Tax Software! It’s that time again

We are fast approaching tax season and I begain making plans to pick up my usual copy of TurboTax so I could get a jump on things.

I have been using some version of TurboTax since the early 1990’s and it never occurred to me to consider another product… until this year.

Why the change of heart? Part of it is the increasing arrogance of Intuit. When I upgraded to Quicken 2004, I found that they had added advertising in the software. Now I can’t balance my checkbook without looking at an advertisement for a Quicken MasterCard or bill paying service. Didn’t I already pay for the product? Why should I have to pay to look at advertising?

In addition, in recent years they have added the Premeir version to the TurboTax line and moved some of the features I used to get in Deluxe to the more expensive version. I am just an average Joe, why should I need to shell out an extra 30 bucks on tax return software because I cashed in a few stock options?

This year, Intuit began including a state product in some versions of their software without the need for a rebate – which is good – but they stopped offering a rebate for free electronic filing of federal returns.

It was upon noticing these little details that I also happened to notice that the competing product, TaxCut, was about $20 cheaper, included the state product for free and still offered a rebate for free electronic filing of federal returns. Hmmm.

Now I am a creature of habit and I don’t like change, but an extra 20 bucks could get me a case of beer. Should I make the leap? I have always liked the TurboTax interface, does TaxCut compare in terms of ease of use? Does H&R Block, the makers of TaxCut, have to charge $20 less because their product is not as good?

I have questions. Who has answers? Leave some comments if you have experience with either or both products. This may be the year I buy both products and do a head to head comparison. Who wants to see that?

TurboTax Total Tax Solution Deluxe 2005 with State Win/Mac
TurboTax Total Tax Solution Premier 2005 with State Win/Mac
TaxCut 2005 Deluxe + State
TaxCut 2005 Premium + State

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