Best Tax Software for 2009 Returns

January 15, 2010

The best tax software is a debate that happens each year as millions of people prepare their income tax return.  If you’ve been messing with paper tax forms and manually filing your taxes you’ve probably wondered at least once, whether tax preparation software might make your job easier.  Here’s a look at some of the best tax software for your 2009 taxes.

Turbo Tax Software

Turbo Tax claims it’s the number one personal tax software available and many of it’s customers agree. Its money back guarantee does makes it attractive to people looking to file their taxes with tax prep software for the first time. If Turbo tax users find a larger refund using some other tax preparation method, Turbo tax will give you your money back.

There are several different versions of TurboTax and you don’t have to visit a store to purchase the tax prep software. On Turbo tax’s website you can download one of four versions, depending on what suits your needs. All versions come with free federal e-filing once your return is complete.

Turbo tax’s free Edition is available and recommended for those individuals who will be filing a simple return with no itemized deductions. Payable versions include the Deluxe version which is recommended if you own a home have made donations or have medical expenses to write off. The Premier addition is recommended for those who also have stocks, bonds and mutual funds and for those who have investment or rental property. The deluxe edition is recommended for sole proprietors, consultants, contractors or single owner LLC.

All versions are user friendly, especially for beginners. They each walk you through an easy step by step process to fill out the forms and file your return. All guarantee to be accurate, check for errors and offer free audit support if you are audited. Free product support is also available through a FAQ section and an on-line chat community of tax experts.

For the Deluxe, Premiere and Home and Business versions the software helps users determine if they are eligible for 350 different deductions, offers calculations for full value charitable donations, asks questions about changes in your life that could affect your tax return and keeps you updated as you go on what your refund total will be. These versions also look for deductions you may have missed as you proceed through the software. Each specialty addition also provides guidance to the specific areas the product is advertised for.

To learn more about TurboTax software Click Here.

TaxACT Software

TaxACT software is guaranteed to be accurate and is 100% made and supported in the United States. It claims to be user friendly and is supported by professional accountants and CPA’s. The three versions are the Free Version, The Deluxe and the Ultimate Bundle.

The free version offers more than its competitor’s free products allowing users to file a 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ tax return using the software. The program assists users in determining their maximum deductions and credits. There is also a help center for users who have questions and free audit support is provided. The software package includes free federal E-filing.

The Deluxe version offers all that is in the free software package. Additionally this version assists you in calculating values of charitable donations and helps you determine what deductions you are entitled to due to life changes. You will also have free guidance via email or phone from a tax specialist, if needed. The software also has information for you on complex tax laws and tips and strategies to get your maximum allowable refund.

The Ultimate Bundle includes all the benefits of the first two with the added bonus of Sate forms and Sate Filing. Other extra benefits include expert advice on every deduction and special alerts will appear if the software thinks you have misses a deduction. Support with this software is offered through email, phone or live on the web. Free federal and state e-filing is also included.

To learn more about TaxACT software Click Here.

H & R Block Software

H&R Block offers three different software programs for tax payers to choose from depending on their needs. All three programs guarantee accurate calculations and each offer a 100% satisfaction money back guarantee.

The Basic Version is the cheapest and is best for those filing simple tax returns. It is easy for beginners to use and offers step by step guidance in a question and answer form. The software double checks for errors. It also comes with free federal e-filing, but state e-filing charges are not included.

The Deluxe version is a step up from the basic and is best for home-owners. It offers all of the features that you find in the basic program and more. Its step by step guidance is personalized. It also helps users with tax guidance on stocks, bonds and mutual funds. The software also works with the user to maximize mortgage interest and charitable donation deductions. It comes with free audit support from an H&R Block tax professional and your federal and state e-file fees are included.

The Premium H&R Block tax filing software is recommended for those who are self-employed and for those who own rental property. It offers all the same features the deluxe version offers. Additionally, this version offers a one time live tax advice session, information on tax laws and planning resources and advanced tax calculations. It also has schedule-C guidance so that if you are self-employed you can find your maximum tax deduction. Rental income assistance is also included. As in the other versions, fees for federal e-filing are included as well as state filing.

To learn more about H&R Block at Home software Click Here.

I hope this review of some of the best tax software on the market helps make your income tax return go a little more smoothly this year!

Debbie

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Debbie

Debbie Dragon is a full-time writer who has been covering personal finance online for almost 9 years.


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Comments

13 Responses to Best Tax Software for 2009 Returns

  • Jay

    I think your right Tom, I have used the free version of Taxact and I love it.

  • Tom

    I have used all tax programs and I think TAXACT is the best. The only think I don’t like about taxact is form K-1s. Otherwise its the best for simple and complex tax returns.

  • Lucy

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Lucy

  • Me, Myself and I

    I have used all the HR block and Turbo tax in past years. Never had a problem with either, and think they are identical (different interface, but easy enough to figure out), except that HR Block does not download your financial transactions from your brokerage firm, while turbo tax does. While if you have a limited number of transactions, that is fine, but if you have hundreds or thousands because of a money manager, then you are spending hours doing your schedule B and D.

    I called HR block and asked them about it this year and they said they are adding this functionality this year, but I do not see it on their website to see which firms they deal with. As this is a major part of my tax return, I have to go with Turbo Tax. I just buy it for 39.99 at Costco.com and apply a $10 off coupon I got in the mail recently. So it is now $30 for the software.

  • Anonymous

    It also has schedule-C guidance so that if you are self-employed you can find your maximum tax deduction.

  • Debbie

    I have always used Turbo Tax to file. This year, I’m going to use it to file as a multi-owner LLC, which will be my first experience with the software in that capacity. Hopefully it’s as good as it has been for a sole proprietorship & personal taxes!

  • Pastor Jim Kibler

    I use the H & R Block and it works great for me.

  • Keith Morris

    Thanks for the reviews! I plan to use TurboTax again this year. I like that it keeps a record of your previous tax seasons, and in some cases uses that information to speed up your filing. I haven’t tried the other two. Do you have a personal preference, Debbie?

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