One for the Mac, Nineteen for Windows — U.S. Mac owners have one less option to pay the taxman. For a few years, H&R Block developed TaxCut for Mac OS X, paralleling their fairly good online site for tax preparation and filing. However, there will be no TaxCut 2005 (that’s tax year, not release year).
With the growth in tax-preparation Web sites that provide instant feedback, don’t require downloaded updates, and offer all kinds of upsell ("Have an accountant review your return for $75, and we’ll ship you a cheese sandwich for $15!"), standalone Mac OS X tax software appears to be a losing game. That said, Intuit’s TurboTax remains an option for Mac users (Intuit also offers Windows and online versions). Their 2005 tax year version for federal filing is available now; state tax add-ons will appear starting next month.
For years, I worked with an accountant because of some complicated payout issues and other matters. I switched to TaxCut because I like the Web site and although the standalone version had some shortcomings, it seemed like the right choice. Now that I’m being forced to switch away from TaxCut, I’ll be curious to see how easy it is to move my Quicken data into TurboTax. [GF]