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TurboTax Basic vs. Turbo Tax Premier
Old 01-14-2008, 11:45 PM   #1
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TurboTax Basic vs. Turbo Tax Premier

My tax preparer has retired. So, I'm thinking of doing my own taxes this year. I'm looking for a recommendation regarding tax software. TurboTax comes in a variety of flavors. I have a federal return, but no state return. My taxes should be relatively straightforward, but I did sell a few mutual funds this year. Would TurboTax Basic serve my needs, or do I need to opt for the "Premier" edition as it is apparently tailored to those who have stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:50 PM   #2
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Basic will be fine for your situation.
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:26 AM   #3
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Tax Act is good too, and free.
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:53 AM   #4
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We only use basic, and we always deal with a huge Schedule D and AMT as well.

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Old 01-15-2008, 08:59 AM   #5
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Turbo tax is usually offered thru Vanguard or your local bank at a reduced rate .
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:49 AM   #6
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I started using Premier now that I am self-employed, but I used basic forever when I was a W-2 employee, and it works great.

Basic will work fine for you.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
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My tax preparer has retired.
It's always good to see a money person retire-- hopefully early-- and even more hopefully not because of what you've been paying them over the years!

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Originally Posted by Geoffrey View Post
Would TurboTax Basic serve my needs, or do I need to opt for the "Premier" edition as it is apparently tailored to those who have stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.
Basic, and maybe even online (free) filing. If you don't like TurboTax then find another software program-- it's largely a personal choice of the "tastes great, less filling" variety and once you save your data you may want to stick with the same program for a few years.

Premier has a ridiculously unecessary amount of hand-holding for stock & bond taxes. I buy it mostly for the real estate slog.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:15 AM   #8
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Last Year H&R's Tax Cut was free. That appears not to be the case this year. ANy other good free software available? I used Tax Cut to model future taxes (this year, as last we are using an accountant). I want to continue to do so using the best free tool I can find. In a few years, when our finances are simplified, I will file myself and then will be willing to pay for a package.
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:18 AM   #9
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I also like TaxAct.
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:50 PM   #10
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I think Basic should be fine, especially if you understand your tax forms (esp. schedule D) or have past years' similar to use as a guide.

In the past what I have found is that the "Deluxe" or "Premium" walks you through more extensively with the guided interview mode and bla bla bla video support.. BUT in the Basic version you can switch to "Forms" at any time and you should have everything --all the forms you need, even obscure ones-- for a personal return. It's all there behind the scenes in the Basic.. just not gussied up. This is based on last year and previous years with TurboTax; can't vouch for the 2007 tax year version.

I file online but opt for the s/w download rather than entering all my data via the Web.. I know TT can "see" it either way, but it's just a preference as I like the idea of having the software to keep for awhile in some local form.
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:33 PM   #11
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I just happened to buy TurboTax Delux today at Costco. It comes with one state too (how can you not need to fill out a state?). I've used it for years and it's nice to import some info from the previous year.

Also having it on your machine allows you to do some what-ifs for the coming year -- of course, the tax brackets are a little off and the program used for this purpose does not include the next year's tax changes.
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:36 PM   #12
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(how can you not need to fill out a state?).
Live in one of the 7 states with no state income tax?
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:46 PM   #13
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Or live in Louisiana, where the state tax form is dirt simple? Here, you can go to the Louisiana Department of Revenue website to file online for no cost, finishing almost before you start.
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:32 PM   #14
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As a lifelong Californian I am shocked that there are people out there not paying state income tax . Forgot all about that fact.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:28 AM   #15
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As a lifelong Californian I am shocked that there are people out there not paying state income tax . Forgot all about that fact.
Ya it pays for our awesome roads...
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:21 AM   #16
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Geoffrey,

I agree TT basic should be adequate. Heres what I did when I left my CPA. I bought the prior year's TT on ebay, then worked on it with my CPA-prepared return until the numbers matched. Then it was easy to migrate that return's data to the current year.

I should add that my taxes were complex and I'm a masochist.
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:11 AM   #17
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As a lifelong Californian I am shocked that there are people out there not paying state income tax . Forgot all about that fact.



Just remember it rains ALL the time here and when it's not raining, we have locusts, nuclear waste laying by the roadside and almost no one has all their teeth.

I also use Premier - the standard version doesn't handle some corporate forms.
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Old 01-16-2008, 06:49 PM   #18
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As a lifelong Californian I am shocked that there are people out there not paying state income tax . Forgot all about that fact.
My husband worked for years in Ill. and we lived in Indiana - no reciprocal taxes. Every year 2 state tax returns. The Very Best Thing about retirement is only ONE state return.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:57 PM   #19
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My husband worked for years in Ill. and we lived in Indiana - no reciprocal taxes. Every year 2 state tax returns. The Very Best Thing about retirement is only ONE state return.
What's even nicer for me, is now I only have to pay IL state taxes on my investment income....my pension is exempt! Yippee!!
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:22 PM   #20
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Live in one of the 7 states with no state income tax?
Not only do I have NY state tax, but I have darn New York City tax as well taken out of my paycheck. Arrghh!
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