Financial Planning for Generation X & Y Women
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Expert Q&A Archive

What's your opinion on using electronic tax filing software?
What's your opinion on using electronic tax filing software, like TurboTax and Kiplinger and others?
Michael A. Masiello:
expert info »
If a simple tax return, these are fine. More complex may require a CPA to prepare and review your returns.
Jody Rorick, CPA:
expert info »
Electronic tax filing is a good idea. Errors are caught before submission, and the IRS prefers it. I've used Turbo tax. It works fine. I don't know about Kiplinger.
Gail Rosen, CPA:
expert info »
I think the software is good, but you have to look at the end results and make sure it makes sense. Take your time and keep reviewing it. Dont do it if you find you do not know what you are doing. It is best for simple returns, but when it gets complicated, it is worth hiring a good CPA to help you.
Gary Silverman, CFP:
expert info »
I use TurboTax, but I also have several CPAs I can call up at any time with questions. Realize though that I study the tax laws regularly and actually enjoy doing taxes. If your tax situation is relatively simple and constant those programs will work just fine. If you don't want to learn the programs or the law, get a tax preparer.
Rosemary Ervin, CPA:
expert info »
You need to have a basic understanding of taxes, like the difference between income, deductions and credits. The software packages are very friendly, but you need to review the finished product or have someone look at it for you if you do not know enough about taxes. I think they
are light years better than manual preparation of tax returns.
Sharon P. Hardy, CFE:
expert info »
Although I have not ever used any of the tax software listed above, I have never heard anything negative about them or the quality of their final product that ultimately gets filed with the various taxing agencies (i.e. IRS; State tax entities).
Connie K. Marmet:
expert info »
There are two issues. First, keep track of all of the out-of-pocket costs for materials so that you can deduct them from the sale price and reduce capital gains taxes when you sell.

Second, valuing improvement depends so much on the real estate market in your area and on the specific improvements. Talking with a realtor is probably the best way to estimate the value of your upgrades, but it's very subjective.