Does anyone know of an online tax preparation service that lets you enter your data, and then crunches all the numbers and tells you what the bottom line is before you actually have to buy their service?
There used to be a great one called SecureTax, which would do all this, and then you’d only pay when you printed out the final copy, and pressed the e-file button. One of the great features of this one was that their system could even import your W-2 information from Fidelity, where applicable, so you didn’t have to wait to get your paper forms from your employer.
But now I can’t seem to find it anymore. The old URL just takes me to TurboTax.com, and they don’t seem to let you run the numbers before paying anymore. Is there still a way to do that? Or another service that does the same thing?
Turbotax, according to their FAQ.
I think maybe the reason I didn’t see it prominently available is that they aren’t ready yet. Another one of the FAQ answers says to check back in early January '05 for the ability to file your '04 return. I guess it’s still too early.
For Canadians, there is U-File. It doesn’t look like they’re quite ready for service for the 2004 tax year though.
I got my tax forms yesterday, so it’s almost time. And the forms were simply a) pre-printed labels to stick on b) a remittance slip to enclose with a cheque if I have to pay. And if I do have to pay, I can do that through internet banking, same as any other bill. A far cry from getting a big workbook and a guide and all that stuff…
The government’s philosophy for the average Joe seems to be, “Make it easy and they’ll do it faster!”
Don’t have time to look it up, but on the IRS website last year, they had a great list of ALL the approved software sites, with stipulations about “free if you earn under” such and such, or “free” if you earn over such and such.
Most of those sites let you fill out the forms and didn’t charge, or send until you hit that final button.
I did one, I think with TurboTax and was not at all happen with the final tally. So I did another (Taxslayer?) and , wow, suddenly I was getting back way more than I had hoped for. I was not fudging either. Used the same info on both sites. I then submitted the better tax return, IRS approved it in less than 24 hours, I had an e-transfer to my checking account and got the money in about 10 business days and I was quite happy…
So word to the wise, don’t just accept what one software program states…try a few before you hit that final “submit” button!!!
http://www.taxact.com/ might do what you want.
I’ve used H&R Block’s online service for the past two filing years, for both my state and federal taxes, and plan to do so again this year. You don’t pay until you’re ready to file. I don’t remember the fee offhand, but it’s nothing too ridiculous or I’d file the old-fashioned way.
I have a very simple tax return, but it seems like their site would be pretty straightforward even for more complicated returns.