- Turbotax Free
- Turbotax Basic
- Turbotax Deluxe
- Turbotax Home and Business
- Turbotax Premier
- Turbotax State
Turbotax Online Free Edition
Turbotax Online Note: The FREE edition is for the Federal tax return only. If you live /work in a state where you pay state income taxes you are required to file a state tax return as well. The majority of the 50 states have state income taxes, only a few states like TX and WA do not. Turbotax will automatically determine whether you need to file state income taxes and advice you accordingly.
Turbotax Online Deluxe Edition
If you want to take a deduction for household items that you donated to charity, you are required to deduct only the fair value of the item. So for instance, you donated your used suit which was in pristine condition to Salvation army or Goodwill, you could take a deduction for the fair market value of the suit on your tax return. But do you know how to figure out the value of that used suit ? Is it $10 or $50 - the right answer could mean several dollars of additional deductions and a bigger refund. This is where ItsDeductible comes in useful. ItsDeductible will determine the fair market value of the item you donated and automatically transfer it to the tax forms.
Turbotax Online Premier
TurboTax Online State Editions
Since last year HR Block has completely re-invented their product line, including retiring the old name ‘TaxCut‘ and re-positioned itself as HR Block At Home. For 2011 the site has been updated throughly and ready for Tax day - which is April 17th 2012 for your 2011 tax return.
In these tough economic times with a looming recession, a lot of people are looking for some help. This is not one of the years where anyone wants to be stuck with a huge tax bill.
Preparing your own tax return can save you hundreds of dollars. But getting to know which tools are available out there is important. As someone said “If I have to chop down a tree in 6 hours, I will spend 4 hours sharpening my tool”. HR Block for 2011 is one such tool that will help you prepare your taxes - error free.
Getting to know what you get for what you pay is important. If this is the first year you are preparing your taxes or if you are a veteran, HR Blocks At Home is a great tool in your tax preparation arsenal. When you combine a tax preparation tool with a personal finance management tool, you get the ultimate combination. You can read more about these tools on this site.
H&R Block the manufacturers of AtHome has been around for several decades. In fact they are the nations oldest tax preparation firm. Drive down almost any city and you will find HRBlock offices at a major intersection - where you can do almost anything from doing employee payrolls to preparing your tax return.
AtHome is the the tax preparation software from HR Block. For 2012 HR Block has updated their site. You can find the boxed software at most major retail stores. This requires you to buy the software, install the CD and then run the application. But there is an easier way. The same software is also available online.
With the online version, you do not need to install the software from a CD, but you can prepare and file your complete tax return over the internet right from your browser.
If you have a internet connection and a little bit of time, you can prepare your taxes online without paying an accountant huge fees.
At Home Online comes in the following flavors :
- At Home Basic
- AtHome Deluxe
- AtHome Premium
Which Version to Choose
Each of the HRBlock AtHome software is tailored to a different audience. The AtHomeBasic (Free) is most suited if your tax situation is fairly simple. If you are single or married, no kids or dependents, have a job and do not own a home, this will probably work for you.
The AtHome Deluxe version is valuable when you are a home-owner or have significant investment activity (stocks, bonds and such). The deluxe version will guide you through the investment situation with ease.
The AtHome Premium version goes one step further than the Deluxe and works well if you own rental properties and need the appropriate forms and guidance for it. It is also intended for a small or home based business. It has all the features of the Deluxe versions, and in addition it also takes care of your business related filing needs. The program walks you through your business deductions and the schedule-C form is generated. All you have to do is walk through the questionnaire.
Whats New for 2011 HRB
This year HRB has a new program that allows you to do your own taxes and then connect to a tax pro to have them verified. This new feature distinguishes HRB from other online tax preparation sites. This is an excellent feature for people who like to have their tax return physically reviewed by a tax pro and at the same time save some money by preparing their tax return online. A combo deal that is surely a good value!
What exactly is Efile ?
Efile is the electronic transmission of your tax return to the IRS. What this means is with e-file you do not have to print and mail your tax return, instead, the tax preparer transmits the tax return on your behalf. Efile is available for your federal tax return and your state return too.
Most tax preparers including CPA firms usually charge extra for e-file, but online tax preparation sites like HR Blocks At Home online include e-file for free. In the case of AtHome (Taxcut), you can e-file upto 5 tax returns (for your 2012 tax return) for the same price.
Not too many tax sites seem to care about people who need to prepare past years taxes. These are tax returns that people missed filing on the due date. One of the few online tax websites that actually do have a good past year tax product is Taxbrain.
We decided to test drive their site just like we love to do with all tax sites. We want to make sure what they promise is what they deliver.
So here is our review of Taxbrain :
Taxbrains Past Year Tax Site
The past year tax process on the Taxbrain site works very similar to current years tax preparation steps. First the Prior year tax section is available as a tab on your taxbrain home page. Once you are inside the tab, you can view all your past returns or start a new past year tax return.
- Print and File
The Quesitonnaire section walks you through some basic steps. It collects your personal information - Names, SSN, dependents etc. Based on this basic information, several important tax parameters are determined in the tax calculation process -your filing status, number of exemptions etc. It is really important to pay careful attention in this section. One mistake here and the entire tax return will be incorrect.
The worksheets are the heart of the past year tax preparation steps. Here is where you will begin to enter your actual numbers - your W2 information, your tax deductions like home mortgage interest, property tax information etc. If you had a home business or small business, you will be able to put in the numbers for that. There is a section devoted to capital gains and losses - which is where you would put in your stock / bond purchases and sales for the year.
Note on the worksheets: It is useful to get all your tax documentation ready at the time you prepare your tax return. If you dont have it ready do not sweat it. Take some time, collect all the required documents and you can come back to it. Remember this is an online system, so your data is never lost - everything is stored on Taxbrains computers. You can even work from a different computer.
Once Taxbrain has all the information from you, it will do the math to get your return completed. Actually, it does the computations constantly so anytime you change something anywhere, the entire tax return is immediately recalculated. That is the beauty of software. Imagine doing the same thing using paper worksheets and forms - a single change in any number and you will have to redo all the calculations - on paper. Ouch!!!
Past Year State Tax Return
In all likelihood, if you haven’t filed a past year federal return, you haven’t done a state return too. Taxbrain offers past year tax filing in all states. In fact it will automatically pick up the right form to fill based on the initial questionnaire.
Print & Mail
Once you have paid for the preparation fee, you will be given the option to print your tax return. The tax return can be printed on any printer attached to your computer. Its also available as a pdf download for you to store on your computer.
Since the IRS does not allow you to e-file, you will have to print and mail your tax return. Taxbrain provides a cover sheet with the mailing address.
Taxbrain has outstanding support both using online chat sessions with tax specialists and also via phone. Our experience with them was they were very courteous and knew to speak in English well.