Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Free Tax Preparation

Every year, I try to bring you the different Tax Preparation ( and lowest priced ) options available.

As I have mentioned, some Mystery Shopping companies offer Tax shops. These are often worth $100's of dollars from different well known franchises, and well worth it if you qualify. Each has their own qualifiers, so you will need to see if you would be accepted for the shop.

To sign up to be a Mystery Shopper w/ all the companies I recommend, >click here.

Today, though, I would like to introduce the software I am using this year. Why? Because it is free! So far, so good.

Tax Act - Free Tax Preparation Software

I have done my taxes a little different so far this year. In all the past years, I would consolidate all my paperwork as it came in the mail and then sit down one day and spend HOURS putting everything together.

This year, as my forms arrive in the mail I have logged into my account and entered it as it arrived. I am hoping it will save me TONS of time at the end. We will see. :) So far, so good though. But, I am still waiting for paperwork to arrive.

I have used Tax Act in the past and decided to go with them again this year, since they are free.

So, here are the details on Tax Act:
  • It is Free to Prepare, Free to Print and Free to eFile. Join here.
  • The Software is for Easy forms AND Complex Forms ( this has always been my issue w/other software, I had to pay because my taxes aren't simple )
  • Free Online Tax Guidance via Email ( if you get the answers and want the computer to answer it, you will be upgraded to a paying use email instead )
So, what else could you need? And, what is it missing vs. their paid versions?

You aren't getting:
  • Automatic import ( so you will need to log in like me and enter your information from your forms )
  • Automatic tracking and value of your non cash donations.
  • Expert Tax Help on Demand ( you will need to use the email help instead )
  • State Return
Personally, I don't mind entering my own information, I figure out my non cash donations based on the sheets Goodwill and other companies give me to estimate, and I have always done my State Forms my hand. Once my Federal are done, that is the hard part. My state taxes are pretty straight forward comparatively!

So for FREE, I am very pleased with their software thus far.

If you would rather get these additional features, it isn't too expensive.
  • Tax Act Deluxe is only $9.95
  • Tax Act Ultimate is $17.95
Would you like to try out Tax Act yourself? Click here to begin.

Meanwhile, I will start a Tax button in the left menu bar with the different options I will be introducing over the next few weeks.

Also, if you notice your financial institution is offering any Tax Software incentives to your, please shoot me an email. I would like to update everyone on these options as well.

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Karen Foster said...

Carrie -
WAY TO GO in suggesting FREE options for Tax preparation! I was catching up on a few of the money blogs I read and NONE of them (up to this point) mentioned Tax Act, or other local FREE options (like the library and United Way). Mostly the other posts mentioned Turbo Tax and H&R Block which can run up to $80. I just wrote on my blog today about the Volunteer Tax Assistance program in South Jersey. Perhaps it would help your readers.
Have a great day and THANKS,

Carrie @ said...

Too funny. I was going to mention VITA in my next Tax post going to try and do one a week.

I used to volunteer for VITA and do taxes for people when I was in college for free. I loved it!

But, I didn't know about United Way. Do you mind sending me the info on that? I would love to share!

Karen Foster said...

Carrie -
Here is the link to my post - the United Way option was for Cumberland County, NJ, but the VITA link on my post is for all counties in NJ!

Too much! I volunteered in DC during college doing taxes as well and really enjoyed it. I also worked for a big green box tax prep company and saw how much they charged people and it made my stomach turn.

Glad this could help!

Carrie @ said...

Funny! I am right there with you.

One year, I had to go to one of the big name Tax companies ( I won't name names ) :) to get my taxes done.

It was a joke. The guy kept getting confused on where to enter stuff and I had to tell him how it should be filed. He had no idea what I could deduct for a home business and what I couldn't.

Another year I did a different company, and that girl looked at my stuff and said she couldn't do it. I need to have her manager do my taxes, so they had to reschedule me.

I had found sitters and everything and my husband took off work early. Needless to say, I never went back.

I am all about free! Companies charge and arm and a leg for someone to enter your data into a computer program..which I can do myself at home. my rant. :)

Thanks for the links. I will be going to check it out.