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Choosing the Right Tax Software for You

Aug 17, 2007
With so many tax software programs on the market, many people are foregoing tax professionals and preparing their own taxes. However, choosing the software program that best fits your needs can be a daunting task.

Do you need tax software made for a business or an individual? How much can you afford to spend on software? Spend some time comparison shopping, and you'll be able to make an informed choice.

Best Tax Software For Complicated Returns

Intuit TurboTax Premier is frequently rated the top tax software program for people who have complex returns. This software allows you to deal with complicated issues such as multiple stock sales, mortgage refinancing, rental expenses and income, and business deductions.

This tax software can prepare W-2 and 1099 forms for your employees, and it also helps those filing Schedule C. This program includes all of the federal tax software, and offers step-by-step instructions on how to download the software for your home state. You can also e-file with the government for free, using this program.

The program walks you through each step of the process, so it is nearly impossible to skip a step or forget something, which is great for less experienced software users.

TurboTax Premier runs about $60, but is well worth it if you have a complicated return. Intuit also makes a version called TurboTax Deluxe, which offers the same state and federal tax software, but is geared towards someone without capital gains, employees, or other business considerations.

If you don't need those features, at about $35, this software is a better value. Both TurboTax programs are known for having thorough customer service, so if you're new to using tax software, it might be worth your while to spring for one of these programs.

Tax Software on a Budget

If you have a very simple, straightforward return, you might try TaxAct Ultimate. Selling for about $20, this program still offers the state and federal tax software and the free e-filing that the pricier options give you.

If you are confident that you won't run into anything out of the ordinary during your tax preparation, this software will undoubtedly serve you well.

Individuals whose adjusted gross income is less than $50,000 have a very inexpensive option- filing for free on the IRS website. This is only for your federal taxes, however.

You'll need to handle your state taxes on your own, either with a professional or with a software program. Luckily, despite what many think of the IRS, their website is very easy to navigate, even for people who have never filed their own taxes before. With this method, you won't have a hard copy of your return, other than what you print out.

If you don't feel comfortable leaving everything to cyberspace, you might want to forego the website and use a software program, even if you have to spend a little money for it.

Still Afraid of Going It Alone?

If you're worried about making mistakes, or if you think that you may get fed up halfway through the process, H&R Block TaxCut Premium is a great program for you. The program runs about $40, but if you decide at any point during the process that you simply can't manage on your own, just take your copy of the tax software to your nearest H&R Block storefront.

They will credit you the price of the software towards your tax preparation. Also, TaxCut Premium offers a safety net for those unlucky 1 percent who face audits each year.

Even if you complete the process all on your own, and e-file your return if you are selected for an audit, H&R BLock's Worry-Free Audit Support ensures that a live tax professional will personally help you prepare for your audit.

As you can see, tax software is available to help anyone who wants to try their hand at filing their own taxes. Choose the software program that's right for you, and you'll be shocked at how easy it can be!
About the Author
William Smith the author provides much more financial information on many subjects as well as the secret to his success in the market along with 5 Free power stock picks emailed daily so grab your Free subscription on his website at Tax Software (All is Free)
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