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Old 01-07-2017, 07:09 PM   #21
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First, thanks for the links to the two web sites that reviewed the handful of tax software. I read them both to see if the reviewers thought the same way as I do.

I have always done my own tax returns since I first started filing returns in the early 1970s. I used TurboTax for some years, but switched the HRBlock the past 2 years because of the games that Intuit plays with customers and pricing of their software. It seems that Intuit never tells anyone what is the cheapest version of TT that they can use, but always tells them to use a version that is one or two price levels higher and continually tries to upsell while using the software itself.

But the reviews don't cover situations where I see differences that affect me. For instance, I want the foreign tax credit Form 1116 to be painlessly filled out. I want education credits not to be muffed up (sorry TT, you muffed it!). I want 1099-Bs to be painlessly imported. I want Form 8606 with its treatment of non-deductible IRAs and conversions and recharacterizations to be painless.

Sure, all the software can take W-2, 1099-INT, 1099-DIV and some other things, but they don't all do the same things on some other forms. They each have their own quirks, so I just go for the cheapest which is HRBlock.

That said, for a first-timer, I would suggest using TurboTax, but one version cheaper than you think you need because it will work. So Deluxe desktop works for Schedule C for instance and one doesn't need Home & Business.

Then after using TT one year, just go with the cheapest software in each future year which will probably be HRBlock. At least HRBlock pays me about $50 to use their software because of the gift rebate.

And I think it is ridiculous to expect software to work on your phone to do your tax return. You might as well use pencil and paper if your tax return is simple enough to do on your phone. At least with pencil and paper you might have a clue about your taxes and thus be an informed citizen able to vote intelligently on tax issues that affect you.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:12 PM   #22
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Translation: TaxCut = H&R Block Tax Software

Amazon is smart enough if you search "TaxCut". They also used to call it "Block at Home"
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:24 PM   #23
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Any recommendations for the best tax prep software for a new DIYer?
We always did our taxes ourselves the old way, with the printed manual and printed forms. Then mailed it all off with a stamp.

About six years ago we started using the online service eztaxreturn.com. They charge about $25-30 each year, but it's really easy to file a return online. They walk you through each step, so you don't need to know which forms to submit or anything. Another plus is they submit your return electronically, so there's no stamp and nothing to mail.
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:44 AM   #24
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I have a K1 to deal with from enterprise partners
TurboTax allows the import of K1 data. I've used this for the last few years and found it to be a great time saver and simplification tool. But with only one K1 it might not be such a big deal.

Not sure about the other packages but would guess that they may support it as well.
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:48 AM   #25
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If you use turbotax get the download version not the website .You have better access to forms view and more control of your file.
Since you have rental property you will need to have the prior year depreciation schedules. If you know the basis used and start dates you should be ok.
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:01 AM   #26
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I've used TaxAct for 5+ years. Always seems thorough for us. Carries forward info from prior year so input is less on ours. Also, stock losses are automatically filled in from prior years.

I also have used for state returns...Easy there too.

Likely all do this, just my experience.
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:05 AM   #27
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I did start a rental this year and I have a K1 to deal with from enterprise partners. But I really want to do this myself because I know how valuable it is for understanding my finances now and especially as I FIRE. I did take the Jackson Hewitt tax prep course one fall and worked for them for a season. But this K1 us the most complicated darn thing I've ever seen. It scares me so much I actually thought about selling my shares just so I didn't have to deal with the tax paperwork. But then, a sale triggers tax issues too! So it seems best that I learn this stuff once and for all
The K1 in TurboTax is super easy. You just copy the info from the numbered boxes on the form into the same numbered boxes in Turbotax.
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Old 01-08-2017, 10:26 AM   #28
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Any recommendations for the best tax prep software for a new DIYer? I've used a tax preparer in the past, but it's become very pricey and I was just being lazy. I have w-2 income, self-employment income and rental income. Thanks!
TaxCut for $15 with 5 fed e-files and 1 state:

https://slickdeals.net/f/9543512-h-r...so-from-mailer

$10 if you paper file state.
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:08 AM   #29
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TaxCut for $15 with 5 fed e-files and 1 state:

https://slickdeals.net/f/9543512-h-r...so-from-mailer

$10 if you paper file state.
Link says that deal has expired.
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:57 AM   #30
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I use TT Premier. I split the cost with the ole man he mails his in, I take the free e-file for getting the software loaded on his PC. Turns out to be cheaper for us sharing. Its a sharing economy now right?

K-1 is not an issue. The only issue I have run into with all tax software (besides manually double-checking the final forms for issue) is when their are percentages at play, ie you lived in one state part of the year and another the rest, or, I've even lived in 3 states in one year. You need to make sure your final numbers add up to 100% between the states otherwise turbotax craps out with errors that when you read them its not obvious.

My taxes were over 100+ pages before and TT chugged through them easy peasy.
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:19 PM   #31
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I need to do 4 fed and 4 state are any cheaper with this amount of returns?
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:16 PM   #32
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I need to do 4 fed and 4 state are any cheaper with this amount of returns?
At least with H&R Block (aka TaxCut), I don't think there's any limit on paper-filed returns although you need to ensure that you buy at least the 'Deluxe + State" version if you need to do a state return. If you want to efile, I think it limits you to 5 federal returns. They charge $20 each for efiling state returns. I generally efile my Federal and paper-file my state as I don't generally get a state refund. My partner insists on paying the $20 to get his state refund a little sooner.
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Old 01-08-2017, 02:08 PM   #33
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I am trying FreeTaxUsa. $12.95 for state return Fed is free.

So far I am liking it, actually seems a little easier than TaxAct.

TaxAct raised their price to $40 plus another $10 to efile state.
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:33 PM   #34
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I am trying FreeTaxUsa. $12.95 for state return Fed is free.

So far I am liking it, actually seems a little easier than TaxAct.

TaxAct raised their price to $40 plus another $10 to efile state.


Thanks for the tip. Just tried it myself. I've always used TurboTax in the past, but have been experimenting this year. So far I like FreeTaxUSA the best, Taxact second, and TurboTax third. (Based on usability, not price).

Will see if I still feel that way after dealing with my 1099-Bs. That was the killer last year. Only TurboTax handled a messy 1099-B correctly.
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:14 PM   #35
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At least with H&R Block (aka TaxCut), I don't think there's any limit on paper-filed returns although you need to ensure that you buy at least the 'Deluxe + State" version if you need to do a state return. If you want to efile, I think it limits you to 5 federal returns. They charge $20 each for efiling state returns. I generally efile my Federal and paper-file my state as I don't generally get a state refund. My partner insists on paying the $20 to get his state refund a little sooner.
Thanks I'll look into that.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:21 AM   #36
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I am trying FreeTaxUsa. $12.95 for state return Fed is free.

So far I am liking it, actually seems a little easier than TaxAct.

TaxAct raised their price to $40 plus another $10 to efile state.
Thanks for this post. I actually only paid about $28 for TA for fed/state as I pre-ordered, but have been considering FreeTaxUSA. Only thing that has held me back is I can't find enough reviews from users. I for one would very much appreciate your posting an update review of FTU after you've completed filing. Perhaps I will try FTU next year.
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:34 AM   #37
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Link says that deal has expired.
It's not, check the last posts. Sometimes stuff gets moved to Deal Talk when it's still active.

This is the same TaxCut deal we get on SD every year, with varying prices (it was $10 last year, free before then). So it's going up a little every year, but way cheaper than competitors. H&R Block sends out a variety of CD offers to get people to re-up with them, so you just have to wait for someone to post the best deal and then use it.

And don't forget creditkarma.com is going to offer completely free online filing this year (fed+state), have to sign up with them and get notified when it's ready.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:02 PM   #38
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It's not, check the last posts. Sometimes stuff gets moved to Deal Talk when it's still active.

This is the same TaxCut deal we get on SD every year, with varying prices (it was $10 last year, free before then). So it's going up a little every year, but way cheaper than competitors. H&R Block sends out a variety of CD offers to get people to re-up with them, so you just have to wait for someone to post the best deal and then use it.

And don't forget creditkarma.com is going to offer completely free online filing this year (fed+state), have to sign up with them and get notified when it's ready.
Thanks! There was a lot of confusion in the comments but I was able to sort through, get the substitute xml file inserted and get the top of the line with the separate Business program for half price. Unfortunately, no additional $5 off or free state efile. Maybe those expired.
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Old 01-17-2017, 01:08 PM   #39
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TaxAct doesn't work for me anymore, Im using old XP, and it didn't work.
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Old 01-17-2017, 03:17 PM   #40
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Any recommendations for the best tax prep software for a new DIYer? I've used a tax preparer in the past, but it's become very pricey and I was just being lazy. I have w-2 income, self-employment income and rental income. Thanks!
A suggestion: If not sure, use a tax preparer AND a software program for one year & compare the results. Ought to be same. If so, then you know it should be OK for the future.
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