Sunday, January 08, 2006

Got My TaxCut On

So last week I received an email from the folks behind H&R Block's (formerly Kiplinger's) TaxCut program.

"Your TaxCut Deluxe 2005 CD is on its way!" shouted the email. "This year, we're making it easy to get your 2005 tax software. We're sending you a CD that has everything you need to do your federal and one state tax return. You'll get TaxCut Deluxe federal software plus one state program for just $29.95 (a $50 value)."

Now, I've been a satisfied TaxCut user since the late 1990s. I'd even say that I love the program.

My first thought, when I received the email, was Great! Now I won't have to bother buying the darn thing next time I'm at Best Buy or wherever!

But then it hit me: Sure, it's been a year, but I really don't remember having to pay $30 for the TaxCut program last year. Or any year before that.

Huh. Weird.

You know why I don't remember paying $30 for it? Because I didn't pay $30 for it. Even with last year's Deluxe edition (federal and state filings, plus one free e-file), I'm pretty sure I paid closer to $20.

I know this because that's what I paid for it today at Wal-Mart.

Yes, I'll miss out on the "free" version of Microsoft Money 2006 Standard (after rebate) which is included with the $30 TaxCut offer from my email. Pity.

Pretty ingenious marketing trick, I'd say, for the guys behind TaxCut.

They almost got me.

— Posted by Michael @ 3:59 PM


Intuit also does this with TurboTax. You can almost always get a better deal at a store rather than going through them.


I find there are about two times per tax season that Costco has a rebate on Turbotax. I usually get it for under $20 bucks. I just keep my eye open for it when I'm in there, or on

I actually received a Turbotax CD in the mail last week. All I had to do was activate it or something like that for just $39.99. Naah. I'll wait until I can pay half that. I don't have my W2's yet anyway.


Hey folks, am I missing something? Why do you buy any software when you can efile for free thru one of the IRS's linked affiliates?

For years I've used my own spreadsheet/template that mirrors the lines on our tax return. Throughout the year I revise my estimated figures; when I receive the W-2s, 1099s, etc. I bold the number. Then, when all numbers are bolded, I'm ready to file! That way, you can also see what form hasn't yet arrivied in the mail. My final step is to do a "save-as" with the new year's date (2006). Then I use this as my starting point for the current year and amend for changes, such as exemption amount, tax rate brackets, etc. For simplicity I don't do the cap gain calculations, but just use our regular tax rate, knowing I'm being conservative (smaller amount due/larger refund) and that the e-file software will do the mule work and obtain the exact answer.

"Free" beats $20 any day with me....




I. Am. An. Idiot.

The idea of building a spreadsheet that mirrors the 1040 and other forms would be TERRIFIC for estimating taxes throughout the year.

As far as the tax return itself, I'm a creature of habit. I trust TaxCut, and will continue to use it. The twenty bucks is worth it to me.


I bought TaxCut on Ebay this year... $9 bucks, shipping included.



It's an outstanding site and provides a Q&A format that will enable many taxpayers to complete their returns for free.


Folks, I hate to rain on y'alls parade, but a TaxCut Standard CD was bound into several magazines in January and/or February. Free! That's where I got mine.

I too am a long term user, since Computer Associates was giving it away free, charging only for the state editions (all on one CD or in those days, maybe floppy disk)


I am done with Taxcut!! Their customer service ranks as the worst. I had used the program for years however last year I received a CD in the mail and ordered deluxe+state and then a second state program. During a move I lost the CD. When I called customer service they couldn't find the order - it seems that there are 3 taxcut companies/departments. one for online, one for CD bought in the store and one for CD's sent out and none of them can access the information from the ohter one. After hours on the phone I had to pay for everything again because of inaction on customer services part. They can't find the confirmation codes given to me for the program and even faxing copies of their confirmation e-mail didn't help.

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