Author Topic: Free Tax Software  (Read 2020 times)

rb

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Free Tax Software
« on: January 22, 2018, 12:38:59 PM »
Does anyone know of a decent free software for personal taxes for the US? Even if it lets me complete a return but doesn't let me send it to IRS it's still ok.

Thanks.


investor1

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Re: Free Tax Software
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2018, 01:51:04 PM »
Glenn Reeves is an internet hero who has meticulously recreated most federal tax forms and schedules in a detailed excel workbook each year since 1997. He provides the workbook on his website (https://sites.google.com/site/excel1040/) for free. I found it helpful to be able to trace the logic of the different inputs and calculations.

Additionally, I believe the Big Three online tax solutions (Turbotax, HRB, TaxAct) allow you to fill in your information and calculate your taxes without having to submit/complete the return (and therefore pay). You can do this to cross-check your taxes, but you won't get granular access to your information in the government forms without paying.

bookie71

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Re: Free Tax Software
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2018, 05:13:28 PM »
Credit Karma has a free tax service.  I haven't used them for anything other than getting my free credit score.
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Jurgis

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Re: Free Tax Software
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 08:08:31 AM »
IMO just TurboTax online version. Whatever you pay for it will more than cover the effort spent doing taxes by hand. Unless your situation is highly out of norm and/or you want to see how all calculations are done (but even that is traceable in TT mostly).

Disclosure: I use TT online for personal quite complicated taxes and for some relatives that have pretty trivial form.
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rkbabang

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Re: Free Tax Software
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2018, 09:34:37 AM »
IMO just TurboTax online version. Whatever you pay for it will more than cover the effort spent doing taxes by hand. Unless your situation is highly out of norm and/or you want to see how all calculations are done (but even that is traceable in TT mostly).

Disclosure: I use TT online for personal quite complicated taxes and for some relatives that have pretty trivial form.

I've used HR Block Tax Software every year since 1996 (it was called Kiplinger TaxCut back then until HR Block bought it).   It's like $30-$40 or so and is pretty simple even with semi-complicated returns.  You read in last years file and it pre-fills out a ton of stuff for you that you just review instead of type in.  So if you haven't changed jobs, or moved, or changed mortgage companies or banks etc all the names, addresses, taxID numbers etc, along with all you and your dependants personal info are all pre-filled in already.  You just change the numbers.

Any free online taxprep requires you to let them keep and sell your data I believe.

rb

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Re: Free Tax Software
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2018, 09:54:47 AM »
Investor 1. Thank you for the link to the spreadsheet. It's very helpful and will come in handy.

rb

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Re: Free Tax Software
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2018, 09:58:48 AM »
IMO just TurboTax online version. Whatever you pay for it will more than cover the effort spent doing taxes by hand. Unless your situation is highly out of norm and/or you want to see how all calculations are done (but even that is traceable in TT mostly).

Disclosure: I use TT online for personal quite complicated taxes and for some relatives that have pretty trivial form.

I've used HR Block Tax Software every year since 1996 (it was called Kiplinger TaxCut back then until HR Block bought it).   It's like $30-$40 or so and is pretty simple even with semi-complicated returns.  You read in last years file and it pre-fills out a ton of stuff for you that you just review instead of type in.  So if you haven't changed jobs, or moved, or changed mortgage companies or banks etc all the names, addresses, taxID numbers etc, along with all you and your dependants personal info are all pre-filled in already.  You just change the numbers.

Any free online taxprep requires you to let them keep and sell your data I believe.
Thanks guys but I need a stand alone software. I can't use the online stuff because then I have to create an account with them, have an actual social security number, etc. The thing is that I don't want to file an actual return. I just want to fool around with it, test different scenarios, etc. Can't do that with the online services.

The spreadsheet that investor1 linked to is pretty good for stuff like this even though it's limited in some cases. For example, missing form 4797.

rkbabang

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Re: Free Tax Software
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2018, 11:08:02 AM »
IMO just TurboTax online version. Whatever you pay for it will more than cover the effort spent doing taxes by hand. Unless your situation is highly out of norm and/or you want to see how all calculations are done (but even that is traceable in TT mostly).

Disclosure: I use TT online for personal quite complicated taxes and for some relatives that have pretty trivial form.

I've used HR Block Tax Software every year since 1996 (it was called Kiplinger TaxCut back then until HR Block bought it).   It's like $30-$40 or so and is pretty simple even with semi-complicated returns.  You read in last years file and it pre-fills out a ton of stuff for you that you just review instead of type in.  So if you haven't changed jobs, or moved, or changed mortgage companies or banks etc all the names, addresses, taxID numbers etc, along with all you and your dependants personal info are all pre-filled in already.  You just change the numbers.

Any free online taxprep requires you to let them keep and sell your data I believe.
Thanks guys but I need a stand alone software. I can't use the online stuff because then I have to create an account with them, have an actual social security number, etc. The thing is that I don't want to file an actual return. I just want to fool around with it, test different scenarios, etc. Can't do that with the online services.

The spreadsheet that investor1 linked to is pretty good for stuff like this even though it's limited in some cases. For example, missing form 4797.

I wasn't talking about the online version, but the standalone version.  $17 for Mac version, $20 for PC version: http://www.amazon.com/Block-Software-Deluxe-Refund-Download/dp/B075XY6ZKK/