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Tax Preparation Software

Get reviews of popular tax preparation software, plus top picks of the best tax programs for your needs. Reviews of free and paid software programs.

Free Tax Software - Best IRS Free File Web Sites
The IRS "Free File" offers free tax preparation software to prepare and e-file your 1040. Find the best free-file service for you with reviews and links to the IRS Free File program.

E-filing Tax Extensions
Filing an extension is super easy. By filing an extension, the IRS will give you an extra six months to file your tax return without penalty. The normal deadline to file your return is April 15, 2009. With an extension, your deadline to file a tax return will be October 15, 2009. However, an extension of time to file is not an extension of time...

Best Free Tax Calculators: Online Tax Tools and Worksheets
Find the best tax calculators and tax tools to help you prepare your tax return, understand your paycheck, or plan for next year. Top picks for free online tax calculators, tools, and worksheets.

Best Tax Software: Top Picks for Income Tax Software
Find objective reviews of income tax software based on thorough testing. Plus top picks and links to the best free tax software for preparing your 2005 taxes.

1040 dot com Free File Edition
The free file edition of 1040.com is one of the better free tax programs with decent help and efficient user interface.

1040NOW Free File Edition
The free file edition of 1040NOW's tax preparation software provides an excellent summary of new tax changes for 2013, however the software's interface and navigation flow can be confusing in places.

EFileTaxReturns Free File Edition
EFileTaxReturns has a nicely designed interface, and it's easy to navigate to different parts of the software

eSmart Tax Free File Edition
The free version of Liberty Tax's eSmart Tax software provides an adequate experience for people with simple tax situations.

EZ Tax Return Free File Edition
EZ Tax Return's free tax software provides fast, efficient data entry through worksheet-style screens. The software's minimal help content, however, may not be a good fit for casual users.

FileYourTaxes Free File Edition
FileYourTaxes offers free use of their software to prepare a federal tax return through the IRS's Free File Alliance. The software features worksheet-style data input screens. Some people may find it confusing to navigate through the software, and helpful explanations of tax topics is very limited.

Free 1040 Tax Return Free File Edition
Free 1040 Tax Return provides free access to their tax software for people to prepare a federal tax return. This fully functional tax software is best suited for people who are already familiar with how to prepare tax returns due the limited help content and somewhat confusing interface.

FreeTaxUSA Free File Edition
Review of the free tax preparation software program from FreeTaxUSA. Individuals may be eligible to prepare their federal tax return at no cost. The program features helpful explanations and a refund maximizer to check for overlooked deductions.

H&R Block At Home Free File Edition

OnLine Taxes (OLT) Free File Edition
OnLine Taxes provides access to their tax preparation software at no cost through the IRS's Free File Alliance. OnLine Taxes offers a functional tax preparation experience, although they skimp on the level of contextual help content.

Tax Simple Free File Edition
Tax Simple offers both a forms-based interface and an interview-style interface for navigating to different sections of the software. However, Tax Simple's lack of in-depth content in its help section suggests this program is best suited for people who are willing to look up tax information on their own.

TaxACT Free File (Software Review) - Free Version of 2nd Story Software TaxACT
TaxACT Free File version provides free access to the TaxACT from 2nd Story Software, which is a top-rated tax prep software package. With the Free File version, users have access to TaxACT's tax preparation software, but not access to tips and tools available only in the paid Deluxe version. TaxACT Free File caught a typo I made when entering my W2. This is a common tax prep mistake, and TurboTax was one of two Free File software programs that caught the error. Very highly recommended.

TaxSlayer Free File Edition
The free file edition of TaxSlayer offers multiple ways to navigate through the tax preparation software, provides helpful explanations of tax topics, and is available in English or Spanish.

TurboTax Free File Edition
Review of the free file edition of Intuit's TurboTax tax preparation software.

Tax Software Testing Scenarios
The following tax scenarios were used when I test tax preparation software for the year 2006.

Tax Software: Top Picks and Which One is Right for You
After having reviewed all the top PC-based and Web-based software programs, I think picking the right tax software comes down to two things: how complex your tax situation is, and how much you want to spend on the software program. Here's top picks for various situations.

H&R Block At Home Tax Preparation Software Review
Review of the At Home tax preparation software from H&R Block. At Home offers quick and easy tax preparation, with just a few drawbacks for complex tax issues. For simple tax returns, I rate At Home very highly. At Home was previously branded as TaxCut.

TaxAct Deluxe
Review of the TaxAct Deluxe tax preparation software program. TaxAct Deluxe is recommended for its interactive tax calculator, a feature missing in other programs. TaxAct isn't for everyone though.

TaxBrain (Software Review)
TaxBrain uses forms-style data entry screens to gather your tax information. TaxBrain offers faster tax preparation for straightforward tax returns. Taxpayers with more complex tax returns will need to spend extra time working with long, data-entry forms for business income, investments, and itemized deductions. TaxBrain works best for...

TurboTax Software Review
Review of the TurboTax tax preparation software program. Overall TurboTax is recommended for its easy to understand interview that keeps you moving through the tax return.

CCH CompleteTax
Review of the web-based tax software program CCH Complete Tax. Recommended for most tax situations. Barebones user interface doesn't feature unnecessary bells-and-whistles.

Complete Tax (Software Review)
Review of the web-based tax software program Complete Tax. Highly recommended for professional-style tax preparation.

Review of the ezTaxReturn Web-based Tax Preparation Software
I found ezTaxReturn pretty easy to use and quick. The user interface is clean and easy to understand. I was able to finish my sample tax return in less than half an hour. ezTaxReturn's clean interface helped keep me working through all the data entry with a minimum of confusion.

I-CAN E-File Tax Software Review
I-CAN E-file is a free, Web-based tax preparation service operated by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County. Web users should be aware that their tax return data can be accessed without logging in, a major security flaw that can expose users to identity theft. Not recommended.

Quicken Rental Property Manager (Software Review)
Quicken Rental Property Manager is recommended for rental property owners who need a quick and easy application to keep track of rental income and expenses. In particular, Quicken Rental Property Manager is highly recommended for landlords who are currently tracking rental income and expenses using paper reports or Excel spreadsheets.

TurboTax for the Web 2004 (Software Review)
Review of the TurboTax for the Web 2004 tax preparation software program. Overall: TurboTax for the Web is highly recommended for both simple and complicated tax returns because of its easy to understand interview questions and skillful handling of more complicated tax issues.

2003 Tax Software
Find software to prepare your 2003 tax return.

2004 Tax Software (Reviews and Top Picks)
The top picks for tax software to help you prepare your 2004 tax return.

TaxAct Deluxe 2004 (Software Review)
Review of the TaxAct Deluxe 2004 downloadable tax preparation software program. TaxAct Deluxe is recommended for its interactive tax calculator, a feature missing in other programs. TaxAct isn't for everyone though.

TaxAct Online Standard 2004 (Software Review)
Review of TaxAct Online Standard 2004 tax preparation Web-based software program. TaxAct Online is highly recommended for people with straightforward tax situations who want to prepare their tax return quickly and accurately. Web and download versions of TaxAct are compared.

TaxCut 2004 for the Web (Software Review)
Review of TaxCut 2004 for the Web tax preparation software. Quick and easy tax preparation, with just a few drawbacks for complex tax issues. For simple tax returns, I rate TaxCut very highly. If you have to depreciate any assets at all, don't bother with TaxCut unless you know depreciation inside and out.

TaxCut Free File (Software Review) - Free Version of H&R Block TaxCut
H&R Block TaxCut (Free File version) provides free access to the TaxCut Premium software, which is a top-rated tax prep software package. With the Free File version, users have access to all of TaxCut Premium's tools, forms, and tips. The software did not, however, detect a typo when entering my W2 (a common tax prep mistake). Overall, TaxCut is one of the very best free file software programs available. Highly recommended.

TaxCut Premium (Software Review)
Review of TaxCut Premium tax preparation software. Quick and easy tax preparation, with just a few drawbacks for complex tax issues. For simple tax returns, I rate TaxCut very highly.

TurboTax Free File (Software Review) - Free Version of Intuit TurboTax
TurboTax (Free File version) provides free access to the Intuit's TurboTax, which is a top-rated tax prep software package. With the Free File version, users have access to TurboTax's tools, forms, and tips. TurboTax (Free File Edition) caught a typo I made when entering my W2. This is a common tax prep mistake, and TurboTax was one of two Free File software programs that caught the error. Very highly recommended.

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