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What software do you use/have had good luck with? Does your return include any 'esoteric' things like Sched C/self employment tax etc?

The software I've used for quite a few years is TaxCut. It's currently put out by the Kiplinger organization, having been through a number of owners over the last 10 years or so. The other program, probably the top seller, is TurboTax. I've heard good things about it and am considering changing next year.

I'm employed full-time by a large Fortune 50 company, so Schedule C and self-employment are not normally part of my return. From time-to-time, however, I do speak in a setting where I'll receive an honorarium. In the years when that happens, I do report it on Sched. C, but it's obviously a very simple set of data that is called for in my case.

However, the software handles it all for the most common forms (including C) with an "interview" format that is VERY user-friendly. The only place where I find the software starts to let me down is in connection with the really esoteric stuff like Alternative Minimum Tax, where it still helps, but there's an expectation that the taxpayer needs to know what he's (she's) doing. I think, frankly, that the other expectation on the part of the programmers is "If you're into AMT, you shouldn't be doing this yourself anyway," which is unfortunate, since AMT is affecting more of us ordinary citizens who just happen to have Incentive Stock Options from our employers.

Anyway, you can buy TaxCut and TurboTax for very reasonable prices -- especially if you wait until after April 15 and just get the remaindered prices at the office super stores near you...... It would be worth your while to pick one up and load it just for experimentation....

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