Driving down Cornelia Street last week, I was reminded by the friendly person in the funny green outfit that tax season is here yet again. Using a local business to complete the chore is one way to accomplish things; another way is to do it yourself with readily available software.
I wrote about this first product last year after using it for a number of years. It's an on-line product called "Tax Act" from 2nd Story Software. When I first used the service it offered completely free federal and state tax prep and only required payment if I wanted to e-file. The process proved to be easy and it contributed additional dollars to my refund due to a deduction I was not aware of. So, I paid the less than $20 fee, got a quick two-week refund via e-filing, and never looked back.
Tax Act is easy to use and requires nothing be installed on the PC. It operates over a secure http connection similar to online retail sites. A user can start a return and go as far as desired before logging off. Secure Tax Act servers will save all work accomplished and allow easy access to the point where preparation ended. Users returning from the previous year can have all pertinent information imported into the new tax return saving even more time. Find Tax Act online at www.taxact.com.
TurboTax is another service that has gained a following and while I have personally never used it I'm sure it works equally as well as Tax Act. The key to both services is the straight-forward questioning that allows the software to provide qualified deductions or credits for the user. It takes the frustration out of interpreting IRS instructions. The services work for both personal and small business returns.
Ron Poland is a professor in the Computer Information Systems AAS program at Clinton Community College. Poland is certified in computer repair and networking by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). He is also a Cisco certified network assistant. Questions may be sent to him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.