This product, designed by Kiplinger for H & R Block, is available as software or as an internet service. It is generally considered an excellent product, but it is not without its critics. You can also pay extra to have an H&R block professional look over your return.

Navigation and User friendliness: 9
TaxCut rates very high in this category and this is probably the number one reason for its popularity and acclaim. Navigation within the program is clear, with the help of many animations and explanations. Novice computer users find TaxCut very easy to work with.

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On the other hand, TaxBrain and many users rave about the ability to file a tax form in under an hour. It's very easy to use for people who know their tax forms relatively well.

Ease of Setup: 9
Again, TaxCut is designed with the user in mind. Since it has been built with extensive user-testing, it is remarkably effective at anticipating user requirements. TaxCut is popular, in large part because of issues such as ease of setup. Some minor criticisms point out that the software program takes a bit long to load.

Feature Set: 8
TaxCut Premium compares your return figures to national averages. You can import data from the previous year (if you have filed with TaxCut or H&R Block).

Help: 8
The Help section for this product is extensive. The context sensitive help alone makes the product very pleasant to work with. There is also multimedia help to explain the latest tax laws and tax changes. It also offers free support around the clock.

Effectiveness: 7
This is an area where TaxCut has critics. In previous versions, some experienced tax filers have decided to switch to other brands when they found that TaxCut did not catch their errors or did not give adequate hints on how to increase their refund or decrease payouts. One reviewer noted that TaxCut 2003 calculated her tax owed as $1000 more than the figure appropriate. Yet, she still gave the program 8 out of 10. We don't.

Premium $39.95
Deluxe $24.95

for the web:
Premium $39.95
Standard $29.95

Summary: 7.5
In spite of all the praise for its user friendly design, problems with tax calculation make it difficult to recommend this program, especially for small businesses and other slightly more complex tax files. TaxCut answers some of these criticisms with their latest version, but other products beat it in terms of efficiency. It may be most useful for individual taxpayers who want an easy to use product.

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