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Online Tax Preparation Software & Services

Faced with a tax code which inevitably changes from year to year, many small business owners choose to use one of the many tax preparation software packages which are now widely available. These packages are available for computers running on Windows OS (Windows xp+) — and most use a spreadsheet format.

The advantages to using tax preparation software are many. First, they result in more complete and accurate returns. The typical paper tax return has an error rate of 20 percent. Because of built-in math calculators and other automatic checks, electronic tax preparation reduces this error rate to less than 1 percent. Tax preparation software packages may also steer the taxpayer toward greater savings or little-known deductions, paying for themselves with the returns they yield. But even if no direct tax savings are realized, many analysts believe that use of the software saves many business owners a considerable amount of time, thus freeing them to use their talents in other business areas.

Purchasing the software to prepare tax returns, no matter which package is purchased, will undoubtedly be less expensive than hiring an accountant. Of course, a CPA can be creative and intuitive about individual circumstances in a way that a computer program can not. But unless the finances for the year are extremely complicated, the best of these software programs should be sufficient to meet the requirements of most small enterprises. Of course, the old adage "garbage in, garbage out" applies here. A small business owner that is not comfortable with accounting and finance may choose to enlist the aid of an accountant even if the software option seems alluring. Some entrepreneurs prepare the taxes themselves and then have an accountant review and sign off on the results. Using an accountant may also be comforting for some because in the event of an audit, the small business owner will not have to face the IRS without the expert knowledge of the CPA that originally prepared the tax return.

Components of the Packages :

  • Data Entry
  • Filing
  • Features and Help
  • Deciding which package to use

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