Time to Look at Tax Software

Tax time is just around the corner.  This week we have seen the release of some of the leading do it yourself tax solutions.  We are providing links here so you can check out some of the offerings for this year.

One big change for this year is that federal e-filing is now included in the price by all major providers.  With this change, tax filers will no longer have an economic impediment to federal e-filing.  The software now costs the same whether you print and mail, or just simply e-file.  If you count postage, return receipt fees, driving to the post office and the delay in getting a refund, it’s just not worth it anymore to mail your return to the IRS.  There is a big push every year by the IRS to get as many returns e-filed as possible and it looks like the major providers have now seriously helped out the cause.

Of course e-filing was a major source of revenue for providers, so prices of the base products have increased.  We don’t have all of last years data, but it looks like each provider’s total cost to prepare and file online will be roughly the same this year.  Both TurboTax Online and TaxCut Online are closely priced.  
Preparing and e-filing a federal and state return costs $50 with TurboTax Basic and $65 with TurboTax Deluxe.  The same return with TaxCut Basic is $50 and TaxCut Premium is $70.  CompleteTax is slightly less at $45.  TaxACT is significantly less expensive at $17.   If you aren’t sure which online solution is best for you, each one is free until you try to print or file.  So you can give them all a try at no cost.

As for desktop software, it’s a little more complicated.  TurboTax Desktop will now charge a fee for each additional return plus state e-filing charges.  TaxCut allows up to 5 federal returns, but charges a little more for each state e-filing.  Here’s the back of the envelope calculations for a federal and state return, both being e-filed.  TurboTax Deluxe costs $78 for the first return and $28 $18 for each additional.  TaxCut Premium costs $70 for the first return and $20 for each additional up to five.   Again, TaxACT’s desktop download is priced significantly below the other two software providers at only $28 for one return.  UPDATE – TurboTax now allows up to 5 federal returns at no additional charge.

All of the prices quoted here are subject to change.  And these companies are known to adjust prices during tax season.  (They actually changed within hours of our post.)  One great thing that hasn’t changed and won’t change – low income and simple federal returns can still be prepared online and federally e-filed for free.

We haven’t made feature comparisons at this point, but these links take you to the different features of each of the products.  If you find any good product reviews and feature comparisons, please share the links by commenting on this post.

Online Tax Preparation

TurboTax Choose Easy
Which TurboTax Is Right For You? Click Here. 

Compare TaxCut Online products

Compare TaxAct Online Solutions.

See the CompleteTax offering.

Desktop Tax Software

TurboTax Choose Easy
TurboTax CD/Download Products

TaxCut Software Complete Features List

Compare Software Downloads

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