Web-based tax preparation services have a few advantages over their desktop counterparts for certain categories of users. So, if you have avoided doing your taxes online until now, you should start considering online tax preparation.
Web-based tax software enjoy an increasingly popularity. TurboTax was the best sold online tax preparation software, as 3.6 million returns were registered via TurboTax on the Web last year, up from 1.4 million just three years earlier.
You can choose from many online tax preparation software, such as H&R Block, TaxAct, CompleteTax and TaxBrain. Our opinion is that is better to use TaxAct for simple returns and TurboTax for more complex ones.
The strongest attraction of Web-based tax preparation software is that it inclines to have a lower price than boxed software, and it spares you of the irritating deduction structure that usually torture desktop software.
Online tax preparation allow travelers to work on tax returns anywhere in the world where they can access the Web. Most tax preparation sites don't ask you to pay anything until you're ready to register, so you can test the service before you buy. Also, software changes are instantly posted to the Web server, so you don't have to download patches. Online tax preparation software is also a good option if you don't use Windows and thus have few or no commercial shrink-wrapped alternatives.
But online tax preparation software is not always the most appropriate for you. Desktop tax preparation software has its benefits, too. All of the major commercial packages allow you to import the last year's tax file; in counterpoint, only H&R Block let you upload data files to its Web software.
If you use an online tax preparation software, navigation options incline to be more limited: sometimes moving around within a return is faster with desktop tax preparation software.
Online tax preparation services usually limit FTP access to their servers (leaving one less occasion for intruders), disclosing current security certificates in the company's name, and encoding cookie file data like passwords. But you might prefer the desktop tax preparation software rather than online tax preparation software if you have to make a more complex return, or you need to import data from the last year.