My own tax situation is simple, so I have not had to hire somebody to do my taxes for a very long time. My preference for computers is the Macintosh. For nearly 20 years I have used Intuit’s TurboTax to do my own taxes. Shortly after Apple introduced and polished OSX and declared rest in peace to OS-9; there was a year when TurboTax OSX would not import my previous year tax return file, created by that final version of TurboTax for OS-9. Because it could no longer import their own tax return file created by the last TurboTax version, I tried the Windows version. Amazingly, the TurboTax for Windows imported my Mac-based OS-9 tax file for my previous year, so I bought their version for Windows over the next several years.
My articles are my opinions and are not, legal advice. I’m a judgment referral expert, and not a lawyer. When you ever want a strategy to use or legal advice, please contact an attorney.
A really long time ago, I signed up for TurboTax’s annual system, and Intuit would charge my credit card and mail me a disc. Around November 2012, they emailed me telling me that my disc order was on its way, however it did not show up at my house. After I went to TurboTax’s website, I noticed that TurboTax is now going toward a online model. They never told me that they decided not to charge me or mail me a CD. It wasn’t obvious to me that their online version would be able to import the previous year of tax returns, and that helped me decide to look at the competition.
I asked some friends what they used, and some recommended TaxAct.com, so I tried it. While those ads for TaxAct say they are free; if you want to finish and efile your federal and state tax returns, they are not really free. They attempted to up-sell me many times. I ended up paying about thirty-five dollars to finish my state and federal taxes and e-file them. When you do your tax returns with any tax software, there are many of questions that need to be answered and options to select. Until near the last steps, I believed I was paying $18 or so, and then near the finishing part of the tax process, it jumped to $35. I was eager to complete my taxes, so I decided to pay the $35, partly because this was still much less than buying a CD version of TurboTax.
TaxAct.com has lots of great features. It imported a PDF of my previous year tax returns which I saved last year using TurboTax, which was very impressive. Although TaxAct told me to enter the exact same info in a few places, overall it was very easy to use. When it came time to e-filemy taxes, just like all tax programs; one has to deal with our government’s system of using PINs and a bit of extra hassle.
I am sure that all web-based tax companies including TurboTax work just fine, the same as any CD-based versions of tax preparation programs. Just like nearly all computer applications, I am sure that tax preparation programs are all moving towards being all online.