Tax Software

Software Specifics

Kiplinger TaxCut (H&R Block)

Overview: This package is a good tool for the sole proprietor or homebased business operator. It includes Schedule C and calculations from IRS Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home. The Windows CD-ROM version offers videos that guide the user through more difficult tax decisions. TaxCut will prepare your return and advise you on how to reduce your taxes. Offers an interview-guided option for information entry. The audit and review features will check your return and correct your errors.

Minimum System Requirements: PC: 4MB RAM, 13MB disk space, Windows 3.1. Mac: Mac Plus, 4MB RAM, 13MB disk space, System 7.5 or higher.

Suggested Retail Price: PC version: $24.95; Mac version: $29.95; CD-ROM: $34.95; state supplements are $24.95 for PC and Mac versions.

Phone: (800) 457-9525.

Simply Tax (Chestnut CDs)

Overview: An easy-to-use package that works well for most common tax situations, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, and C and S corporations. Allows return data to be entered via an interview format or directly into electronic forms, although the interview option is not as finely honed as those found in some other programs. Data may also be imported directly from Kiplinger's Simply Money personal-finance program or from text-based data files.

Minimum System Requirements: Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, CD-ROM, 8MB RAM, 15MB disk space, modem for electronic filing.

Suggested Retail Price: $17.95; state supplements are $17.95.

Phone: (800) 345-6665.

Personal Tax Edge (Parsons Technology)

Overview:An economical choice for sole proprietors. It includes more than 80 of the most popular federal forms, schedules and worksheets used by individuals, including Schedule C. (Those filing for partnerships or C or S corporations should consider a different package.) State Tax Edge modules are available separately for all states requiring an income tax return. The Deluxe version contains the J.K.Lasser Your Income Tax Guide and What the IRS Doesn't Want You to Know--publications that offer numerous tax-saving tips.

Minimum System Requirements:Personal Tax Edge (DOS) requires 640K RAM, DOS 3.0 or later and 11MB hard drive space; Personal Tax Edge for Windows requires Microsoft Windows 3.1 or later, 4MB RAM, 14 MB hard drive space and VGA monitor; Personal Tax Edge on CD-ROM requires an IBM-compatible with a minimum 80486DX processor at 25mhz, 4MB RAM, 9MB hard drive space, Microsoft Windows 3.1 or later, an MPC-compatible CD-ROM drive, and a mouse or equivalent pointing device.

Suggested Retail Price: $19; state modules are $19.

Note: Not available in stores; must be ordered directly from Parsons Technology.

Phone: (800) 223-6925.

TurboTax (Windows) and MacInTax (Macintosh) (Intuit)

Overview: Considered the leaders in tax-preparation software, these programs are user-friendly and complete, offering an interview option that will move you effortlessly through the tax-preparation process, offering tax advice, pointing out possible deductions, double-checking your return, and alerting you to areas that might trigger an IRS audit. Or, you may prefer to enter your data directly onto forms.

TurboTax and MacInTax are available for individual taxpayers, partnerships, and C and S corporations. If you use a personal finance package to handle your business accounting, these packages will save you time by allowing you to import data directly--especially if you're already using Intuit's Quicken.

Minimum System Requirements: PC: 386 (486 for CD-ROM), Windows 3.1, 4MB of RAM. Mac: 68020 (for CD-ROM), System 7, 4MB RAM (6MB for CD-ROM).

Suggested Retail Price: $49.95; state supplements are $24.95 each and are available for all states with state income tax requirements.

Phone: (800) 446-8848.

Contact Sources

Helms and Co., P.O. Box 250, 3231 Riverside Dr., Wellsville, NY 14895, (716) 593-4120.

Intuit, 6330 Nancy Ridge Dr., #103, San Diego, CA 92121, (800) 4-INTUIT.

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This article was originally published in the April 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Tax Software.

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