Why software is winning the tax prep wars


In each tax season, several major players in the tax preparation market compete for your business. This year, early reports from Intuit said that sales of TurboTax were up 11 percent.  Analysts and media pundits were quick to comment on the continued growth of online tax preparation.

Tax software is the fastest growing choice of U.S. taxpayers, growing at a double digit pace for the past 10 years.  Last year, more than 36 million people used tax software.  Professionally prepared returns have been flat or down slightly.

There are several reasons why taxpayers are making the switch to do-it-yourself tax software in record numbers:

  • In a tough economy, people are looking to pay less and get more for their money. TurboTax costs, on average, about $60 for a federal and state return compared to about $180 for storefront preparation.

  • Not only do people have less money to spend, they have less time to spend on doing their taxes. The average time to prepare a return using TurboTax is about 2 hours, and you can do it on your own schedule – whether it’s after the kids are in bed or while you’re watching late-night TV. People who make the switch to tax software do so because they’re done with the long lines, repeat visits and delayed appointments that are often the hallmark of a tax storefront experience.

  • No one wants to leave money on the table. More than half of TurboTax customers find they can claim deductions and credits they didn’t even know they were entitled to. That means a bigger refund.  And a fatter wallet.

  • The word is out. Tax software is really easy to use. TurboTax guides taxpayers through their return step-by-step, using plain English. No math. No guessing which deductions and credits you deserve.

But you don’t have to believe us. You can read reviews from people who’ve actually made the switch and decide for yourself:  http://reviews.turbotax.intuit.com/.