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Which free e-file tax company is best?


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stantley's Avatar
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09-Apr-2007, 11:42 AM #1
Which free e-file tax company is best?
When you go to the IRS site they give you about 20 companies that do free e-filing of your taxes. Any recommendations?

I went back to the one I used last year and it didn't carry over my name, address, etc. from last year. Does anybody know one that will retain data from a prior year or do you have to pay for that luxury?
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09-Apr-2007, 03:19 PM #2
I filled out the free PDF file (from the IRS site) then mailed mine in. I don't see the advantage of putting any more personal information to the e-file sites.
(The PDF was great-simple to use the form-what a change from most government sites.)
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09-Apr-2007, 04:42 PM #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knotbored
I filled out the free PDF file (from the IRS site) then mailed mine in. I don't see the advantage of putting any more personal information to the e-file sites.
(The PDF was great-simple to use the form-what a change from most government sites.)
You get the refund quicker if you e-file and direct deposit.
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10-Apr-2007, 09:23 AM #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulder
You get the refund quicker if you e-file and direct deposit.
I sent tax form in 3/8 and got my refund yesterday (4/9)
Thats not instant-but quick enough for me.
In the "good ole days" I used to get a refund about August, and then it usually had some question about a number that I failed to round UP from .50 cents
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10-Apr-2007, 07:38 PM #5
I've used TaxAct several times. Didn't the last two years simply because we've had some very wonky things going on the past couple of years with finances, incomes, business, ect and so had an accountant do it. But, I still did a friend's taxes with TaxAct the last two years. They hold all your information for the next year, so it is even faster once you've done it once. Easy to understand, easy to fix things or go back and change things, filed quickly, no problems, got returns quickly (e-file and direct deposit). I recommend them.
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10-Apr-2007, 07:47 PM #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraMJ
I've used TaxAct several times. Didn't the last two years simply because we've had some very wonky things going on the past couple of years with finances, incomes, business, ect and so had an accountant do it. But, I still did a friend's taxes with TaxAct the last two years. They hold all your information for the next year, so it is even faster once you've done it once. Easy to understand, easy to fix things or go back and change things, filed quickly, no problems, got returns quickly (e-file and direct deposit). I recommend them.
There fine as is Turbo Tax for the typical filer who has a simple 1040 or 1040EZ. However, I would NOT recommend them if you own your own business or have any complicated tax issues--there are things those programs miss and screw up because they are designed to be very simple for mass appeal. My suggestion to people is that if you have anything out of the ordinary, you do your return with Turbo Tax or Tax Act of a few of the other ones and than have a CPA look at it--its worth paying them an hour or so of their time.

Think of it this way--there are hundreds of possible permutations for all possible tax issues that come up--those programs handle many of them but not all of them--they just can't.
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10-Apr-2007, 07:48 PM #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraMJ
I've used TaxAct several times. Didn't the last two years simply because we've had some very wonky things going on the past couple of years
Boy--I remember when we studied "wonky" things in college--that was some of the toughest stuff to learn--ask clhcpa about the "wonky" stuff!

As an aside this reminds me of something--I built a computer for a very good friend of my wifes (she's an architect and needed something specifically for Autocad). Anyway, I gave her a box with all her leftover stuff and different connections and adapters and so forth. She calls is the "magic box!"
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10-Apr-2007, 09:05 PM #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraMJ
I've used TaxAct several times. Didn't the last two years simply because we've had some very wonky things going on the past couple of years with finances, incomes, business, ect and so had an accountant do it. But, I still did a friend's taxes with TaxAct the last two years. They hold all your information for the next year, so it is even faster once you've done it once. Easy to understand, easy to fix things or go back and change things, filed quickly, no problems, got returns quickly (e-file and direct deposit). I recommend them.
I've been using TaxAct for a while now, gotten more money every year and the IRS isn't banging down my door. However, I only efile my federal taxes. TaxAct charges for state filing.

As somebody already said, the more complicated your tax return the harder it is for the tax software to figure out how to help you. Thus every application has three variants "personal, buisness, and professional" . However, between the reviews and comments read over the years, "personal" should handle most of the returns out there.

Last edited by jonasdatum; 11-Apr-2007 at 02:49 AM..
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10-Apr-2007, 11:43 PM #9
Well it looks like TaxAct is the winner so far.

I tried 123Easytaxfiling last year and I went back this year and couldn't login to my account. I sent them an email and they replied that you have to re-enter the data every year. So I started to look for ones that retain your data from year to year.

The only one I found so far is ezTaxReturn.com, who said they have a 'prior year import option'. But it sounds like TaxAct is pretty good. Thanks for the replies.
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11-Apr-2007, 01:59 PM #10
I like TurboTax.com. I've used them for several years and it's always been very straightforward. I think this year I paid $14.95 to efile federal and $24.95 to e-file state. I had both my refunds by mid-February.

If I'm not due a refund, I get out the paper form and a ball point. It goes in the mail without a check on April 15. Around mid-June or July they realize (1) this guys owes us some money and (2) it wasn't in the envelope. In the case of my Federal taxes, it's just a matter of when I start making the installment payments.
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11-Apr-2007, 03:48 PM #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by coderitr
I like TurboTax.com. I've used them for several years and it's always been very straightforward. I think this year I paid $14.95 to efile federal and $24.95 to e-file state. I had both my refunds by mid-February.

If I'm not due a refund, I get out the paper form and a ball point. It goes in the mail without a check on April 15. Around mid-June or July they realize (1) this guys owes us some money and (2) it wasn't in the envelope. In the case of my Federal taxes, it's just a matter of when I start making the installment payments.
Are you privately employed, if you work a "9to5" do you have taxes taken out automatically? Not to go off on a tangent, but I find it foolish if you work a regular job and don't have your taxes taken out. "Have them take it out, pay you back the difference later!" As for paying them sir, they have direct deposit. Thus they must have direct debit.
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11-Apr-2007, 04:41 PM #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by coderitr
I like TurboTax.com. I've used them for several years and it's always been very straightforward. I think this year I paid $14.95 to efile federal and $24.95 to e-file state. I had both my refunds by mid-February.

If I'm not due a refund, I get out the paper form and a ball point. It goes in the mail without a check on April 15. Around mid-June or July they realize (1) this guys owes us some money and (2) it wasn't in the envelope. In the case of my Federal taxes, it's just a matter of when I start making the installment payments.
I'd still e-file it code--if that return gets lost in the mail or mis postmarked or something, its near impossible to get anyone at the IRS to do anything--its easier to pay the fine for late filing. With E-file, there isn't the risk of a lost return.
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12-Apr-2007, 02:12 PM #13
Thank you LauraMJ and jonasdatum for telling me about TaxAct.

It was much better than some of the other services I tried. It's very user friendly and easy to work with. It didn't take very long to do my federal and I calculated the state for free since you only have to pay if you e-file it. Thanks again.
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12-Apr-2007, 10:00 PM #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by stantley
Thank you LauraMJ and jonasdatum for telling me about TaxAct.

It was much better than some of the other services I tried. It's very user friendly and easy to work with. It didn't take very long to do my federal and I calculated the state for free since you only have to pay if you e-file it. Thanks again.
You're welcome sir, and the next time I start a thread about federal and state returns please be sure to contribute. Remember that your first federal e-file is free. If you mess it up, you pay for each additional one. The state is charged reguardless, but it doesn't matter since in my state I'd have to send an electroic confirmation via snail mail anyway. With the federal there are two types of e-filing. One you file NO paper work and the other is done electronically, but you still mail something to the IRS.

Note: Remember not to make copies of returns at a local libraries. The data even if deleted is not erased and can be copied by their tech people or the late night cleaning crew
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20-Jan-2008, 08:11 AM #15
Smile free efiling
I filed through OLT last year but I think I'll use Taxact this year. What I did want to comment on is that there are some states that have free efile with the revenue service for that state...mine being Indiana. I didn't know it last year or I would have used it. The only requirement that I saw was that you have already filed your federal. I checked for my mom in Georgia and they have a link that allows certain people to file free with Turbotax for both federal and state. When I originally went to the .gov site for suggestions for tax service the link that I would have to click to get the service free didn't work for me. I'm sure it's something to do with my security program. You just have to be persistent!
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