Buy Software Online VERIFIED
The fundamental feature of online shopping is that it does not always allow us to check exactly what we are buying as we can do in a physical store. When we were buying software more often on CDs, DVDs, or USB sticks, it was still a bit easier. At the dealer in the neighborhood, who we knew and trusted, we could touch original packaging at the point of sale and look for proof of authenticity.However, when you make online purchases of software that download to our computer, this is not always that easy. If an attractive web offer hides counterfeited, stolen, or software without a proper license, it is therefore in place.
buy software online
Five tips for safer online purchases of softwareOf course, this does not mean that buying software online is a wrong decision, but a few precautionary advice should be followed:
The research firm IDC* found that one in three pirated copies of PC software cause infections with harmful software, such as unwanted advertising programs, programs for password and credentials theft, programs for recording keyboard strokes, or even allow criminals to take control of your computer.Troubleshooting problems with infected software takes time and often money: IDC has also calculated that European consumers spend an average of 10 hours with troubleshooting each individual case of infected software.
State e-file not available in NH. e-File fees do not apply to NY state returns. State e-file available for $19.95. DE, HI and VT do not support part-year/nonresident individual forms. Most state programs available in January; software release dates vary by state. State e-file for business returns only available in CA, CT, MI, NY, VA, WI.
Most people choose to use the online service. TurboTax reported that 80% of the returns it handled came from its online products. When you have a choice between buying the software you install on your computer and paying to use the service online, you are better off buying the software download.
When you do a state return online, the prices automatically include state e-file. The software download with state return only includes the preparation part of it. E-filing the state return requires an extra $25 fee. I added $25 to the prices of the software download for an apples-to-apples comparison.
The software download also makes it easier to access the tax forms. If you are familiar with the forms you can toggle between the interview and the forms to confirm that you answered the questions correctly. The added transparency makes it so much easier to troubleshoot when you have problems.
After you install the software download to your computer, you can use it for multiple returns. It can be for a married couple filing separately. Or it can be for filing returns for children or parents. The software download includes five free federal e-files for this purpose. If you need to do more than five returns, you can buy another copy.
Online software is compatible with a wider variety of devices. You can use it with Linux, Chromebook, or tablets, whereas the software download typically only works with Windows or Mac. Sometimes the software also requires a more recent version of the operating system.
Free File is completely online. There is no software download option. The two largest tax software vendors Intuit (TurboTax) and H&R Block already left the Free File program. Also, some Free File vendors only cover federal returns. You may still have to pay for state returns when you use Free File.
Except for operating system compatibility and the possibility to get it free, all other factors give advantages to the downloaded software. Although it sounds like more old school, if you must pay, the software you install on your own computer is both less expensive and more powerful.
Obviously no one would buy a machine only for the sake of using tax software. The tax software is for people who already have a Windows or Mac machine and they want a Windows or Mac machine for other reasons. I have a Chromebook too. I use my Windows machine and my Chromebook for different purposes.
I ran into that problem in H&R Block for 2014 as well. It caught up in the following year. Both TurboTax and H&R Block offer a no-question-asked money back guarantee for their software (downloaded or on a CD) whether you bought directly from them or through a retailer. I took them up on it in different years. They both honored it without any hassle.
Hi Harry, my first visit after stumbling on to site. Read and love your article Download/CD vs online tax preparation.I always use Download or CD (preferred) for all the reasons you mentioned. I have used TaxCut, TT and HRB On my PC laptop. Overall, I prefer TaxCut by far. Used TT 2018 CD, was ok but q&a is not clear enough, especially for novice in taxes. Even worse is lack of decent Next Year Planning. In general, paid reviewers articles regarding tax software is cursuary (so?). Your review is far better.Two last Cmts:CD is being phased out industry-wide.State modules that TT (others?) Provide as downloads are often not product on TT, they can be poor quality and just confuse the unwitting tax preparer.
Hi Harry, my first visit after stumbling on to site. Read and love your article Download/CD vs online tax preparation.I always use Download or CD (preferred) for all the reasons you mentioned. I have used TaxCut, TT and HRB On my PC laptop. Overall, I prefer TaxCut by far. Used TT 2018 CD, was ok but q&a is not clear enough, especially for novice in taxes. Even worse is lack of decent Next Year Planning. In general, paid reviewers articles regarding tax software is cursuary (sp?). Your review is far better.Two last Cmts:All CD/DVD is being phased out world-wide. Internet downloads only in future.State modules that TT (others?) Provide as downloads are often not product on TT, they can be poor quality and just confuse the unwitting tax preparer.
I purchased the H&R block 2022 deluxe software download. However my employer is based in another state (I work remotely) so when I started preparing my 2022 tax the software asks me for an extra $39 to download my work state program as well, which says it is a prerequisite for filing my home state taxes. This not something I had thought about, and $39 is much more than I paid for the whole software ($25) which on the fine print, says it includes *one* free state program. Is there anything I can do to save that $39?
Thank you for your reply. It was triggered because my employer withheld taxes for the work state, not my home state. When I started working on my home state return within the H&R block software, it asked me to complete the work state return first. My work state is California, so I see they have free Calfile, I guess I can do this to save the $39.
4. Make sure to purchase upgrade versions if you are eligible. Most companies discount upgrade versions of their software for people who already own an older version, and often upgrade versions are less than half the price of the full retail version. Run a software inventory check and you may discover software stuff you forgot you had.
7. Before you buy software, always check how many computers a program is licensed to run on. For instance, Microsoft Office Home and Student is licensed for use on 3 computers in the same household, so if you have 3 computers in your home the price of Office is virtually 1/3 of what it would be. Some programs are available as family packs (like Windows 7) so if you can use all the licenses available in the family pack, then it is usually cheaper per computer.
10. Corel, Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Symantec, Google (SketchUp) and many other software vendors offer large academic software discounts to faculty, staff members, and students of recognized educational institutions. These licenses are identical to the retail versions except that you cannot use the software for commercial purposes. As a parent, you can probably make use of such offers if your child is attending college.
While there are numerous online stores where you can find good deals on computer software, you should always consider using a comparison shopping search engine to know prices of the same product on different stores all across the web.
2. PriceGrabber.com - Another good site to do comparison shopping is PriceGrabber. They will list the prices from multiple online retailers in a neat table and also offer a handy shipping calculator that will show you the final price of a product once you include postage and taxes applicable in your region.
3. Shopzilla.com - One more site you might want to try is Shopzilla.com, which again searches a multitude of online stores for the software you want to buy and lets you compare the price offered by different retailers. Like PriceGrabber, you can put in the zip code and it will show you the total price for your product including shipping and taxes if any.
Am not too sure what factors does Shopzilla use to determine the default order of retailers in the list, it does give you an option to sort results by price, store name, or store rating. Overall, Shopzilla does seem to uncover some good deals, so make sure to check it when you are looking to buy any software program online.
Newegg.com - Newegg is one of the first sites that people check for computer parts, and they also have a large selection of software in store. Newegg offers free shipping on everything, so if you are ordering a cheap program you will often come out cheaper here than at other sites, as most sites only offer free shipping on orders of $25 or more.
TechSoup.org is another good site that offers donated software licenses from companies like Cisco, Microsoft, Dell, etc. to nonprofits with valid 501(c)(3) status and public libraries listed in the IMLS database. TechSoup is only for organizations and not individuals. They they even prove free premium accounts from online services like Wikispaces and Flickr to eligible organizations. 041b061a72