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Tax Prep: Online or Downloaded?
Old 12-09-2010, 10:24 AM   #1
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Tax Prep: Online or Downloaded?

I've used the downloaded version of TaxAct in the past. Now I'm considering the online version. Thoughts?
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:29 AM   #2
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Al, I see no reason to entrust a third party to store my financial and personal data if I have an alternative. Too many bad guys out there looking for a way to steal identities and what better source than an online tax return?

Nothing is completely safe but I much prefer having my info reside on my computer, not who-knows-where...
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:32 AM   #3
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Vanguard allows a FREE download of Turbotax each year, but I think you need to be an admiral member. I agree with REWhoo- I like it on my own comuter- not floating in cyberspace...
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:37 AM   #4
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Nothing is completely safe but I much prefer having my info reside on my computer, not who-knows-where...
If you e-file it's a moot point - they do store your info anyway.

I use online (Turbo Tax for Web) mostly due to convenience - they have most of the data for my Schedule C there.
So I pay more (~$100 for Fed+State return with schedule C) for being lazy, but it saves me some time.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:40 AM   #5
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If you e-file it's a moot point - they do store your info anyway.
Yep, but humor me - I'm old and set in my ways.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:48 AM   #6
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Yep, but humor me - I'm old and set in my ways.
you think you're set in your ways, I'm still trying to get over the letter I got from the IRS saying they would not be mailing me my 1040 form next month! I will actually have to go to the library and pick it up for myself, or download it!! >>outrage!!!<<

I've never even used a computer program to fill out my taxes, never mind e-filing. I wonder how much longer the IRS will let me get away with mailing an actual paper form.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:16 AM   #7
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you think you're set in your ways, I'm still trying to get over the letter I got from the IRS saying they would not be mailing me my 1040 form next month! I will actually have to go to the library and pick it up for myself, or download it!! >>outrage!!!<<

I've never even used a computer program to fill out my taxes, never mind e-filing. I wonder how much longer the IRS will let me get away with mailing an actual paper form.
I only started using TurboTax about four years ago, I guess. I liked doing my taxes carefully by hand so I can relate to what you are saying. But once I started with TurboTax, I found that my tax preparation was much, much faster and more pleasant. If you try it, you may like it.

Sorry to hear that the IRS isn't even sending out tax forms this year. Also, I noticed that my local library and post office either don't have the forms any more or else run out of them quickly, because there are never any there.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:36 AM   #8
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I prepare using downloaded and installed version on my computer. Do feel funny about entering all my info online. Also, the thought of the site crashing, out of service as I try to prepare is always sitting in the back of my mind. At least if my computer crashes, I have some control on fixing that.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:43 AM   #9
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If you e-file it's a moot point - they do store your info anyway.

I use online mostly due to convenience - they have most of the data for my Schedule C there.
My opinion as well...but I go the cheapo route via USAA.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:46 PM   #10
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Pros and cons, but the one thing I really like about on-line is that you never have to wait for the downloads of the updates (seemed to happen every single time I started the program). The online programs are always up-to-date, you just log in.

I don't worry about the security issues, probably safer there than in my house. You don't put account numbers in there, but they do get your SSN. Oh well, if they had a break in, I suppose you could get an alert placed quickly.

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Old 12-09-2010, 01:02 PM   #11
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I don't worry about the security issue on-line, but I prefer a downloaded version because I can always use it even very late in the year or even the following year to run test scenarios etc. The on-line versions maybe available all year long as well, I've never tried it.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:20 PM   #12
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I've used the online TaxAct for the last several years. It has been cheap, convenient, fast, and easy to file. You do have to pay an extra $10 or so to have them keep your online data available to you for 3 years, though. Otherwise it is only available for about a year, and you will need to keep a paper copy in case of any nasty notices from the IRS (oops, forgot to include income from one 1099 a couple years ago).
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:52 PM   #13
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I've used the online TaxAct for the last several years. It has been cheap, convenient, fast, and easy to file. You do have to pay an extra $10 or so to have them keep your online data available to you for 3 years, though. Otherwise it is only available for about a year, and you will need to keep a paper copy in case of any nasty notices from the IRS (oops, forgot to include income from one 1099 a couple years ago).
You can also 'print to pdf' in your print dialog box to get an electronic copy. And they are searchable.

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Old 12-09-2010, 02:16 PM   #14
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You can also 'print to pdf' in your print dialog box to get an electronic copy. And they are searchable.
I have kept pdf copies, but I didn't realize they were searchable. I'm so glad that there is this type of software available, and we don't have to waste valuable brain cells learning all this AMT and other tax cr@p ourselves.
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:55 PM   #15
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I have kept pdf copies, but I didn't realize they were searchable.
Double check the 'searchable' feature. I seem to recall that one way I saved them they were not searchable, but another way they were. I don't recall the different methods (maybe right-click-save-as versus printing to file, I dunno) and it probably varies by system, so check it out.

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I'm so glad that there is this type of software available, and we don't have to waste valuable brain cells learning all this AMT and other tax cr@p ourselves.
Well, I view that from another angle. I'm so sorry that our tax laws are so complex that you need a computer program to do them. And that the program isn't available on Jan 1st of the beginning of the tax year so we can plan as we go.

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Old 12-09-2010, 04:40 PM   #16
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I've downloaded TaxCut for several years, printed and snail mailed my return. I too prefer having my financial info stored in as few computers as possible, preferably ones I have control of. Have been holding out on e-filing just because I refuse to pay extra for the privilege of making it easier for the IRS.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:13 PM   #17
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I don't worry about the security issue on-line, but I prefer a downloaded version because I can always use it even very late in the year or even the following year to run test scenarios etc. The on-line versions maybe available all year long as well, I've never tried it.
Ditto here...I use TurboTax downloaded free from Vanguard and then eFile, also free most years. Have done so for almost 10 years.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:21 PM   #18
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Right, that confirmed my thinking. I downloaded TaxAct and have already been using it today.
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Old 12-24-2010, 12:25 PM   #19
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Ditto here...I use TurboTax downloaded free from Vanguard and then eFile, also free most years. Have done so for almost 10 years.

Downloading the free deluxe version from Vanguard right now. Can't beat the freebie
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Old 12-24-2010, 04:32 PM   #20
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Got this email offer from TaxAct, it's their deluxe online version and includes both Fed and State e-files for $13.95. I used it last year and liked it.

https://www.taxactonline.com/s_onlin...l&src=Internal
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