Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Every year I have to do the same analysis over again. What tax software to buy this year? There are three companies to choice from: TaxACT, TaxCut, and TurboTax. This year I received TaxCut Federal in the mail for free, but before jumping on it I thought I would first find out what the actual cost for it and it's competitors would be.

There are now three ways to get your tax software. You can download it, buy a CD, or do your taxes over the web. I personally have a preference to own the software and not have my tax data owned by a third party. So the web is out for this year. That attitude might change in a few years though.

For this analysis I will assume that I am purchasing the software by download or by CD. I will also assume that I am going to e-file both the federal and state returns. More detailed cost breakdowns for each company is listed at the end.

Option 1 TaxACT
$19.95 Ultimate federal and state CD $19.95
$ 0.00 Federal e-file
$ 0.00 State e-file (I think this is also free)
$19.95 TOTAL

Option 2 TaxCut
$24.95 TaxCut 2005 Deluxe Federal + State CD (
$ 0.00 federal e-file (after mail-in rebate)
$15.95 State e-file
$40.90 TOTAL

Option 3 TaxCut
$ 0.00 Use free mail federal
$24.95 State download
$15.95 Federal e-file (not sure if this will be free or not)
$15.95 State e-file
$56.85 TOTAL

Option 4 TurboTax
$34.95 Deluxe federal and state download (
$ 0.00 federal e-file
$15.00 state e-file
$49.95 TOTAL

CD-ROM from an online retailer is upto %15 cheaper than downloading from the corporate website.

TurboTax and TaxCut have rebates for buying other products, so if you are interested in one of those products, one of them might be more interesting to you.

Detailed data:

Free federal e-file
State $12.95
Standard federal Free
Deluxe federal Web $9.95, Download $12.95
Ultimate federal and state web $15.95, download $19.95

Free federal e-file
State web $24.95, download $29.95
Essentials federal web $9.95
Basic federal web or download $19.95
Deluxe federal and state download $39.95
Premier federal web $39.95, download + state $69.95
Business federal download $99.95

Free federal e-file
State download $24.95
Standard federal web $34.95, download $9.99, mail free
Deluxe federal + state download $29.99
Premium federal web $49.95, download + state $49.99
Business federal + state download $79.99