Author Topic: Tax software recommendation for a cheapskate?  (Read 479 times)

meteor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 363
  • Location: Outer Space
Tax software recommendation for a cheapskate?
« on: March 18, 2017, 09:26:43 PM »
All the free tax software does not apply to me since I have to file forms beyond the free offers. I've researched a bunch of different software options and they all seem WAY overpriced since you can only use them once. I pay a tax guy who continually makes errors (as did the one I tried before him) and now I'm so sick of paying someone to do a bad job, I'd rather pay myself to do a good job.  Any suggestions.

MDM

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6165
Re: Tax software recommendation for a cheapskate?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 09:56:45 PM »
Do you need a form not available at Available Forms and Limitations?

Zoot

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 186
  • Location: Atlanta (OTP)
Re: Tax software recommendation for a cheapskate?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 07:29:52 AM »
I've used pencil and paper ever since I filed my first tax return in the early 80s as a teenager.  These days I transfer all the numbers to the fill-in PDF's from the IRS website.  Our taxes aren't super-complicated, but we do usually end up having to file multiple supporting schedules for capital gains and side-hustles.  I have never been able to bring myself to pay someone or to buy tax software.

Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Tax software recommendation for a cheapskate?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 08:19:52 AM »
Just use the forms and do it yourself.  Fillable forms are available on IRS.gov.  When finished, compare your results to your 2015 return to identify anything you might have missed.  People filed taxes for decades before tax software was available.  I have used tax software some years, but I don't think it saves time because the software takes you through questions that don't apply to your situation.

markpst

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: Tax software recommendation for a cheapskate?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 08:45:12 AM »
I used freetaxusa.com

In the past, I have used H&R Block Free file, but they have some limitations such as you have to pay if you have investment income, or your AGI is too high (unless this has changed in the last two years).

2016 was the 2nd year I used freetaxusa and I was happy with everything. It even kept my data from last year, which H&R Block always made you fill out again unless you wanted to upgrade to a pay service.

YttriumNitrate

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Tax software recommendation for a cheapskate?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2017, 08:52:42 AM »
Another vote for freetaxusa.com. This year, I ended up paying them about $25 because my wife and I file in two states. In the past, I used Turbo tax (and liked their interface), but switched when they wanted well over a $100 to file everything.

hankscorpio84

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 50
Re: Tax software recommendation for a cheapskate?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 09:48:41 AM »
I have used TaxAct.com for several years now.  If your taxes are simple, it will be free.  They constantly try to up sell you into paying throughout the process, but you can decline.  Also, they will charge a bank fee for sending a refund by direct deposit.  Elect a paper check sent through the mail to avoid the fee.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5449
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Tax software recommendation for a cheapskate?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2017, 10:03:11 AM »
All the free tax software does not apply to me since I have to file forms beyond the free offers. I've researched a bunch of different software options and they all seem WAY overpriced since you can only use them once. I pay a tax guy who continually makes errors (as did the one I tried before him) and now I'm so sick of paying someone to do a bad job, I'd rather pay myself to do a good job.  Any suggestions.

So: How does the pay-for-one-use software compare in price to your tax guy that makes errors?

I regularly spend about $30 a year on single use desktop software.  I used TurboTax for years and switched to H&R a couple of years ago... all in that range.  I don't pay state income tax, so ... that does reduce my cost some.  It's probably double that for state inclusion.

There are totally free ways to do it by hand.  And, I'd actually encourage you to do it once as a learning experience, even if you follow it up by checking it with tax software.  Personally, I find it a pain in the ass**, but doing it once did give me a better understanding of what is going on.  Probably if I did it by hand every year, I'd get used to it.


**For me the PITA is the IRS's language.  What they are actually asking people to do is very simple.  The legalese language is difficult for my brain to stumble through.  You'll often read through a page of crap to essentially get "put the dollars from your form X into box Y."
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

Tasty Pinecones

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 614
Re: Tax software recommendation for a cheapskate?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2017, 08:25:06 AM »
I have used TaxAct.com for several years now.  If your taxes are simple, it will be free.  They constantly try to up sell you into paying throughout the process, but you can decline.  Also, they will charge a bank fee for sending a refund by direct deposit.  Elect a paper check sent through the mail to avoid the fee.

I'll second TaxAct.

RWD

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1274
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: Tax software recommendation for a cheapskate?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2017, 08:27:11 AM »
I used FreeTaxUSA this year, seemed to work just fine. I used TaxAct last year but switched because their prices went up.

Livingthedream55

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 175
Re: Tax software recommendation for a cheapskate?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2017, 08:44:52 AM »
I used freetaxusa.com

In the past, I have used H&R Block Free file, but they have some limitations such as you have to pay if you have investment income, or your AGI is too high (unless this has changed in the last two years).

2016 was the 2nd year I used freetaxusa and I was happy with everything. It even kept my data from last year, which H&R Block always made you fill out again unless you wanted to upgrade to a pay service.

+2 Cost me $12.95