Customer Review

98 of 105 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good tax program, meets the needs so far, December 7, 2008
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This review is from: H&R Block TaxCut 2008 Premium Federal + State + e-file [OLD VERSION] (CD-ROM)
UPDATE 1/24/09:

I am still very satisfied with this product. So far I've entered all my data, and it's been pretty painless, both for Fed & State taxes.

I have to qualify this by saying that my taxes are pretty simple this year, with no AMT, no sch C, no sch K, etc. So I'm not really running into some areas that are often not handled well in tax software.

One thing I liked better than turbo tax was the simpler handling of tax-exempt income, splitting the in-state vs. out-of-state portions. Also, similarly, the handling of US Treasury interest (tax-exempt for state tax). Turbo Tax makes you enter separate 1099s for each part, instead of just capturing the information within one form dialog.

On the other side, I have some additional critiques:
(1) no ability to import/download W2 & 1099 data (not that I found, anyway)
(2) form 1116 has to be filled out manually, even if it's pretty straightforward -- they could have and should have provided an interview for this
(3) no way provided to simply delete a line in a form (minor point, turbo tax has this, and I find it very useful) -- you can of course delete the data in the line

INITIAL REPORT:

Obviously, it's a bit too early to provide a thorough review of the program, because it's essentially incomplete (as is TurboTax): many tax forms are still not available in their final form. There will be a Dec 11 update, and I expect several others over the next couple of months. (I've learned from past experience not to submit final returns until late March, since the bug fixes and form corrections are often not final until then. This is true for either TurboTax or TaxCut.)

However, here's my current take: this is a fine program, and certainly more than adequate for the necessary help preparing a tax return. I've used TaxCut in the past, but have used TurboTax for the past few years. I decided to use TaxCut this year because of the price difference, and because the new licensing policy for TT is annoying. So far I'm finding it easy to use, and trouble-free in importing data from the previous year TurboTax file and current year TXF files.

One minor weakness compared to TurboTax: I remember that in the 07 TT you could remove a specific set of imported data; I haven't found anything like that in this program. Not a biggie for me, since I always save "checkpoints" in separate files so I can revert to a previous version if I need to, but it's the kind of little thing that makes TT a bit better in my opinion. Just not sufficiently better that I will pay anything Intuit wants to charge (just a matter of principle for me).

Some general comments, based on experience over many years of doing my own (often very complicated) returns: Neither program is perfect by any means. For many complicated situations you have to do your own calculations externally (I use Excel), or enter data manually. Be aware that dealing with AMT, AMT credits, and stuff like that remains mind-bendingly difficult, just not as nightmarish as doing them without a program to help. And you should always sanity check your results, because odd calculation bugs can persist for a long time. (I found a very stupid, but hard to find, calculation bug in TurboTax a few years ago, having to do with AMT.)

I will post an update in a few weeks when I've had the chance to make more progress with my return. Will be able to review the state program as well at that point, perhaps.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 8, 2008 10:06:15 AM PST
CS:

Thanks for your comments. I'm going to pass them along to our product development team so we can continue to make TaxCut the best product for our consumers.

Best regards
Paula from H&R Block

Posted on Jan 17, 2009 12:03:08 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 17, 2009 12:06:04 AM PST
>>I have used TaxCut for 10 years or so now. Each year, the program is sometimes a bit confusing any time that you get out of the interview path. It takes a bit of getting used to.
>> You mention wishing to remove a specific set of imported data... One way that I have found to address this kind of thing: If you wish to remove data that you have already entered - go to the full form format for the tax form where your data has been entered - you can manually remove and edit entries. This should apply to data that was automatically entered from some transfer protocol.
>> Another method that should work (depends on how the data was delivered): Go back to the start of the interview section that relates to the data - you should be able to revise the answers you originally made.
>> Of course, as you indicate you are already doing - save various in-proceess back-up copies with different file names just in case you do not like the results of your edit attempts!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2009 10:28:40 AM PST
CS says:
If you've imported a lot of data (e.g., many trades for sch D), it's not really all that much fun to go edit the form to delete your imported data. The point is, this should be easy, and the competitive product makes it so.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 11, 2009 6:30:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 11, 2009 6:35:02 PM PDT
I am looking for a program that will work with Stocks and Bonds investements. In the past I used TT but in the past 8 years I used a CPA (very costly) because of my wife's complicated investments and other wealth issues. Now that I am single and way more simple (just some stocks and bonds) I want to go back to cheap software approach. I find that Turbo Tax is about twice as much for the similar fitures. Again is the TC Premium enough for what I need or must I go back to TT Premium. Thanks
John D.
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