It's easier than ever to prepare your own tax returns with one of these top three tax preparation software programs.
Turbo Tax is the leading tax preparation software. It quickly imports financial information from Quicken or QuickBooks, is the easiest program to use, and offers comprehensive tax advice and explanations with a click of the mouse. Even complex returns are produced painlessly by simply answering the clearly presented interview questions. The program comes in federal, state, and home business versions.
TaxCut by H&R Block also uses an interview process to obtain information to complete your federal, state, or business tax returns, although the questions are sometimes a bit confusing. If you use Microsoft Money 2001 for personal finance software, TaxCut will retrieve some of the information from that program. The program is best (and cheapest) for very simple returns.
TaxAct prepares your federal or state return. It's the least known of the three top programs, the cheapest, and the most difficult to navigate. It does not provide for importing any information from personal finance programs, and it provides less tax help and advice than the other two programs. However, you can download the basic program and prepare and print a federal 1040 for free (e-filing is extra). TaxAct is easier to use if you have a basic understanding of taxes.