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Are there any tax software programs that you recommend?

Good question, especially since it's getting closer to the tax filing deadline.

I’ve used TurboTax Online several times, and each time received about $2500 back from Uncle Sam.

TurboTax knows about all of the latest tax laws. For example, this year you can claim a $60 deduction on long distant phone charges without even having to provide a receipt. It’s one of the questions asked by TurboTax, which saved me the cost of using the software right off the bat! :)

I refinanced my home last year as well, and TurboTax walked me through all of the deductions I could take, included points, prepaid interest, and real estate taxes. I like the “interview style” approach that it takes, where it asks you relevant questions and you just have to answer yes or no… and then they tell you if you’re eligible for a deduction.

Even with my self-employment income, TurboTax greatly simplified the Schedule C filing, and helped me find several home office deductions that completely offset my self-employment taxes for the year!

I use TurboTax for both federal and state taxes, and only have to enter information in one place – it automatically enters all of the information into both my federal and state returns.

eFiling is included as well, which means you’ll get your tax refund within about 10 days. TurboTax also gives you a print-out of your tax forms in pdf format so you refer to it in future years.

I highly recommend using TurboTax to maximize your tax refund, or to minimize the amount of tax you’ll have to pay.

I even decided to pay a CPA one year to see if they could come up with any additional deductions. Not only were they unable to find anything else, but I ended up spending $150 for their services. I still had to provide my CPA with the same tax forms and receipts for deductions, so I really don’t see the benefit of using a CPA in the future - even with my complicated filing that includes self-employment income and a home refinance.

Even if you plan to file taxes yourself, then I still recommend you take a look at TurboTax Online because it will let you walk through the whole thing without charging you unless you actually use it to file. They ask for your credit card information but do not charge you unless you file with them (so you still get the advantage of the tax question interviews without having to pay for the service).

Here's a link to File online for free with TurboTax: #1 rated and #1 selling tax software!

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