financial management.

ciakrook
ciakrook

Couldn't survive without it Years ago, when my taxes were simple, one or two forms I had H&R Block do my taxes. One year the IRS phoned me and insisted in giving me my money back; another year they put my 1099 wages/income on the wrong line; I caught the error and took it back, but they still charged me. I revolted and decided even I could do them better than that. Since then I have used Turbo Tax, even one year having a senior tax accountant review it. He made some changes....as a result the IRS said that section was thus done incorrectly. Now I do my own with Turbo Tax without problems. And when you have 300+ stock and option trades/year and broker downloads to review, it has saved me big calculations, pages of entries, and $$$. I do resent the increasing price, but I discovered I don't need any premium edition; deluxe did just fine. The only problem I ever had was a year it revolted and wouldn't let me e-file with a long foreign tax credit form and a foreign limited partnership...even though the forms were in the TTax package. One year I did buy and try H&R Block's software, it was anything but organized in comparison, and I finally gave up and went out and bought TTax. TTax has proven it's worth WELL over an accountant or self preparation for me.

KSoniat
KSoniat

I like the ease, and direct deposit nature of Tax Cut. This year I also created a return through Tax Cut at no additional charge for my father-in-law which I have done manually the last three years. We had severance packages, and deferred compensation complications the last two years and had a professional do our taxes then. But generally use TaxCut.

ciakrook
ciakrook

Years ago, when my taxes were simple, one or two forms I had H&R Block do my taxes. One year the IRS phoned me and insisted in giving me my money back; another year they put my 1099 wages/income on the wrong line; I caught the error and took it back, but they still charged me. I revolted and decided even I could do them better than that. Since then I have used Turbo Tax, even one year having a senior tax accountant review it. He made some changes....as a result the IRS said that section was thus done incorrectly. Now I do my own with Turbo Tax without problems. And when you have 300+ stock and option trades/year and broker downloads to review, it has saved me big calculations, pages of entries, and $$$. I do resent the increasing price, but I discovered I don't need any premium edition; deluxe did just fine. The only problem I ever had was a year it revolted and wouldn't let me e-file with a long foreign tax credit form and a foreign limited partnership...even though the forms were in the TTax package. One year I did buy and try H&R Block's software, it was anything but organized in comparison, and I finally gave up and went out and bought TTax. TTax has proven it's worth WELL over an accountant or self preparation for me.

BrooklynPennyPincher
BrooklynPennyPincher

I used H&R Block for 2007, the first year my son in college also filed, to get the $1,200 Bush stimulus check. Unknown to me, he filed ahead of me and claimed himself as his own dependent. When I claimed him as a dependent too(we don't talk enough), H&R Block's online app told me SOMEONE ELSE HAD CLAIMED ME AS A DEPENDENT. This baffled me, so I over-rode the app and printed out my returns for snail mail filing. The IRS sent us both forms to re-file a few months later. So this year I used TaxAct, which was cheaper and also did my FAFSAs for free. Hooray TaxAct!

Merlin the Wiz
Merlin the Wiz

IMHO there are some things that just should be done on paper with a pencil. If you have forgotten your basic math skills, then maybe you need to use a calculator or a computer. I also use the US postal system, not because my check will not arrive for at least two days after I mail it, but because that provides a JOB for at least two people. The person who picks up the mail at my box and the person that delivers the mail to the taxing authority. I also prefer to pay my bills in person, again because that keeps someone else employed. I know it is easier to do these things electronically, but one of these days, those jobs will all disappear. I prefer to keep as many people employed at jobs as possible here in my home state, not outsourced. Merlin

Randy.Wilkins
Randy.Wilkins

I read all these comments slamming TurboTax IMHO if you had a problem with TurboTax YOU did something wrong (like failed to read or follow along and answer the simple questions). I'd had professionals prepare previous years returns from CPAs, H&R Block and "experienced" professional tax prepares at two to three times the cost and significantly smaller refunds... no thanks, I'll stick with TurboTax. And if you REALLY want to make your life easy use Quicken or QuickBooks for personal, charitable and business expenses. Not only will you know where every dollar went, on the average I complete a fairly complex tax return including schedules "C" etc. in under two hours. And this year with free electronic filing of yor federal return you can't beat it.

tysadad
tysadad

I have also used turbo tax, since the late 90's. I have yet to have problems, easy to use and through. The Adds for extra services are the only thing I did't care for.

montesa247
montesa247

During tax season I work as a Tax Advisor for one of the leading tax prep companies. Over the years, I have tried most of the online and packaged software solutions. They all work fine if you only have w-2 income. When you start adding variables with self-employment, stocks, K-1 income, sharing a dependents tax benefits, etc., it gets a little confusing. They don't have the guidance to point you to all the ways to reduce your taxable income. With one package, I never could determine how they wanted their questions answered to get the correct results for K-1 income. So, after 32 years in the computer industry and 5 in the tax industry, I can say: As with most software - IT DEPENDS.

maxwell edison
maxwell edison

And I liked your answer regarding the tax software - it depends. Often times, all too true with a lot of things.

El Tonto con Suerte
El Tonto con Suerte

That's the year Intuit included the very obnoxious and time consuming to remove C-Dilla spyware application as "license protection." It monitored your CD-RW and disabled it so you couldn't copy the disc (or any disc thereafter). This to me was just as bad as the whole Sony root kit fiasco (another company I refuse to buy from). I've used HR Block's TaxCut instead and have had tremendous success. It seems to me to be a significant time saver and I'm willing to trade the $50 for the couple hours of my life I spent not doing taxes this year.

berrys
berrys

I like TaxCut and have used it for five years with no problem until this year. The Fed Disaster Deduction change (for this year) which allowed for deduction of losses without adhering to the "over 10% of gross" rule was 'hidden' on the '08 software. It was there, but after entering the amount of loss you were just taken to the next tax form section without knowing if the amount was deducted or not. Turns out that it was added onto the standard deduction without telling you. It all worked out in the end, but frustating software design glitch.

Joe_R
Joe_R

..... monitors your system like that simply to protect their license agreement goes a bit far.

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