April 24, 2009, Newsletter Issue #164: Other Tax Software Questions

Tip of the Week

If you choose to prepare your 2006 income taxes yourself, you need to ask yourself some questions about which tax software to choose.

In addition to being user friendly, there are some other features and services that are important to concern yourself about regarding your tax software. They include:

Be certain that the rates included within the software package are current. If they are not, be certain that it is easy to get them updated. If you file state income taxes, does your federal tax software program have this feature?Also, will you have to manually update your state tax software program? Or, will the software company do this automatically? Automatic updates are included in a variety of state tax software packages. Ask to be certain prior to purchasing your software. If there is an additional charge for these updates, ask what the amount is. Sometimes this additional fee will determine what software program you choose.Is the customer service included in the purchase price?Does the customer service have a limit on hours you can use it?Is there an additional charge for hours used? If so, what is the fee?Is technical support included in the software cost? If so, is there an hour limit? (Same concerns apply as customer service mentioned above.) This is important since sometimes you will need assistance when you are having problems with your tax software. If you are charged additional costs for talking with technical support, you can really rack up a bill.What kind of system requirements does the tax software program have? Does the tax software program let you import your financial information from another program you use?Is the extra price worth the additional services to you? Will you use or need these additional services?Once you buy the software, can you get a discount for updating to another tax software program?Is the tax software program recommended by other taxpayers you know? Why is it recommended? What positive features does it have?

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