Tag Archives: Free-TurboTax-Online

How to choose the best tax software for YOUR needs (Part 2 of 2)

This is Part 2 of choosing the right tax software for preparing your 2016 taxes. In this part, I will describe the pros and cons of preparing your taxes online at the turbotax online website, or on your computer locally by downloading turbotax first.

(Part 1 of the series explained different types of turbotax packages for personal and business tax filings).

Turbotax Online or Download?

There are two versions of TurboTax, online and desktop. TurboTax Online products allow you to complete your taxes on the Web, while the desktop products allow you to install the software and complete your taxes right on your computer. First, we’ll look at the differences between the two, and then if you still can’t decide which one you want, we’ll ask you some questions to help you decide.

Function or Feature

TurboTax Online

TurboTax Download

the product

Free to try. Don’t pay until you print or e-file.

Purchase software on CD from a retail store or directly from TurboTax. Or,purchase over the Web for download.

Accessing or installing the product

Nothing to install. Prepare your return and e-file from
any computer with Internet access.

Install purchased product from a CD or download and install on your personal


Lower system requirements than desktop.

Higher system requirements than online.

your return

Step-by-step Interview questions make tax preparation simple.

Step-by-step Interview questions and the
ability to view and complete tax forms just as they appear on paper.


E-file, or print and mail, unlimited federal returns as long as each has a unique
User ID and Password.

Prepare and print multiple returns. E-file up to five federal returns.


E-file up to three state returns per federal return filed electronically. (Each
federal and state return is paid for separately and the cost of e-filing is included.)

E-file up to three state returns per federal return filed electronically. (Note that each federal and state e-file must be paid for separately.)

the product

Updates are automatic – no downloads required.

Download updates from the Web.

For most of the people, filing taxes online would be the better option, since you can access you data from anywhere, no need to keep checking for tax software updates, and because you can file unlimited tax returns online without any additionl charges. Finally, you can get to try turbotax online free, something that turbotax download does not offer.

52 most overlooked tax deductions

Do you give away your hard earned to Uncle Sam for free? That is exactly you are doing if you miss any of the tax deductions that you are eligible for. Here is an extensive list of tax deductions most often missed. I have compiled this list over last 4 years. I surprise myself how much I would miss each year if I did not have this list with me!

Do note that income tax is a complicated subject, so do not use this guide as a replacement of advice from a trained tax consultant. If you do not want to spend money on a tax consultant, you may check out the turbo tax coupon for free turbotax online.

Drum roll…. The (not yet) famous list of 52 most overlooked tax deductions

(Just for fun, count how many of these you would have missed without this list. I will have a scoring at the end of the list!).

1. Any taxes paid to a foreign government
2. Appraisal fees for charitable donations
3. Appreciation on property before it was donated to a charity
4. Cars and boats state personal property taxes
5. Casualty or theft losses
6. Commissions and closing costs paid on sale of property
7. Contact lenses and eyeglasses
8. Cost for alcoholism and drug abuse treatment
9. Costs incurred for looking for a new job in your present occupation, including fees for resume preparation and employment of outplacement angencie
10. Education expenses required by law or your employer or needed to maintain or improve your skills
11. Employee’s moving expenses
12. Federal state tax on income with respect to a decedent
13. Fees paid for charitable donations appraisal
14. Fees paid for childbirth preparation classes if related to obstetrical care
15. Foster child care expenses
16. Gambling losses (can only be used to offset gambling winnings)
17. Half of self-employment tax
18. Health insurance premiums (If self-employed)
19. Hearing devices
20. Home computer depreciation
21. Home improvement expenses
22. Home mortgage prepayment penalties and late fees
23. Hospital services fees (laboratory work, therapy, nursing services, and surgery)
24. Impairment-related work expenses for a disabled individual
25. Investment advise broker fees
26. IRA trustee’s administrative fees (f billed separately)
27. Labor union dues
28. Laundry fees when traveling
29. Lead paint removal cost
30. Legal fees for obtaining or collecting alimony
31. Long-term care insurance premiums
32. Margin account interest paid
33. Medical transportation, including standard mileage deduction plus lodging expenses for medical reasons while away from home
34. Office equipment depreciation
35. Out-of-pocket expenses relating to charitable activities, including the standard mileage deduction
36. Personal liability insurance for wrongful acts as an employee
37. Points on a home mortgage and refinancing
38. Professional journal subscriptions
39. Premium on taxable bonds amortization
40. Prescription contraceptives
41. Protective clothing required at work
42. Real estate taxes with the purchase or sale of property
43. Safe-deposit box charges for holding investments (e.g. share certificates)
44. Savings early withdrawal penalty
45. Seller-paid points on the purchase of a home
46. Special equipment for the disabled
47. Special schools and separately stated fees for medical care included in tuition
48. Tax income preparation services and IRS audits fees
49. Theft or embezzlement losses
50. Trade or business tools with life of 1 year or less
51. Worthless stock or securities
52. Your (not your employer’s) contributions to a state disability fund

Now for the scoring – If you missed:

0 You are either not good at counting, or lying :-). Seriously, if you got all, send me any additional tips you may have

1-5 Excellent

6-10 Average

10-15 Not bad

15+ You need to get out more often :-)