Intuit TurboTax Online 2007 is extremely similar to its thorough desktop tax software, which earned our Editors' Choice award. However, TurboTax Online comes in many editions, each tacking on an extra $30 for state filing. The free edition should be good enough for 1040EZ filing, although 2nd Story Software's TaxAct is a better deal as it includes the state return for $17, total.
We reviewed the $29.95 TurboTax Deluxe Online, which adds the Deduction Maximizer tool to help you get money back on charitable contributions, mortgage interest, and so on. The step-up $50 Premier Investments should suit those who earn substantial profits from stocks and bonds. TurboTax Home & Business costs $30 more for help with Schedule C business items. Additionally, if you like to do some work yourself but need some advice, Intuit's $100 Personal Pro service offers telephone and online chat with a tax adviser, who also helps prepare and e-file your return.
Like its Web-based competitors H&R Block TaxCut Online and 2nd Story Software's TaxAct, Intuit TurboTax Online runs in a browser window. For Windows versions 98 through XP, Firefox 1, Internet Explorer 6, Netscape 8, and AOL 8 are supported. You'll need at least Firefox 1.5, IE 7, Netscape 8, or AOL 9 if your operating system is Windows Vista. Mac users will need only a PowerPC or better processor running OS 10.2 for Firefox 1 or higher only, or else Safari 2 for OS 10.4 or Safari 3 for OS 10.5. TurboTax Online stores your return on its secure servers, using industry-standard SSL encryption to transmit your data. Filing your taxes at work? Fear not. If you step away from the computer and forget to close the browser window, TurboTax Online saves and ends your online session after 20 minutes of inactivity.
Intuit TurboTax Online Deluxe 2007 has the same straightforward interface and easy-to-understand interview as its installable counterpart. The tabbed layout lets you jump between sections and pick up where you left off. Intuit shies away from accounting jargon and provides concise, well-written instructions that are simple to grasp.