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I'm considering Turbo Tax Deluxe Investor Edition, which supposedly is designed for people with tax issues on their investments, such as capital gains, losses, etc. The cost is $49.95, versus 39.95 for the regular "Deluxe" edition.

Does anyone have any opinions on this software?

Oh, do I! Without laying eyes on the software or a description of it, I'll venture the opinion that it's a $10.00 greater ripoff than the vanilla Deluxe edition, which is already a ripoff.

I've used TurboTax, and I'll wager there's nothing about capital gains and losses that the Deluxe version won't handle. If there is, then they should be ashamed of themselves and aren't worthy of the purchase of even that.

Bells and whistles software packages sell themselves as Accountant on a Disk, but what they are is fast, pretty, extremely dumb ViewMaster/calculator/typewriters. Take a look at the January-April posts in this or any other tax discussion group and you'll find countless posts trying to figure out how to satisfy tax software. The "enhanced" versions take IRS and other publications and feed them to you electronically, and you still have to have the sense to mind the instruction that tells you to look at them, which you'll also find in the free IRS instructions.

If you don't know how to do your return on paper, all software can guarantee you is a pretty return. I do recommend software for people with a lot of Schedule D transactions, because it makes the return prep so much easier. Heck, I like gadgets and am perfectly willing to pay for tax software just for the fun of it. But I'd also suggest you take a look at the free TaxAct ( software, which doesn't even require that you use their e-filing service.

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