It’s time to file taxes if you didn’t already, and I didn’t. I’m still waiting on one final piece of info, but I do know who I’m going to use. In fact, I already filled in all the blanks and will be ready to e-file once I get that last piece of the puzzle.
Aside from printing and mailing your return the old-school way, I know of three major competitors in the e-file business, and I’ve used all three. In the past I have used H&R Block because they had the best name recognition. Then I switched to TurboTax because they were cheaper and actually found me a few more dollars when I used both sites to compare.
Last year, I tried both of those plus TaxAct, and I settled on TaxAct. I thought all 3 sites were very comparable in ease of use, and all were comprehensive enough to handle my multiple streams of income and deductions. The biggest difference: the first two are free if you fall under a certain income level, while TaxAct is free for everyone.
There is a catch: TaxAct charges you $9.99 if you want to import all your information from the previous year. So it’s free the first time, then in the following years it’s up to you to decide whether your time is worth $10. Since I have 10 kids at home and quite a few sources of income, I chose to pay for the import this time. It was still cheaper than their competitors.
But I’m guessing that it probably only saved me 20-30 minutes, so I probably just passed up the chance to save the equivalent of $20 or $30/hour. Next year, I’ll enter the info myself, buy the family a bucket of ice cream to celebrate, and still have a few dollars in my pocket.