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No. of Recommendations: 5
To those who have not already made their tax software purchases - do not, under any circumstance, buy TaxCut 2001. TaxCut has always been a very poor alternative to TurboTax, but I had used it for the past two years becuase it came with free MS Money, which I like quite a bit better than Quicken. However, the interface of TaxCut is extremely poor, the tips are almost non existent (you are asked to read the IRS publications instead), and the interview provides MANY chances to omit vital information, as detailed below:

1. TaxCut federal imported data from my last year's return. Unfortunately, it imported medical expenses from last year and included them on this year's return without ever asking me if I want to do so. The first time I noticed this was after printing out the final forms for cross-checking.

2. The state copy of TaxCut highlighted on the very first screen the fact that now I can deduct a certain amount of money I contributed to a 529 plan from my income. However, on the line where I was supposed to enter this ammount, a deduction for sec 529 plan contributions was not one of the options. If I was not on the lookout for this deduction I would have paid over $500 more in state taxes!

3. To add insult to injury, the tax planning features did not work correctly either. While doing estimation for next year's taxes, I came to the "Print W-4 certificate(s)" screen. There I was advised to click "Whole Forn" then click "Print". Why I am not provided with a button to print on that screen is beyond me, but I guess this is not surprising given who their software partner is :-). Anyway, this was clunky but worked well enough. On the same screen I was told that if I need a W-4 for my spouse I am supposed to click on "Whole Form", then "New Copy", then select spouse. I diligiently followed the first two steps, but was never given the option of selecting whether I want the new form for me or my spouse. Instead, true to the Microsoft school of programming, the software decided for me that I want a second copy of my own form.

If you think this is bad just keep reading. Now I have two identical forms, and no way to print my spose's form. In yet another Microsfot twist, there is a button to create a new form, but no button to delete an existing form. But wait, there is more. If I click on the "New Copy" button once more, this crapola software politely informs me that I can create only two copies, then not so politely shuts down.

Last year my experience with TaxCut was "not so pleasing but bearable". That was the first time I had not used TurboTax. This year was horrible. Next year I will once again be a TurboTax man.
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