March 2006

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 for Tax Year 2005 from Intuit Inc.

By Howard Berenbon

Tax time in the USA is tick, tick, ticking nearer. Though it's only March, April 15 is just around the corner.  So, it's time to get ready to file your income tax forms, and if you don't have an accountant to help, or even if you do, you should consider using Intuit's TurboTax 2005 to file your Federal, State and Local income taxes.  If you do taxes the old way, by hand, using pencil and paper forms, then it's time to step up to TurboTax.  It will save you time and money, and you'll never turn back.  It's not expensive, usually around $39.95 for the year, which includes one state data download for your local returns.  And often, it's free after rebates when purchasing with other software packages.

I say it every year, and I'll repeat myself, TurboTax is the best, computerized, tax preparation program available.  If you do your own taxes and haven’t tried TurboTax, it’s time to use TurboTax.  Once you use TurboTax you’ll never prepare your taxes any other way.  Intuit makes it very easy.  If you’re worried about accuracy, Intuit guarantees that their calculations are 100 percent correct. In fact, this year the software will double-check your return for errors and it will flag any potential audit risks.  It also includes ItsDeductible software to help you value donated items so you can get the best deduction. 

Many tax preparers are using TurboTax to prepare their clients’ taxes, so why not use TurboTax? Unless you have some extremely special tax situation, 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.  And you'll have access to all IRS publications plus some expert videos for help.  TurboTax 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 need an hour to complete 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 over.  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.

TurboTax is “must-have” software for anyone filing US income tax returns. You'll get professional tax assistance without the expense of paying a tax professional.  And once you’ve used TurboTax, you will never file your income tax returns without it.  Even if you have a more complex tax situation: say you run a small business or two, have stocks and bonds, have rental property, own a vacation home and have kids to claim as dependents, TurboTax will work for you.

TurboTax Deluxe 2005 sells for  $34.95 (after a $5 savings, with free shipping) and will run on any multimedia PC (Windows or Macintosh), Pentium 200 MHz or faster processor, 240 MB hard disk space, 128 MB RAM with Windows 98/2000/ME/XP and a CD-ROM drive. Mac - 165 MB hard disk space, Mac OS X (10.2.8) or greater. 

Software Companies Mentioned

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