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Tax prep software
Old 11-23-2017, 10:58 PM   #1
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Tax prep software

TaxAct just sent me an email offering 30% off (I used them last year) as a part of a Cyber Monday offering. Is this a buy or not?

I will need a Fed 1040 and related State return. Also I usually prepare the returns for 3 friends, all the same state, using that program.
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Old 11-24-2017, 05:40 AM   #2
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It's probably pretty good. I have been using Turbotax free from Fidelity for the last few years.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:21 AM   #3
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HRBlock is also good. For the past couple of years I have found a deal where they pay me $30 to $50 to use their software, so free is no longer good enough for me.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:27 AM   #4
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I recall seeing the best offers for tax software the week after Christmas. Unless something really good shows up sooner, I'm waiting until then to buy.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:37 AM   #5
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I recall seeing the best offers for tax software the week after Christmas. Unless something really good shows up sooner, I'm waiting until then to buy.
+1

I also recall in the past that around Thanksgiving, even though they were selling and shipping / downloading it, the SW was not yet finalized so I couldn’t even start to run “what if” scenarios. Now I use last year’s version for that and will wait to buy (or get from Fido).
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:13 AM   #6
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I think most tax software sells for a very similar price - I personally stick with TurboTax due to familiarity I have with it; and I know that TT can import data from most anywhere.

There are other places where I can squeeze pennies out of my expenses - tax software is not one of them.
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:23 AM   #7
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I think most tax software sells for a very similar price - I personally stick with TurboTax due to familiarity I have with it...
After the games TurboTax played a couple of years ago I'm done with them unless I can get the software free.

https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/unc...stomers-18817/
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:26 AM   #8
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After the games TurboTax played a couple of years ago I'm done with them unless I can get the software free.
Fair enough!
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:43 AM   #9
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I tried H&R Block last year after years of TurboTax to save a few bucks, and because I'd get annoyed at TT constantly trying to upsell me on a higher priced version. I'm going back to TT this year. H&R Block was ok except for 3 things I found unacceptable:


- It didn't file form 2210 for the foreign tax credit, because my tax liability was 0 last year and couldn't take the credit. But, I can claw back or carry over that credit to other years. When I tried to do that, the IRS rejected it because I didn't file anything to show the credit for 2016. I had to file an amended 2016 return showing the unused credit, figuring out how to force 2210 to print, and refile the amended 2015 return to take part of it then. This was a pretty major mistake and a pain to correct with amended returns.


- In the printed/pdf return, it doesn't print the QDivs and Cap Gains worksheet that shows how your tax liability is actually calculated with you have divs and CGs. It didn't cause me any problems, but I like to see what actually goes into the tax calculation. TT always prints it as an important supporting form.


- The PDF file for the finished return isn't index like TT does. In TT I can quickly find a form I want to jump to. In HR&B I have to figure out what to search for that will take me to that form and not get caught up in other matching strings, or I have to scroll down to find it. That's a big usability issue when I go back looking at my return.
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:53 AM   #10
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I'll be checking with IRS free file again. After TaxAct price increases last year I went with OLT, Online Taxes. Both Fed and state were free

The IRS freefile site opens in january, https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file...taxes-for-free
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:00 AM   #11
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After the games TurboTax played a couple of years ago I'm done with them unless I can get the software free.

https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/unc...stomers-18817/

Many years ago, when Intuit treated everyone like crooks with that activation thing, I tried to go to HR Block. But ended up crawling back to Turbotax. Of course, that was then so things may be different now.

For me, I'll stick to what I'm familiar with and get the taxes out of the way.

Hope the boycott goes smoothly for you .
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:03 AM   #12
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Hope the boycott goes smoothly for you .
Thanks. It has for the past two years - so far so good.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:07 AM   #13
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Thanks. It has for the past two years - so far so good.
Sounds like working out well for you .
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:17 AM   #14
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I used Turbo Tax last year and thought I got a deal, then was totally ticked off when I found out because of my income, Turbo Tax has an absolutely free version... so didn't have to pay anything. It all depends on how complicated your taxes are and what version you needed, but there was a list of like 7 different companies offering versions for free in my state.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
After the games TurboTax played a couple of years ago I'm done with them unless I can get the software free.

https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/unc...stomers-18817/
I was on the verge of leaving TT after they did that, but then they apologized. I accepted their apology, and will stick with TT for now.

Maybe I am just old and set in my ways, and want to believe in a sweeter, kinder Intuit than reality would lead us to believe, but anyway that is what I am going to do.

I remember pre-computer days when I had my tax preparation stuff covering the dining table for weeks or months as I tried to squeeze out every single last cent that I could. We didn't have much money, and preparing our tax return was just horrible, torture really. Using our available emoticons, you can visualize me beating the taxes (instead of this dead horse) mercilessly for week after week until they coughed up one last nickel, and keeping a daily diary/log of my justifications:

Thank goodness those days are long gone. Frankly I don't really mind paying a reasonable price for software that I feel makes tax preparation more fun than it is torture.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:28 AM   #16
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Just did some quick checking. Last year I moved from TaxAct to H&R Block - mostly for pricing issues. I thought HRB did a fine job for my situation. TaxAct downloadable product (Plus) which covers itemized deductions etc is $62 or $25 if you use their online version. HRB (Deluxe) is $44.95 for downloadable or $59 for their online version.

This pricing seems excessive. And there are a plethora of free online filing options that handle more complex returns (meaning capital gains/losses, itemized deductions, etc.) for no cost. I'll be looking for reviews of the web site offerings, so I know if there have been issues in the past.

- Rita
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:29 AM   #17
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I got an email this morning from FreeTaxUSA that their software is ready. I've used them for years and it's fine for what we need.
www.freetaxusa.com

It's free for Federal, they charge for State but here is a code for 10% of purchases -FREETAXUSA10
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:50 AM   #18
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I got an email this morning from FreeTaxUSA that their software is ready. I've used them for years and it's fine for what we need.
www.freetaxusa.com

It's free for Federal, they charge for State but here is a code for 10% of purchases -FREETAXUSA10
Very interesting. Do you know if I can upload brokerage forms to FreeTaxUSA? E.g. 1099B, 1099DIV etc.
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Old 11-24-2017, 12:13 PM   #19
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Just did some quick checking. Last year I moved from TaxAct to H&R Block - mostly for pricing issues. I thought HRB did a fine job for my situation. TaxAct downloadable product (Plus) which covers itemized deductions etc is $62 or $25 if you use their online version. HRB (Deluxe) is $44.95 for downloadable or $59 for their online version.

This pricing seems excessive. And there are a plethora of free online filing options that handle more complex returns (meaning capital gains/losses, itemized deductions, etc.) for no cost. I'll be looking for reviews of the web site offerings, so I know if there have been issues in the past.

- Rita
Last year, Dec 18th I paid $22 for:
H&R Block Tax Software Deluxe + State 2016 Win + Refund Bonus Offer
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Old 11-24-2017, 12:43 PM   #20
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Last year, Dec 18th I paid $22 for:
H&R Block Tax Software Deluxe + State 2016 Win + Refund Bonus Offer
Yep, me, too. The Refund Bonus for us [for the previous year] was $80. We had to declare it on our tax return as "Other income." So $80 - $12(tax) - $24 (cost $22 + $2 sales tax) = Extra $44 in my pocket.

The state return does not include free e-filing except for NY (lucky us, our state return is a NY one).

We got a $100 refund bonus in 2017.
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