Posted By: Dr. Frugal in Taxes on 08/23/2007 at 10:00:18
Of the "big three", TaxACT is probably the least-known but, for 1040EZ filers, has a big advantage--it's free. They offer three different versions: Standard, Deluxe, and Ultimate.
Unless you're filing a 1040EZ this will probably be too weak for you and you'll need one of the more complex (and not free) versions. However, if you ARE filing a 1040EZ you certainly can't beat their free version.
The Deluxe version ups the functionality of the package considerably. One of the interesting features of TaxACT is a Life Events advice section that offers help if you have had a significant change in your life (marriage, divorce, children, and so on). These events may change your return parameters and the Deluxe version offers advice and tips appropriate to the selected "life event". TaxACT Deluxe is a significant step up from the standard package, so you get much more in the way of interactive features, such as a tax calculator to help you with the "what if" scenarios. It will also import data from last year's TaxACT.
The Ultimate package includes all that is in the Deluxe version plus a state return, which costs extra with other packages. Given the small difference in price, the Ultimate version appears to be the better bargain if you live in a state with an income tax (I do).
TaxACT is reportedly faster than other leading brands of tax preparation software and it will rank on the low end in any price comparison. You should not choose tax preparation software strictly on price, since this is an annual process. However, there is no need to overpay for features you won't use either.
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