Computer Based Desktop Tax Software
 
 
 

Preparing Your Taxes On A PC

When you sit down to prepare your taxes, and you have completed your tax software installation on your Mac or PC computer, the task ahead is a fully guided process with the right desktop tax software.

You can also find powerful financial accounting software and business management software programs like Quicken for personal finance or QuickBooks for Small Business Accounting.

Most of these financial programs now days are compatible with each other. Import features allow you to move data from one program to another. This in turn helps to improve accuracy and avoid typos that can happen with manual data imput.

Desktop Tax Software? Is One Better, or Safer or Faster Than the Other?

A common question I have been asked several times is, should I prepare my income tax return using online tax software, or should I use computer installed tax software? Here you can learn about the differences between online tax preparation software and downloadable or cd installed tax software that runs from your computer's hard drive.

Regardless of whether you use desktop installed version or an online tax preparation version, always keep a printed copy of your tax return in a safe place for future needs.

1. Convenient Online Tax Preparation: Online tax preparation offers many advantages over computer based tax software.

  • With online tax software, you can work on your income tax return from anywhere you have an Internet connection. online tax software is convenient for those who need to work on taxes from different locations like home and office.
  • Online tax software users have the advantage of using fully updated programs at any time. These online versions are updated to current tax laws as they change. This insures you are meeting all the IRS requirements anytime you use the software.
  • Online tax preparation also offers quality support at you finger tips anytime you need it. Plus, get get extra advice from the online community of software users.
  • Online tax preparation has no software installation hassles and does not change anything on your computer since you use it through an Internet browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox.

2. Installing Computer based tax preparation software: If you use tax software installed on your hard drive and you do not have a laptop computer, you can only work on your taxes at home. Although this is not an issue for everyone since laptops allow you to work from anywhere.

  • Desktop tax software is installed by download, or from a software cd. Keep in mind that there is a slight chance of the installation not working because of incompatibilities with software that you may already have installed on your computer, or with your hardware. It should be noted that the chance of this happening is small, troubleshooting tax software installation problems can be a challenge because virtually everyone's system is different.
  • One of the main benefits to computer based installation is that you can work on your return without an internet connection.
  • Using any type of desktop tax software that needs to be installed requires a little computer knowledge. For the most part, installing new software is easy but there is always the potential for something to go wrong, or compatibility issues to result between the software and your type of operating system.
  • Once installed, desktop software will require you to work on the computer it’s installed on at all times, so logging in from another computer either at home or while traveling  won’t work.
  • Desktop tax software is almost always more costly than online versions, however, comparing do-it-yourself software options to using a tax professional proves far less expensive.
  • Using software installed on your computer can eliminate many security risks experienced by people who use online-based programs. While nothing is fool proof, the risks tend to be somewhat lower than those of people using online software.

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