Online income tax prep sites, US

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Caesar2
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Online income tax prep sites, US

#1 Postby Caesar2 » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:28 am

I've used TaxAct for several years. It's not perfect but the price is reasonable. TurboTax seems to be rated highest by some but comes at a high price. Anyone wanting to share their experiences, I'm listening :)

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Re: Online income tax prep sites, US

#2 Postby fbt » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:28 am

I'm a little paranoid about doing my taxes online, so I still dual boot into Windows and use Taxact which is free for me. I just read that using Efile makes it easier for the IRS to audit you. So if you are even more paranoid than me you might want to consider printing the forms and manually filling in the numbers.

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Re: Online income tax prep sites, US

#3 Postby joany » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:58 am

Every line on the 1040 form is explained in the Instructions. I simply go down line by line on the form and check the Instructions to see if that line applies to me. If so, I fill it in. If not, I skip to the next line. I did this when I ran a small business at home too, although there were lots of other schedules and worksheets I had to fill in.

When I'm finished, I file electronically (for free) using the IRS web site.
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Re: Online income tax prep sites, US

#4 Postby Frank_v7 » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:00 am

I download Tax Act Free and then buy my state (Arizona) as an add-on. I put as little of my information as I can online. And don't even ask me what I think of the "Cloud" :rofl:

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Re: Online income tax prep sites, US

#5 Postby richb » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:04 am

My head is in the clouds. Love it. :inlove:

I have used Turbotax purchased and installed. A friend of mine used the online version this year and liked it very much.
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Re: Online income tax prep sites, US

#6 Postby timkb4cq » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:15 am

I've been using TaxCut (H&R Block) since 1997. It's the only thing I keep a VM of Windows XP for.
I checked against TaxAct for several years (though not this year) and for my tax situation TaxCut has always given me a larger refund.

I won't do business with Intuit. They have proven themselves an enemy of open standards.
They routinely break old versions of Quickbooks with forced updates that remove features to force you to buy their new version.
They basically forced banks to change their online banking file format because they wanted to use a new proprietary one. How'd they do that? By forcing down an update that removed support for online banking with QIF files from all versions of Quicken & Quickbooks. Since Quickbooks has a dominant position in small business accounting software in the U.S. the banks had to cave.
Their new file format, QFX, is a proprietary extension to the open OFX standard. Quicken won't import a QFX file unless the bank has paid a licensing fee to Intuit.
Needless to say, that's not a company I trust with any of my financial information.
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Re: Online income tax prep sites, US

#7 Postby KrispyKritter » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:55 pm

I have used turbotax online for 5 years with no problems. This year the cost exceeded my refund and went to AARP and got it done for free.

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Re: Online income tax prep sites, US

#8 Postby Caesar2 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:03 pm

KrispyKritter wrote:I have used turbotax online for 5 years with no problems. This year the cost exceeded my refund and went to AARP and got it done for free.

Steve


Steve, this sounds like a plan. How does one go to AARP?

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Re: Online income tax prep sites, US

#9 Postby joany » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:01 pm

Caesar2 wrote:Steve, this sounds like a plan. How does one go to AARP?

Bill

I believe you need to be a member of AARP to take advantage of this service. AARP enlists volunteers to assist with filling in the forms, both in person and by telephone. More about it here: http://www.aarp.org/money/taxaide/taxpr ... p2003.html

Caveat: The quality of the tax returns depends on the knowledge of the volunteers who do the service. Like the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

You didn't indicate whether your tax forms are simple or complicated. If you can file a straight 1040 Form (or a better yet a 1040-EZ Form), then I'm sure an AARP volunteer can assist you. Nevertheless, my experience shows that if you can read and are able to follow instructions, then you should be able to prepare a 1040 Form on your own, even if you run a small business. The 1040 Instructions will point you to which forms, schedules, and worksheets you'll need to file a return. Most of the math consists of adding and subtracting (and occasionally multiplying).

All the forms, schedules, and so forth are available in electronic form, and they can be filed (for free) here: https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/F ... eForms.htm

If your situation is complicated enough to require expert tax advice; e.g., having income from exotic investments or claiming deductions and credits that fall into legal gray areas, I don't think an AARP volunteer would be qualified (nor would I trust any tax-preparation software to give me results that would survive an audit).
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Re: Online income tax prep sites, US

#10 Postby JBoman » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:08 pm

dunno about the audit stuff but did help a friend do hers on the IRS e-file site a couple of weeks ago... she had a healthy refund due and she received it back in about a week... she did fed and state both there and all was line by line and fully explained.. worksheets also as needed. :cool: Jerry
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