Tax Software

midnightinharlem

Level 2 Member
Just wanted to start a thread to discuss various tax software, especially for those people here who have side businesses (consulting, reselling, blogging, etc.).

I've been a long-time Turbotax user but moved states in 2014 and have to file two sets of state taxes. Other than that, I have a straightforward W-2, interest income, dividends, and a backdoor Roth IRA contribution/conversion in 2014. Nothing too funky but trying to compare costs between Turbotax and TaxAct. Have never used TaxAct - thoughts, anyone?
 

MickiSue

Level 2 Member
Supporter
I was all set to change from TurboTax to H&R Block this year, b/c they offer free audit protection. (Use the TT "Home and Small Business" software.) But HR only downloads their lower level programs on a Mac, and the disk will do my zip good. I have a MacBook Air--not a disk drive to be found.

Guess I'm sticking with TT. I used a different one--not sure which--one year, and it was so buggy as to be unusable.
 

Robby Stephenson

New Member
I've been a TaxAct user for a while, since 2006, I think. But I can't provide much of a comparison review since that's the only software I've used. All I can say is that I like the web interface they have. Their links to IRS documents, help files, and national/state averages are clear and obvious when I need them. I don't have a side business, but between brokerage accounts, LendingClub, student loans, state disability, etc., it's a moderately complex 1040, I guess. I've never had any issues with TaxAct, and their internal consistency/audit checks have caught a few omissions from my input that have been helpful.

I also moved in 2014 so this will be the first time I have multiple state returns. TaxAct is fairly inexpensive, with frequent deals. I just created my 2014 account under a deal for $6 to file both my Federal and State, with the additional State return for $9.99.
 

gmenrule

Level 2 Member
Thank you for the reminder ...need to file an extension! Always use TTax from the State Farm website with a discount
 

fordman85

New Member
I recently opened up a Vanguard account, and as a member, they offer you a discount on Turbo Tax. I figured I would throw that out there in case you have an account, but didn't know of the perk!

I guess just about any big Financial Institution is offering a Turbo Tax discount.
 

MickiSue

Level 2 Member
Supporter
I have saved in my inbox a discount for TT from Cap1. Not sure yet if it'll help with the small biz version; left for vacation without checking the link.
 

MickiSue

Level 2 Member
Supporter
I got it in an email about two weeks ago. I redeemed it yesterday; got the Home and Small Biz ($80) for $60.
 

projectx

Level 2 Member
I've used TurboTax in the past, then switched to Tax Act because it is less expensive. However, I found TA to be much less intuitive. After using it for a couple years my opinion has not changed and will probably go back to TT or check out H&R. Last year I had to hunt and dig through TA's site trying to find the place to put in the quarterly tax payments for our in-house babysitter, as the step by step instructions processed it incorrectly. It was a pain. I'm just glad I noticed the error as it would of cost me a few hundred bucks.
 

cboss3

Level 2 Member
I don't have any side business yet. I've been using Tax Act Online for the past several years now but I haven't tried any other software. For me it has been pretty easy to use and handles my life situations which during the past few years have just been switching jobs and buying a house. Since I paid upfront MIP instead of monthly I googled the proper way to enter that but otherwise Tax Act has supplied useful information.
 

Matt

Administrator
Staff member
Just completed TaxAct for out of state C-Corp. Have to say that it is not the most user friendly software. I'm not using it for personal so can't compare, but for 1120 corp filing it assumes a LOT of knowledge. Luckily for me I was familiar with many of the things that came up but I wouldn't expect the average user to be in that situation. The stuff on Section 179 depreciation was particularly blunt and you had to know what you were seeking.
 

projectx

Level 2 Member
After using all three of the major software providers (Tax Act, H&R, Turbo Tax), I've found that TT is by far the most intuitive and easy to use.

Then I get a letter in the mail from the state tax agency that says instead of a $220 state refund, I now owe $1. First time I've ever had a correction on a return. Thank you, turbo tax. :mad:
 

Matt

Administrator
Staff member
After using all three of the major software providers (Tax Act, H&R, Turbo Tax), I've found that TT is by far the most intuitive and easy to use.

Then I get a letter in the mail from the state tax agency that says instead of a $220 state refund, I now owe $1. First time I've ever had a correction on a return. Thank you, turbo tax. :mad:
That's surprising - I would push back on TT to see what they say/will do about that.
 

InstinctX

Level 2 Member
I use TT State -- but then manually use my state's Taxation site with fillable online form to enter my numbers. I refuse to to pay their state tax efile fee. I use the final number to match the expected amount (taxed owed or refund). I have sometimes found TT to be incorrect.
 
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cocobird

Level 2 Member
I've used H&R Block's Premium software for a couple of decades with no issues. Besides regular income from salary and unemployement, we have accounted for a SFR rental, stock options, employee stock purchase plans, retirement, a retirement annuity, loss carryforwards, AMT, and various types of donations. The software has readily handled all types of situations.
 

fenwatfantw

New Member
Tax act!! Made the switch last year and found it a little more challenging than turbotax but for almost $60 less it was definitely worth it.

For reference my return is relatively simple.. W-2 and some dividends and investment proceeds. I am not self employed, no home ownership, no spouse, no kids
 
T

TJP

Guest
I've used TurboTax out of convenience the past few years ,just because it can import the data form the prior returns and import the investment 1099s. I might try H&R or TaxAct next year.
 

SC Trojan

Level 2 Member
I've been using TurboTax for several years. It's much easier than H&R was several years ago (last time I used H&R) and the cost is not much more in the grand scheme of things.

I do have an issue with Intuit's customer service. They seem to try to force people into the Premier that used to be OK with Deluxe. I have been buying Premier for a few years due to a rental property, so it doesn't really affect me though.

If I was starting from scratch I would consider TaxAct, as they have $15 ultimate edition deals all the time, but I guess I'm too lazy to do the switch at this point...
 

Josh F

Level 2 Member
Charity Forum Mod
Turbo tax is probably the best product, I switched over to h&r block a few years ago due to its better pricing (check SD). It's almost as good and only $10-$15 for most versions via SD.
 

MickiSue

Level 2 Member
Supporter
As noted earlier this year, I'm pretty much stuck with TT. I need the Home and Small Business software, and they are currently the only ones that have it for download. I have no disk drive.

FWIW, I was audited for 4 years of taxes, in the late summer/early fall. I've yet to hear back from the auditor. This was for state, so, who knows?
 

bgh10788

Level 2 Member
I've been using H&R Block for the past 4 years or so. Mostly because I can usually find a better deal on it via SD (got deluxe+state for $15 this year). It does everything I need on my relatively simple return.
 

mlick41954

Level 2 Member
I've used TT for over 10 years and have never found a reason to try something new. This is the first year I will be claiming income from my side business though, so I'll see if that makes me want to look at alternatives.
 

Derptrader

New Member
I managed to get access to the Credit Karma tax software, which is completely free. Summary is on this post here: https://saverocity.com/forum/threads/turbotax-deluxe-for-24-99.660171/#post-801178 - This includes forms and situations that it does not support

Unfortunately I'm unable to take advantage of it as we need to fill out file a foreign tax credit form which is not supported this year.

More details on this forbes article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurengensler/2016/12/07/credit-karma-free-tax-filings/#5979594b3b3d

They bought AFJC Corporation which was a online tax preparer.

From looking at the forms that they have, they support businesses and investments for free.
 

El Ingeniero

Level 2 Member
I used a CPA for my 2015 taxes. They found a total of $800 in refunds I would have never found. I used TurboTax the previous 5 years.
 

Cytraveler

Level 2 Member
I've used TT for several years, but this year I'm going to use it as well as a CPA because I'm just not sure about some things (and have them look at my previous taxes).

I have personal, sole proprietor, owner (and my full-time employment) in S-Corp, and investor in an LLC. The S-Corp and LLC corporate taxes are done by CPA.

I've found TT easy to use and intuitive. For S-corp owners, it's not transparent how you should deduct the health insurance if paid by the S-Corp when you're an owner, and in fact doesn't even really ask you about it (the W-2 adds the insurance into your wages and you have to deduct it back out; for a couple years I wasn't deducting it out, and then figured out what was happening), so watch out for that.

I'm going to use a CPA because I just don't really understand how to deal with the losses/gains from the combo of the LLC and S-corp, which are somewhat intertwined, and TT doesn't provide guidance. I don't really fault TT though, as it is more about the complexities of the underlying businesses.

Also, my home state (PA) keeps challenging me on my taxes, because it doesn't like that I'm not paying taxes on gains from the S-corp, but the CPA has determined that even though I live there, we don't have nexus there and therefore we pay taxes on gains to other states where we do have nexus. I'm about to send a second letter, which is a repeat of my first letter. Again, I don't really blame TT, but the state, which is being dense. So you might think that TT mis-calculated, but they didn't. The state is mis-calculating and not responding to my letters.
 

CruisingFlying4life

Level 2 Member
I have used TaxAct for many years and favored them for their great value until now. Their software now requires that you sign-in online where it was not a feature in the past. ( I have a tax prep biz). It's a backdoor way to get access to my client's data.

I am now researching new software to use.
 
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