Turbo Tax 2012: Mac App Store: Review Wayne Dixon January 28, 2013 Software It’s that time of the year again when a majority of those who live in the United States must file taxes. There are several software packages that aid a taxpayer in preparing and filing their taxes available for both Mac and PC, but only one is available in the Mac App Store. That’s TurboTax 2012. TurboTax has been produced since the Mid 1980’s and was acquired by Intuit in 1993. In lieu of having a tax professional prepare taxes, many people decide to use software. Using software is generally cheaper alternative, and they come with accuracy guarantees. Additionally, many of them allow you to talk to contact a tax professional with any questions that may arise. Features TurboTax 2012 will walk a taxpayer step-by-step through their tax information. If you had used TurboTax, in previous tax years, you are able to import from TurboTax 2011, TaxACT, and H&R Block at Home. This last one is one to note. Not because it’s a competitor, but because it must be H&R Block at Home. I attempted to import my H&R Block Deluxe PDF and it failed. When you first start up TurboTax 2012 you are prompted to download updates to tax forms. This is a required step as forms are still changing. Yes, it’s strange to think that tax forms aren’t finalized before the end of the year, but they often do change. If you are not able to import other tax software you will be required to enter in all of the necessary information. It behooves anybody who decides to use tax software to have all of their information ready to go before beginning. Once you are prepared to fill out your forms, you can use the easy to follow step-by-step guide. The software will ask you questions regarding your W-2’s, 1099 forms, and almost anything else that you could conceivably need to pay your taxes. You can look at the forms at any time, by simply clicking the “Forms” Button in the toolbar. All of the forms will appear on the left for you to browse and see exactly how the form is filled out. One of the most alluring items is the ability to purchase directly through the Mac App Store, instead of having to give your credit card information to another company. The cost of the filing came to a total of $64.99, plus tax if applicable. This is compared to buying the software off of Amazon for $39.74. so it’s not exactly a value, but it’s a trade off. Once you have finished filling in all of your forms TurboTax will do a check to verify that all of the information that is required is complete. This is to ensure that you do not get a delay in receiving your tax refund. Issues TurboTax 2012 only really has one issue, and it’s a minor one. When you are presented with a drop down, you cannot just begin typing. You must actually hit the space bar and then you can begin typing in what value you want. As mentioned, it’s not a big deal, but when you can easily tab between fields it does break one’s rhythm. Tips There is one tip that might be useful for anybody who wishes to save money. You can use TurboTax 2012 to complete all the forms and then send them out via snail mail. No, this is not the intended usage for TurboTax 2012, but it is a possibility. Alternatively, you can always use TurboTax 2012 to verify that either you’ve done your work correctly or another software application has properly calculated amount you owe, or are due back. Conclusion TurboTax 2012 is a free download, with the option to pay via in-app purchase. Prices vary depending on what you want to file. Living in Illinois we are able to electronically file our taxes with the state for free, so I never pay to file my state taxes. If you’ve used TurboTax in the past and are comfortable using its in-app purchase for paying for your e-filing then by all means download TurboTax 2012. After all it does not cost you anything, besides time, bandwidth and bits, to download the software. You can download TurboTax 2012 from the Mac App Store.