Software & Hardware Reviews

Educational, Business and Entertainment Software Reviews

April 2015 . Vol. 21 No. 4

Recent Software Reviews

February 2015--Presence: A Fee Free Home Security System with Video Monitoring from People Power
January 2015--The Incredible Foldscope(TM)--an Orgami-based Optical Microscope from Prakash Lab, Stanford University
December 2014---The Best Paranormal Apps for Your Apple or Android Device
November 2014--Royalty Free Stock Photos and Images from US Government Sources
October 2014--Best Free Streaming Music/Audio/Video Apps for iPhone and Android Devices
September 2014--Some of the Latest and Greatest iPad/iPhone/Android/iPod Touch Apps
August 2014--Turn Your Apple iPod, iPad or Android Tablet into a VOI Phone using a magicJack
July 2014--FreeCAD Computer Aided Design and Find and Remove Public Information Online
June 2014--The Roku 3500R Streaming Stick

TurboTax® Personal & Small Business 2014 Federal & State Returns plus Federal E-File

By Howard Berenbon

Well, here we are again, another tax year and it's time to tackle those Federal and State income taxes.  I haven't faltered using TurboTax® year to year, and welcome the improvements to both data entry and filing. TurboTax® Home & Business, is now called TurboTax® Personal & Small Business, and is essentially the same as last year’s model.  It still offers 5 free Federal e-Files, enough to cover most personal home and office situations, and as before it’s $20 per return to e-File a state; and includes one free state which a $20 fee for each additional state, if filing is required in a second state. Though I have always been reluctant to e-File, it's worked flawlessly in previous years, so I will e-File this tax year as well.

Screen displays and data entry seem the same as last year. You can have TurboTax® ask questions (the interview process) for each section or just go directly to the sections you know you need. Importing 2013 data was fast and correct with all previously forms entered. Usually, tax situations are similar or the same from the previous year and when I completed the entries for each form I was able to compare the totals from last year to 2014 and it looked okay.

After answering all questions and updating all forms with new amounts for 2014, I ran the error check with success! This year my taxes were less complicated than 2013 so that may have made a difference. In the past I’ve had minor entry problems because I did not fully understand an interview question, or entered wrong data, but I always resolved the problem either by re-reading the question or using their help forums.

Before you run TurboTax you will need to gather all that important tax information you’ve collected for tax year 2014. You need to be prepared when TurboTax® asks for those numbers from federal, state and local tax records, bank and investment information, employer statistics and more (1099s, W-2s, etc).  You’ll also need expense information for your deductions like property tax payments, home improvement costs, education, charitable contributions, medical related expenses, interest paid on credit cards or loans, and business expenses, if you own your own business.  Then, you can allow TurboTax to interview you, or if you’re more experienced, enter your data right into the forms.  That’s up to you.

A word of caution for business owners trying to submit taxes using TurboTax Deluxe.  This year it does not offer the business C tax form--you'll need to upgrade to Premier or Personal & Small Business within the software to complete your taxes. To avoid complications, it's important to buy TurboTax Personal & Small Business and no other version.

Features of TurboTax Personal & Small Business

Automatically imports your W-2 tax forms
Transfers last year's TurboTax return
Searches 350+ tax deductions and credits (1040, Schedule A)
Maximizes mortgage/property tax deductions (Schedule A)
Includes ItsDeductible™ for charitable donations
Covers miscellaneous income and some related expenses (1099-MISC)
Online access to all tax returns on file
Priority phone support from specialized tax agents (a $19.99 value)
Covers stocks, bonds, ESPPs and other investment income (Schedule D)
Imports investment income including cost basis (Schedule D)
Covers rental property income and tax deductions (Schedule E)
Includes small business income and expense reporting (Schedule C)
Maximizes business tax deductions and depreciation (Schedule C)
Extra bonus on top of your federal refund
Live U.S. based TurboTax product support

TurboTax® 2014 Personal & Small Business retails for $104.99 (as low as $49 through  It includes a free audit support guarantee (same as in the last few tax years), 100 percent accurate calculations and a guarantee to receive the maximum tax refund. You’re also covered under a 60-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. The software will run on any multimedia PC (Windows or Macintosh) with 1 GB RAM, 1 GHz 32-bit or faster processor with Windows 7/8, a CD-ROM drive and Adobe Reader. Mac – Multi core Intel processor or better and Mac OS X v10.6.8 or higher and 1 GB RAM.  

This year as in prior years, it made my tax filing a breeze, so I will continue to recommend the TurboTax.  I prefer the CD version, but you can also download the software, or even work on their online version.  It’s up to you.  For more information, or to order, visit

Intuit Inc.
2500 Garcia Ave.
Mountain View, CA 94043
Phone: 1-800-446-8848

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