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Taxing Matters

By William Perez, About.com Guide to Taxes

It seems that every step in the tax filing process involves making decisions. And that's true at the very start of the tax preparation process when you need to choose whether to use software, and if so, which one.

The good news is that picking the right software can make your tax preparation experience go a lot smoother. I should know, I've been using all the top tax software programs in the past few weeks using the same tax information to get a feel how each program works. What should we be looking for? Shelley Elmblad, About.com's Guide to Financial Software, provides us with ten tips for picking the right tax software.

What I think is the most important is the level of helpful content and guidance offered by the software (Shelley's tip #7). At the end of the day, I want to make sure that I've answered all the software's questions accurately and found a way to report all my income and deductions in the right place.

But this year price may be an important consideration too. The top software makers have released free versions of the software both on their Web sites and through the IRS Free File Alliance. Free software usually comes with bare-bones support and help, so that's a trade-off you'll need to consider when purchasing as well.

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