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Favorite Tax Preparation Software?
Old 02-23-2021, 02:42 PM   #1
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Favorite Tax Preparation Software?

I have used EZTaxReturn for many years, but after they mishandled my Roth conversions and didn't support some forms on previous returns, I have decided to find something new for next year.

Since I'm self-employed, the "big boys" are a little too pricey (Turbotax $120 on sale for $90, H&R Block $75 on sale for $65). That's a lot of money for something I could really just download forms and fill out for free. Our needs are fairly simple, I'm not trying to maximize deductions or anything.

I looked at OLT and TaxSlayer. Both were rather confusing to work with. It was difficult to tell if they were filling out the forms I would need.

So far my favorite is Credit Karma. It's easy to use with a simple guided approach, but still seems to support all of the forms I would need. It even handled my Roth conversion simply. It's also easy to review the completed tax forms before sending them off to the IRS. As far as I know it's free, though I would be willing to pay for it if they raised prices.

Are there any others you would recommend?
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Old 02-23-2021, 04:10 PM   #2
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I use H&R Block deluxe for Fed and State (I buy it for about $21 on sale). Right now for next 9 hours it's on sale at newegg for $30 maybe you can find cheaper somewhere else ?
https://www.newegg.com/h-r-block-tax...quicklink=true

My tax situation is: self employed (no employees) , landlord, stocks, IRA -> roth conversions, IRA withdrawals, option selling.

The difference between H&R Block Premium and deluxe is the interview part, but if you know what you are doing you can skip it.
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Old 02-23-2021, 04:30 PM   #3
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I use H&R Block deluxe for Fed and State (I buy it for about $21 on sale). Right now for next 9 hours it's on sale at newegg for $30 maybe you can find cheaper somewhere else ?
https://www.newegg.com/h-r-block-tax...quicklink=true

My tax situation is: self employed (no employees) , landlord, stocks, IRA -> roth conversions, IRA withdrawals, option selling.

The difference between H&R Block Premium and deluxe is the interview part, but if you know what you are doing you can skip it.

I use HR Block deluxe, download to my computer also. Does everything, just download it, don't start on line and wind up buying pricier versions. Usually $20 to $30 , does 5 returns, $20 to file the state, but you can mail for free.
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Old 02-23-2021, 04:37 PM   #4
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TurboTax comes out ahead for me. HRB's biggest advantage is price.

I did a comparison between HRB and TT this year here:https://www.early-retirement.org/for...xe-108001.html

And I noticed Jerry1 did one a few years ago: https://www.early-retirement.org/for...ock-96359.html
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:23 PM   #5
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I have always used H&R Block Deluxe just to get all the forms filled out easily (it carries over much information from year to year), but I already know what the resulting tax will be, since I have figured it out myself by hand. In fact, I know now to within a few dollars what my taxes will be for the next three years.
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:26 PM   #6
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:32 PM   #7
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Even though there was a glitch this year, now resolved, I’ve been a well satisfied TurboTax user for 15+ years. I tried another package a few years ago, and it wasn’t nearly as good, unfortunately I don’t remember which one (sorry, I think it was TaxAct or TaxCut). I read a Kiplinger review online of all of them recently and they said TurboTax is “the Mercedes of tax software.” Besides working well, all the info that carries over from year to year is very helpful, you don’t have to enter everything from scratch every year. You can always find it on sale too, no reason to pay MSRP.

https://www.kiplinger.com/taxes/tax-...20fix%20errors.
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:34 PM   #8
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I looked at OLT and TaxSlayer. Both were rather confusing to work with. It was difficult to tell if they were filling out the forms I would need.
I just started my first stint of volunteering with AARPís Tax Aide program which uses TaxSlayer. I find it very awkward to use, particularly if i want to take a quick look at how data I input on the TS forms gets transferred and displayed on the IRS forms. I realize as I become more familiar with TS I may feel differently. Iíve used both Turbo Tax and H&R Block in the past and found them easier to work with.
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:20 PM   #9
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BTW, H&R B did a pretty reasonable job of reading my Turbotax previous year return data. It is pretty easy to switch between the two.
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by friar1610 View Post
I just started my first stint of volunteering with AARPís Tax Aide program which uses TaxSlayer. I find it very awkward to use, particularly if i want to take a quick look at how data I input on the TS forms gets transferred and displayed on the IRS forms. I realize as I become more familiar with TS I may feel differently. Iíve used both Turbo Tax and H&R Block in the past and found them easier to work with.
I agree. I also volunteered with AARP using Taxslayer. I much prefer TT. I am like a lot of you, even though I can afford it, I do not like paying MSRP.
This was the first year I downloaded it rather than having the CD. I could see no difference.
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:42 PM   #11
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OP, are you really worried about spending a few more bucks to make sure you get it right? What can you save? $30, $40? At the risk of spending hours on the phone with the IRS?

Anyway, I have always used TT. Never had a problem. I use Premium. Probably don't need it, but got it for $58 and got a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate. So, $48 net.
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by friar1610 View Post
I just started my first stint of volunteering with AARPís Tax Aide program which uses TaxSlayer. I find it very awkward to use, particularly if i want to take a quick look at how data I input on the TS forms gets transferred and displayed on the IRS forms. I realize as I become more familiar with TS I may feel differently. Iíve used both Turbo Tax and H&R Block in the past and found them easier to work with.


At our TaxAide site, we postulate that the programmers for Tax Slayer get paid by the click
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:43 PM   #13
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I use TT. Never paid that much for it.

I can't get too worked up about the cost though. It is the usefulness that is key, minimizing my time investment.

Also I like the ability to prepare locally, not put my tax info into the wild so to speak.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:01 PM   #14
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I use Turbotax (drops mic) .
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:06 PM   #15
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:49 PM   #16
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At our TaxAide site, we postulate that the programmers for Tax Slayer get paid by the click
Thatís a good one! Sometime when people at my site are being grumpy about TS Iíll drop that one and see how many nodding heads there are.
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Old 02-23-2021, 11:29 PM   #17
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HR Block deluxe with one state. Downloaded directly from HRB website for about $30. Have used it for over a decade now. Love the way it auto fills personal info using prior years return. Also carries over dollar items from prior year that affect current year tax computation, things like form 8606 IRA basis. That alone is worth twice the cost. Never needed it, but package also offers HRB audit protection.
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Old Yesterday, 04:01 AM   #18
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HR Block deluxe with one state. Downloaded directly from HRB website for about $30. Have used it for over a decade now. Love the way it auto fills personal info using prior years return. Also carries over dollar items from prior year that affect current year tax computation, things like form 8606 IRA basis. That alone is worth twice the cost. Never needed it, but package also offers HRB audit protection.
TurboTax does all those year to year transfers as well FWIW. Remembers personal info, all your prior year employer, interest and mutual fund sources, FTC and AMT carryovers, all manner of IRA distribution/basis info, etc. IOW, TT remembers anything youíd want it to, but itís easy to add/edit/delete too.
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Old Yesterday, 04:46 AM   #19
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I use freetaxusa. No cost for federal and 13.95 for state. Seems to work well. I have been with them for about 5 years.
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Old Yesterday, 06:34 AM   #20
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TurboTax does all those year to year transfers as well FWIW. Remembers personal info, all your prior year employer, interest and mutual fund sources, FTC and AMT carryovers, all manner of IRA distribution/basis info, etc. IOW, TT remembers anything youíd want it to, but itís easy to add/edit/delete too.
In my little test between the two, I found that the import from one or the other worked well.

For instance, they handled the 8606 form fine, carrying forward the previous year basis from the other brand's file.

That's pretty cool. I wonder if they cooperate or have to reverse engineer the other's data?
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