March 2005

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.


TurboTax Deluxe 2004 from Intuit Inc.

By Howard Berenbon

We are quickly approaching that time again, US tax time, I mean, as April 15 nears.  And if you don't have an accountant, or even if you do, you should consider using Intuit's TurboTax to file your Federal, State and Local income taxes.  It works great; and this year it's just $19.95 after a $20 rebate.

As I said last year, and I'll say it again, TurboTax is the best, computerized, tax preparation program available.  If you do your own taxes and haven’t tried TurboTax, it’s now time to try TurboTax.  Once you've used TurboTax you’ll never prepare your taxes any other way, not to mention saving a ton of money if you've used a tax service or accountant.  Intuit makes it easy.  If you’re worried about accuracy, Intuit guarantees that their calculations are 100 percent correct.   Many tax preparers are using TurboTax (or similar software) to prepare their clients’ taxes, so why not use TurboTax?  Unless you have some extremely special tax situations, you’ll find TurboTax a breeze at doing your taxes.  And even if you have some special tax situations, you can solve them, and file your taxes on time without any extra help.  All forms and instructions are included either on the CD or online.   It will figure the best possible way to file your taxes giving you the highest legally allowable refund.  As you enter your data, you’ll see the actual form displayed at the bottom of your screen.  Also, if you have a question about a particular entry, you can enter your question into a search box at the top right of the screen, or check you can check your question against commonly asked questions listed below the search box. When you’re done, it prints all the forms, or you can file electronically, and keeps a record for next year’s taxes.

After a quick installation from a single CD, you’ll probably be about an hour from completing your tax forms (of course you may need a few hours if you have special needs).  After you run the program, you'll get to choose your free state data download.  Next, you can begin your taxes either by loading in the previous year’s return, or starting from scratch.  If you filed using TurboTax last year, your personal information and basic tax structure is already on file and it will be used in the new return.  All you have to do is enter in the new numbers and anything additional that may have changed from last year to this year.  When you’re entering your tax information, you have a choice of having TurboTax ask you questions (the Interview) and enter the answers and numbers from your tax documents, or go directly to each form and fill in the blanks.  You’ll want TurboTax to ask you questions and have you enter the answers from your documents.  However, later if you’ve forgotten some information, or made a mistake, you can easily correct the information right on the form.

As I said last year, this is “must-have” software for anyone who wants to tackle his or her own income tax returns and save the expense of paying a professional.  You can't beat the price (just $19.95).   And once you’ve used TurboTax, you will never file your taxes any other way.  Even if you have a more complex tax situation: maybe you run a small business or two, you have stocks and bonds, and have kids to claim as dependents, own some rental property and have a second home, etc., TurboTax will work for you.

TurboTax Deluxe 2004 sells for  $19.95 (after a $20 mail in rebate) and will run on any multimedia PC (Windows or Macintosh), Pentium 200 MHz or faster processor, 32 MB RAM with Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP/NT 4.0 and a CD-ROM drive.  For more information, or to order, visit

Software Companies Mentioned

Intuit Inc.
2500 Garcia Ave.
Mountain View, CA 94043
Phone: 1-800-446-8848