Tax Software recommendations?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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togb
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Tax Software recommendations?

Post by togb » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:31 pm

For those who do your own taxes.... what software do you use/recommend?

I've been using H&R Block to prepare my taxes (in the office & for more money than makes sense) but have decided to do my own starting with 2017. I thought it might make sense to use their software since I assumed/hoped my information would automatically populate. This would be particularly useful with depreciation on rental properties.

I have W2 income, investments, and rental properties so probably need the deluxe version of whatever I go with-- but very interested to hear recommendations on a good software for doing my own tax prep.

Thanks in advance for your input.

DVMResident
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Re: Tax Software recommendations?

Post by DVMResident » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:38 pm

I have used H&R Block software and TubroTax. I like TubroTax a bit more, though it's a bit more expensive: a bit smoother, less clunky, easier to navigate back to sections, and better output files. Both get the job done.

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FiveK
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Re: Tax Software recommendations?

Post by FiveK » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:22 am

You could peruse this: The Best Tax Software of 2017 | PCMag.com.

Pros/cons for the different packages can be in the eye of the beholder. Have used TurboTax, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer and got the same answers (within rounding differences) any year more than one was used.

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Ethelred
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Re: Tax Software recommendations?

Post by Ethelred » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:16 am

togb wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:31 pm
For those who do your own taxes.... what software do you use/recommend?

I've been using H&R Block to prepare my taxes (in the office & for more money than makes sense) but have decided to do my own starting with 2017. I thought it might make sense to use their software since I assumed/hoped my information would automatically populate. This would be particularly useful with depreciation on rental properties.

I have W2 income, investments, and rental properties so probably need the deluxe version of whatever I go with-- but very interested to hear recommendations on a good software for doing my own tax prep.

Thanks in advance for your input.
I use TaxAct, and I like it. Except for their confusing and inexorably rising prices, so now they are only slightly cheaper than H&R Block, even if still substantially cheaper than TurboTax. It looks like quite a few people will be trying out freetaxusa this year, which has had some good reviews.

I doubt your information will automatically populate in H&R Block software. You'd likely need an electronic copy of last year's tax return for that.

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Toons
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Re: Tax Software recommendations?

Post by Toons » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:19 am

TaxAct
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livesoft
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Re: Tax Software recommendations?

Post by livesoft » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:22 am

HRBlock is essentially free software nowadays. I used to use TT, but you can read about how TurboTax played with customers and I didn't like getting played, so I switched. Glad I did and saved me money.

The PC Magazine review of tax software linked in this thread is a joke and useful for only 16-year olds who do their taxes on their phone. I was particularly incensed by the sentence that said something about not needing to look at a tax form, but that's the subject for another thread.
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oneleaf
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Re: Tax Software recommendations?

Post by oneleaf » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:27 am

TaxAct was great value a couple years ago, but went up in price quite a bit (for the Plus version) last year, and went up a lot more this year for state returns. I am a bit disappointed. Also, in this thread, I discussed a reason why I am preferring FreeTaxUSA over TaxAct.

TurboTax was nice when Flagship members got it for free, but now, it seems way overpriced compared to the competition.

jebmke
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Re: Tax Software recommendations?

Post by jebmke » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:32 am

I have used nearly all of them. They each have different quirks and features but they essentially do the same thing. If they didn't, the IRS wouldn't accept their returns in the MEF system. I happen to like HRBlock. But it does have a few quirks that you need to discover depending on your situation. For example, unless they fixed it this year, in order to have appreciated capital gain assets classified as 30% limit donations to charity you have to go into the form and use the selector box. The system defaults show it as a 50% asset. If you don't manually go in and fix it, you may risk running over the 30% limit and invite a letter from the nice folks at the IRS.
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dbr
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Re: Tax Software recommendations?

Post by dbr » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:35 am

I have been fine with TurboTax. I am not one that wastes a lot of time worrying about "best."

bob60014
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Re: Tax Software recommendations?

Post by bob60014 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:40 am

I've used Turbofax for years, easy to navigate, plenty of help resourses and never any issues. I just picked up a good deal on Amazon, TT Home and Business for $79!

aristotelian
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Re: Tax Software recommendations?

Post by aristotelian » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:42 am

I did Freetaxusa.com last year for federal. It is the only one as far as I know that does self-employment and such for free. Got the job done, no complaints.

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BL
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Re: Tax Software recommendations?

Post by BL » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:24 am

If you have the 2016 1040 in pdf form you might be able to import, but I doubt you have it.

One idea is to buy last year's H&R Block 2016 software, and try to re-create the results on your own. That would help you verify that you know how to do it, and let you import data when you use your 2017 software. I see a copy of 2016 on Amazon for ~ $30:
https://www.amazon.com/Block-Software-D ... x+software

They will try to up-sell you the more expensive version, of course.

livesoft
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Re: Tax Software recommendations?

Post by livesoft » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:38 am

BL wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:24 am
I see a copy of 2016 on Amazon for ~ $30:
Why pay $30 when 2017 sells for $19.11.
I think I saw 2016 for less than $10.
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SurfCityBill
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Re: Tax Software recommendations?

Post by SurfCityBill » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:10 pm

I've used TT on-line version for years except last year I purchased TT CD version from Sam's. Unless I missed something, I was unable to roll all my prior on-line TT data into the CD version. This may apply to all on-line vs CD versions of tax preparer software but it made the process last year a lot slower and had to be careful as things like carryover data were not automatically carried over.

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Ged
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Re: Tax Software recommendations?

Post by Ged » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:15 pm

I use TurboTax mostly because it integrates well with Fidelity where I have all of my investments.

As a premium customer at Fidelity I've been able to get it for free as well although it's the good integration that I'm most interested in.

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BL
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Re: Tax Software recommendations?

Post by BL » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:38 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:38 am
BL wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:24 am
I see a copy of 2016 on Amazon for ~ $30:
Why pay $30 when 2017 sells for $19.11.
I think I saw 2016 for less than $10.
+1

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