Bye-bye Taxcut, hello TaxACT

Don’t look now, but it’s Tax Season again. This is usually the time of year I start looking for the best deal on H&R Block’s TaxCut product, which I’ve been using for several years. Truth be told, I’ve always been pretty happy with TaxCut. I usually pay between $15 and $25 for the “Deluxe” product (or whatever they’re calling it in the given year) which in the past has included “free” federal e-file and one “free” State (after rebates of course). However, this year it appears that Block is no longer offering the free e-file, so that prompted me to look around for a better deal.

To me, there are three important things to consider when choosing a tax preparation product:

  • Convenience. I’m sure I could use the old paper-and-pencil method, maybe with the help of a spreadsheet or two. But truth be told, that’s not really an option for me at this point of my life. It’s just too tedious and time-consuming. Tax preparation software is well worth a (nominal) price in terms of time and headache saved.
  • Accuracy. Obviously, the software isn’t worth anything to me if it doesn’t accurately complete the return.
  • Cost. The cheaper, the better.

Anyhow, I think I’ve found what I’m looking for: TaxACT online for Federal, and Maryland’s free (and excellent) iFile system for State. TaxACT will supposedly complete and e-file my Federal return for free, so combined with iFile, my total outlay this year will be a grand total of…. $0! And no rebates to bother with, either. Time will tell how well this works, but it sure seems ideal, so I’m hoping it works out. Stay tuned.