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March 04, 2010


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My Fred Meyer (Kroeger) Dept. store had the H&RBlock software on sale in January, the "home owner and investor edition" I purchased, sold for just $19.95 on sale (at least $10 off MSRP if not more) but, you ALSO got a $5 gift card with purchase, NET cost just $14.95! I like the ease of use, I dislike there is no way to "see" the Form 1040 in completion or as a draft, just various "sections" instead, still it updated, worked fine, asked the hard questions, (I purchased a vehicle for the special sales tax deduction for example and saved $913~ by NOT itemizing and had capital gains losses carried forward)...for the price, it could not be beat. Will use again this year. In fact the tax "estimator" is handy for what if scenarios and figuring witholding to file an updated W-4 or estimated quarterly payments, as often as you need! CAN'T BE BEAT FOR THE PRICE!

I have used H&R Block online for the last several years and love it. The Basic package is cheap and really isn't that basic. I recommend it to everyone that asks me tax questions (I'm an accountant).

I've been using Turbo Tax. I like it ok, but I wish it was cheaper too. I even get a discount through Fidelity.

FMF. I liked the last line you wrote. "maybe we should scrap the whole tax code and just do a straight flat tax on a post card and make all of our lives simpler." I couldn't agree more. Our taxes really shouldn't be so complicated that it takes profesional help to get them done. I'd like to see a combination of a flat rate income tax and an increase in consumer tax to help pay our bills. Let those that consume more, pay more. What could be more fair?

Back when I compared TaxCut with TurboTax, there was no comparison: TurboTax was the clear winner. But if I didn't run a business, I'd probably go with H&R Block just based on price.

I have used Tax Cut, er H&R Home Edition (what's up with the name change anyway?) for several years. I too bought it because it does an adequate job of doing my taxes, and it is usually cheaper than TurboTax. I agree that it adds insult to injury to have to pay for a product or service in order to pay taxes. I think even Congress could improve their approval ratings if they made the tax code simpler!

Rather than a flat tax, what I'd really like is for the IRS to send out mostly completed tax forms (like Finland, so that we wouldn't have to do so much work. Unfortunately, tax prep is big business, so it will probably never happen.

They keep sending me the CD in the mail at the high price. The first one had a coupon for $10 off, so I bought if off Amazon for a much cheaper price AND used the coupon...I think about $20 in all. They wasted all that money sending me 2 CDs in the mail, only to be thrown away. How that helps their profit margins I'll never understand. But now that I know how they market it, I'll never spend $40 again - at least not until the normal prices is $60 and the Amazon price is $40!

I use Turbo Tax which I get via State Farm. Online filing is free, but if I want my own copy it was nothing for cheapest, $19.95 for deluxe and $29.95 for the premier.

Except for this year I may have to go to an accountant after all. I do taxes for myself and for my parents. This year my parents' got final K-1 for a limited partnership that terminated (it was a real estate partnership they invested in years ago and that finally sold the commercial rental.

Normally K-1 with Turbo Tax is no big deal, but this time it has 4 items in box 20 which is other information and code Y which can mean virtually anything at that. Three of these items are section 743 adjustments to other items and one is final net capital loss or something (why wasn't it in other boxes which listed capital gains and losses for partnership?). The instructions on K-1 that the partnership sent says to read documentation to various forms (E, D, some other) about how to enter this information. Except for the relevant forms don't have this information. Interestingly, as I was searching the web for it, I found some accountant forum in which CPAs were asking advice from each other about entering some of those section 743 adjustments. One of the apparently gave wrong answer that another said was wrong but didn't provide clear answer. The final question in this discussion between CPAs was - "have anybody figured it out?". So how can I trust that a particular CPA would know? Plus my parents are low income - social security and some interest from savings/IRA distributions from whatever they managed to save during 15 years or so they worked in the US. They would already have to pay taxes on recaptured depreciation from this partnership - depreciation they haven't benefited from over the years because they were too low income for it to make a difference. So paying a few hundred dollars to an accountant when it's not even clear it'll make a difference isn't something I'd want.

Oh well, will try to read up more on this.

So yes, I agree to what people said about simplifying. The tax code shouldn't be as complex that two low income retired people need to spend hundreds of dollars (in addition to owing taxes on "phantom" income - taxable at 25% no less regardless of bracket - they never could take advantage of) on help.

I am a pastor and thought H&R At Home did a great job getting it right although minister's taxes are confusing. I give it an A+ for that. But I give it an F because it will not allow ministers to efile. It claims that ministers cannot efile because there must be a written statement on minister's income and housing allowance etc. and attached to be mailed in with the forms. I have never needed to do this in the past. Turbo Tax never made me do this and my professional tax agent has never had to do this.

If H&R Block will get this right I will give them an A+ all the way around!

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