Thanks to a post by Big Al on Bogleheads forum, I bought TaxCut 2008 on CD for $1 plus tax at a Dollar Tree store near me. This is the Standard version, which does not include state return. Some states don’t have income tax. If your state has income tax, you can upgrade and get state return for $19.99, but I will not. State return is really simple for me once the federal return is done: copy over some numbers and make a few adjustments. I will just do it with pen and paper or fill-in PDFs. The software also includes a key for one federal e-file, which I will not use either, for reasons I stated before. This is desktop software installed on your own computer. You don’t have to enter your data on anybody’s web site.
This TaxCut Standard version is not limited in the kind of forms it can handle. It has Schedule C for business income and Schedule SE for self-employment tax. It probably doesn’t have the fancy help videos in premium versions. I don’t watch those anyway. Although I don’t have a Mac, the CD jacket says it also works on Mac OS 10.4 or higher.
I was planning to use TaxACT this year. With TaxACT Free Edition, I can do my federal return for free and do the state return with pen and paper. I actually already downloaded and installed TaxACT Free Edition. I haven’t done anything with it yet because I was waiting for my W-2 and 1099s. I was planning to write a review and compare TaxACT with TurboTax when I’m done, like I did last year between TurboTax and TaxCut. For $1, the price is right for TaxCut. TaxACT does not import my data (in TurboTax format) from last year. TaxCut does.
I see TaxCut still requires logging on as an administrator to run it. This is a really bad software practice. Running software shouldn’t require admin rights!
This deal has been posted on FatWallet since Jan. 17. There is also an article on CNET about it on Jan. 19. It looks like TaxCut has been doing this with Dollar Tree for a few years. So I will look out for this deal again next year. Note to self: read FatWallet more often.