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H&R Block TaxCut Online Premium 2005 review: H&R Block TaxCut Online Premium 2005

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The Good H&R Block TaxCut Online Premium 2006 offers a streamlined tax interview with fewer screens to read and is less expensive than TurboTax Online; includes helpful tips for deductions and investment planning.

The Bad H&R Block TaxCut Online Premium 2006 wouldn't let us log in using Firefox 2; didn't let us easily skip incomplete sections; its DeductionPro for determining the value of charitable contributions costs an extra $19.99.

The Bottom Line Unlike its desktop counterpart, we encountered problems testing H&TaxCut Online Premium 2006. The interface is relatively friendly overall, but you'll save money with TaxAct Online for super simple returns and get more assistance with complex returns from Intuit TurboTax Premier Online.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.0 Overall
  • Setup 6
  • Features 7
  • Support 8

Review Sections

H&R Block TaxCut Online Premium + State + E-file 2006

H&R Block TaxCut Online Premium + State + E-file 2006, the Web-based version of H&R Block's venerable tax-prep program, is a convenient alternative to its desktop sibling, although the latter has a superior interface and tools to determine the cash value of charitable contributions. We reviewed the $39.95 edition of TaxCut Online that includes federal and state e-filing fees, but you can drop $20 from the price to exclude state filing, or choose the $9.95 TaxCut Online Basic+ E-file for simple returns. If there's a chance you'll want state filing, which costs $24.95 if purchased separately, you might as well pay up front for TaxCut Premium + State + E-file. Filing federal and state returns electronically with this edition of TaxCut Online costs $39.95. That's $24 more than TaxAct but $19 cheaper than Intuit TurboTax Basic Online. The $79.95 TaxCut Online Signature offers assistance from, and your return signed by, an H&R Block adviser, for about half the going rate of getting an accountant in our area to do all the work.

It's too bad that TaxCut Online leaves out H&R Block's DeductionPro, a utility that ships with the desktop version and determines the fair market value of noncash charitable contributions. If you added this tool, the cost of TaxCut Online increases to $59.90, the same as TurboTax Online Deluxe, which gave us fewer hassles.

TaxCut works in many browsers, including Internet Explorer 6, Firefox 1, Netscape 7.2, and AOL 6 or newer when on Windows XP or 2000. Windows Vista users should have at least IE 7, Firefox 1.5, Netscape 8, or AOL 9. Mac OS X 10.2 and 10.3 users will need Netscape 7.2, AOL for Mac OS X, or Firefox 1.5, and Mac OS X 10.4 users can run it on Safari 2.

TaxCut Online Premium 2006 packs more questions on a single screen than it did last year, but it lacks some helpful features offered by its desktop counterpart.

TaxCut Online Premium largely mimics the new, green-and-gray tabbed interface of its desktop counterpart. The Take Me To button jumps to a menu of topics in the order you answer them. TaxCut offers a streamlined tax interview that fills in the tax forms behind the scenes. The online version reduces the number of clicks you make by combining two related interview segments onto one page. We also like that it transfers federal data into your state return. Big deal? It is when you're spending hours filing a complex return. As with competing Web-based solutions from Intuit TurboTax and 2nd Story Software TaxAct Online, TaxCut Online logs you off after several minutes of inactivity, which is a good security feature, particularly if you're doing your taxes at work.

Unlike 2nd Story Software's TaxAct Online, TaxCut Online's interface is free of ads. However, TaxCut does ask if you want other H&R Block properties to contact you about investments. We were glad that once we said no, TaxCut did not ask again, although it did pitch us for DeductionPro and TaxCut Online Signature.

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