TaxCut. I decided. I bought my copy of TaxCut last week. I picked the TaxCut Premium Federal + State + E-file version since I wanted the state software too.
Even though the final updates won’t be available until later this month, here’s why I picked TaxCut this year.
Price. $49.95 for the Premium version. The price is cheaper than TurboTax. The most similar version of TurboTax is the Deluxe version for $59.95. (TurboTax also offers a premier version, for $89.95 and a Home & Business version at $99.95). TurboTax originally came out with a pricing structure that had $9.95 fee per additional return. After customers balked, they removed the fee and matched the TaxCut offer of 5 federal E-files for free; but did not match the lower TaxCut price.
Five E-files. With 5 free federal E-files, my mom and I can complete multiple returns, without hitting additional e-filing fees, something that tripped us up last year, using TaxAct. If you only have one return to file, TaxACT is a cheap option at $19.95 (for the version that includes state software). However, at $7.95 per extra E-file, the price jumps to $51.75 for 5 returns.
Deduction Software. It includes DeductionPro, which is helpful to calculate the value of donations. This is something I missed last year!
Physical Disk. I bought the version with a physical disk, because I like to install it on both the desktop and our laptops, so I can work on it whenever I want. If you want the physical version, you may want to purchase TaxCut from Amazon, since they have free shipping. H&R Block also offers the disk version, but charges $5.95 to ship it.
Additional Pros. Here are some more of the features that TaxCut offers. They aren’t what persuaded me, but are nice to haves:
- WILLPower. It comes with a copy of WILLPower, which we used in past years to complete a simple will.
- Interview style questions for those not familiar with tax law and error checking.
- Ask a tax advisor. One session to get an answer to a tax question by phone or e-mail.
- Audit support.
- Accuracy guarantee.
Data Import. This is where TaxCut frustrated me. While I have a TaxCut file for many years, I don’t have one from last year since I tried the TaxAct product. TaxCut didn’t support a TaxACT import, but Turbo Tax does. It’s also too bad that you can’t import data from 2007 or earlier. Although it can import data from Microsoft Money, Quicken, and TurboTax.
State E-file Fee. State E-file is an extra fee. While the state software is included, to e-file it is an extra $19.95. I’ll just mail mine in since ours is only a few pages, but if you were planning to e-file, make sure you notice this… it’s in very fine print!
Community Property Business. Schedule C for community property. Just a small annoyance I found, but for those of us in a community property state that can file our joint partnership with a spouse as a single owner on a Schedule C, we have to compute the allocations by hand. I’ve heard that TurboTax includes this option. Although, there are plenty of nice features for business owners, including deprecation assistants for section 179 deductions, a home office adviser, and retirement calculators to determine contributions.
You can pick from the other TaxCut options if you don’t need a state return or need to complete a business return:
- Basic Federal + E-file: $19.95
- Premium Federal + E-file: $34.95
- Home & Business + E-file: $79.95.
In addition, you can check out the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program for free tax filing. I’ve volunteered for the program in the past, and it’s a great resource.