TurboTax Deluxe Macintosh 2002

TurboTax Deluxe Macintosh
2002 Tax Year – Federal and State
Company: Intuit

Price: $49.95

Timing is everything, right? When reviewing annual income tax software it’s difficult to complete a product evaluation before finishing the tax returns. In previous years we have attempted to present either:

  • early-season reviews, hoping the software delivered on promises made to consumers; or …
  • in-progress reviews, anticipating successful completion of the entire process; or …
  • last-minute reviews, once all filing is complete.Each method has advantages and disadvantages.

    Last year our review was published and my personal returns were filed, and THE NEXT DAY in the snail mail I received a corrected income form requiring me to pay a lot more $$$ than I had expected. Was the tax software inaccurate? No, as I soon found out when preparing my amended 1040X and related documents. What a pain.

    So this year I waited until the end of March to do both tax filing and software reviewing. The news is good on all fronts (sort of):

  • I’ll be getting a decent federal income tax refund, because I overpaid during 2002 in anticipation of earning more during the year than I actually received; and …
  • Intuit’s TurboTax 2002 is even better than in previous tax seasons, when it received ratings of:MacMice Rating: 4 out of 5
    A very decent product. Worth the time and investment, but look for competing products.

    – OR –

    MacMice Rating: 5 out of 5
    Fantastic products! Well worth your money and investment. The best of its kind.

    I have a long-standing email correspondence with a fellow I’ll call R. A., who is very demanding of his income tax application. This tax season he’s using a competing product to TurboTax, with less than satisfactory opinion of the software and the company. I hope to publish his summary, but not in time to warn users of that application.

    TurboTax is the beginning and the end of my quest for income tax preparation, and I hope to continue to use it for many years.

    Installation is easy, offering the choice of OS X or OS 8/9 installers for 60MB of files. The process takes less than a minute to load a new folder entitled “TurboTax Deluxe 2002” onto your computer. Please read and print out the important six-page ReadMe document. Downloading Intuit’s latest updates took under seven minutes at moderate broadband speed.

    Save and name your active return something like: “Jack Benny’s 2002 Tax Return” (you can use your own name). All new federal forms are then installed in under two minutes, and you can download your free state forms (in another one minute) and begin working on your return. The transfer of data from last year’s TurboTax file took only two seconds.

    With nothing to import from Quicken, I began Intuit’s Easy Step Interview for TurboTax Deluxe 2002 Macintosh. The TTD2002 CD in my slot-loading iMac drive ran noisily when being accessed, and was quiet the rest of the time. You can watch a “What’s New” QuickTime movie (and many others) if you wish, when given the opportunities during EasyStep. After verifying personal information and name, the interview process begins.

    I didn’t use Instant Data Entry from my few financial institutions. If you have a lot of 1099s and comparable forms, you may decide to establish ID logins with your investment companies. This process gets easier every year, as more are linked directly to instant TurboTax reporting. The same process applies to W2 and 1099 income “partnerships” with employers; none of mine subscribe to the plan yet.

    Tax year 2002 was a bad one for the Nemo household, with almost no dividends and not much income. Thank goodness TurboTax Deluxe is improved and streamlined, so the agonizing feeling of becoming poorer is not made more stressful when crunching my pathetic financial data.

    After all your pertinent income EasyStep interview items are finished, you’ll have to endure several screens of essential (to Intuit) but unnecessary (to you) questions, before you are presented with (ouch, Nemo!) your 2002 total income summary. Annual expenditures and deductions follow the same method of query, resulting in the bottom line: payment or refund due.

    TurboTax then helps with either electronic (recommended) or traditional print federal and state filing, once you complete its error checking process. Many helpful financial reviews and recommendations are available to assist your plan for future tax savings.

    This year is the first time I needed no help whatsoever from either TurboTax’s phone or online tech support. The software is still a little quirky for new users, but feels like an old friend to experienced TurboTaxers. If you have waited this long to complete and file your 2002 income taxes, MyMac.com RECOMMENDS this product, as in previous years, rated at between FOUR and FIVE MAC MICE (out of five), depending on your experience and skill level. Bonus: if you need to file a late or amended return, TTD2002 will serve you well here also.

    Requirements: OS 8.1 minimum, 32MB physical RAM, 60MB available hard disk space

    John Nemerovski
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