Thursday, February 15, 2007

TurboTax and TaxCut

I have been using tax software to prepare my taxes since 1996. For the first several years, I used TurboTax exclusively. There was one year (I think it was 1999) that Microsoft came out with a program called TaxSaver, but that product has disappeared. Even though I bought TaxSaver, I ended up using TurboTax for 1999. (Note that in this post, I will be referring to the tax year version of the software. The current tax products are for tax year 2006, even though it is already 2007.)

In 2002, I switched to using TaxCut from H&R Block. This was also the year that TurboTax introduced its short lived product activation scheme. To make a long story short, one was not allowed to install TurboTax on more than one computer, and this cause a lot of discontent among TurboTax users. Also, TaxCut is usually cheaper than TurboTax. I stayed with TaxCut until last year when I switched back to TurboTax. I feel this was a mistake, as TurboTax 2005 initially did not allow you to import tax files from TaxCut. Intuit cited "security reasons" as their excuse for not allowing data imported from TaxCut. Intuit later corrected this flaw, but not until after I had already manually re-entered all of my data into TurboTax. I guess that it wasn't really a security issue after all. I could still import my old TaxCut data to TurboTax, but that would wipe out all of the new data that I already entered.

I'm now back to TaxCut for 2006. I mentioned before that I bought this software over Thanksgiving weekend. The import of my TurboTax data from last year worked without a hitch. Going forward, I will probably stay with TaxCut, since I'm pretty much feed up with Intuit TurboTax's shenanigans over the past few years.

Another reason for my choice of tax software is the associated rebate for financial software. TaxCut offers a rebate on Microsoft Money, and TurboTax offers a rebate for Quicken. I suppose that I should cover what I like about Microsoft Money vs. Quicken in another post.

I have always used the Deluxe or Premier "desktop" version of the tax software, which includes a copy of the state version of the tax preparation software. However, an online version is available for both TurboTax and TaxCut, which I have not used. I also haven't tried using e-file yet, but I might consider it.

So, what tax software does everybody else use?

PF Stock


Anonymous said...

I've always used the Basic version of TurboTax, even though our taxes are pretty complicated.

pfstock said...

The Basic version of TurboTax doesn't include the state program, so I will assume that you do that part by hand. In the short while that I lived in Arizona, I thought that the state tax form was much easier to fill out than California's. Nowadays, I need to use the state program as well.