Friday, December 26, 2008

Getting ready for tax time…

I bought H&R Block’s Taxcut software a few weeks ago. Since then I have been playing around and figuring out how exactly it works. So far things have gone well. The program is pretty intuitive.

The main filing interface is separated into the categories: welcome, federal, state, and file.
From there, each has sub topics. For example, in file, the tabs are personal, dependents, income, adjustments, deductions, credits, taxes, misc, and finish. Each of those sections goes through a guided process where every necessary bit of information is talked about and filled out. The nice thing about this program is that it allows me to skip and jump around to parts or sections that I can fill out, or just learn more about.

Also, from the program menu there are various options. One highly important one is the forms item. From there you can see IRS forms which are being filled out, and are also able to add new forms or edit some of the fields of existing ones. For example, I need to fill out a schedule K-1 so that I can report s-corporation distribution money, but if there isn’t a guide in the program, I could just add the form to the filing project.

Another good thing about the program is their update system. They tell the user when certain aspects of the program will be updated and when to expect feature availability, such as state reporting ability. This is a necessity due to how the federal government and state have things setup, so I think H&R did a good job managing that issue.

So far I am happy with the program because it should be usable enough for me to file my taxes and it is also a great learning tool in general (well worth the ~$100).

(Edit: After doing taxes for 2009, I would suggest TurboTax instead. While it’s more expensive, it is better overall and I personally think worth the extra cost.)

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