It's almost that time - to prepare your personal and business tax returns. And both TurboTax and TaxCut, the two top tax preparation applications, will release their 2008 versions on December 1.
For many years, I have been using TurboTax for my tax returns. Before I had a business, I used TurboTax, in part because it was made by Intuit, which had its roots in Iowa (Hiawatha, to be exact). I found it easy to use and helpful when I had questions (more recently, with an online database). The other reason I kept using TurboTax was the convenience of downloading last year's information directly into this year's program, so I didn't have to re-enter all the data.
This year, I am switching from TurboTax to TaxCut. I'll use similar versions of both applications ("Home and Business") for my comparison. Here's why I am switching:
- TurboTax $99.95
- TaxCut $79.95
- TurboTax: Federal + 1 State (as far as I could tell)
- TaxCut: Federal + 1 person state + unlimited business states
- TurboTax: Only sole proprietorship, single-member LLC, freelance, independent contractor. No corporation, partnership, multiple member LLC returns included. Must purchase TurboTax Business and separate personal return software to get all of the corporation/partnership returns.
- TaxCut: Includes corporation, s-corporation, partnership, multiple member LLC returns
- TurboTax: Must pay $9.95 for each additional printed return, even if not e-filed. This is a new charge for TurboTax this year. In past years, additional returns could be printed free.
- TaxCut: Multiple federal returns printed free (I wasn't sure about state returns, but it looks like they are free also.)
As I read around the web, I saw people were upset with TurboTax for charging higher prices and charging for each additional printed return. And if you want to do a corporate return with TurboTax, you must buy TurboTax Business at $109.95 plus one of the personal return applications ($29.95 to $89.95, depending on the complexity of your personal tax sitation. TaxCut has a quick comparison chart if you want to see their opinion.
I will do full reviews of both products in the next few weeks, by completing my personal and business taxes on each one, to see if there is something that TurboTax's claim of providing the "maximum return" is for real.