Discussion of tax programs
Author: Cheryl Gibbs
Date: March, 1988
Keywords: taxes tax macintax macmoney review financial software money
Text: It's that time of year when some of us slave over a hot adding machine to figure out if it finally will be worth it this year to itemize all those deductions, and the rest of us spend time hunting down those ever-elusive tax deduction receipts. But Eris Slack Wagner and Judy Bennett will tell us about a better way at the March 14 meeting. Both use a program called MacInTax to turn their Macintosh computers into tax preparers. Eris also uses MacMoney, with which you can keep track of expenses and which will input directly to MacInTax. She will offer her views on whether it is worth your time to use your Mac to record your spending. MacInTax featured in MacWorld Those of you who subscribe to MacWorld Magazine may have seen an article about MacInTax in the March 1988 issue. According to that article, MacInTax is the best-selling tax program for the Mac, and it was voted "Best Tax Planning/Preparation Software" by MacWorld readers in 1987. MacUser Magazine gives the program its highest, five-mouse rating, calling it "an excellent tool for preparing tax forms. Intuitive, easy to use." The magazine's editors also gave the program an "Eddy" Editors' Choice Award in 1987. The program is not copy-protected, making it possible for hard disk owners to use the program without having to insert a master or "key" disk. The article says the forms contained in MacInTax look like the actual IRS forms, which you can then print out, sign and send. The program includes on-line help, which includes the entire IRS 1040 booklet. The MacWorld article says that SoftView also offers a state return for California. According to MacWorld, SoftView has plans to market a professional version of MacInTax. In the meantime, the company has begun selling a supplement to MacInTax called Tax Planner, which helps calculate estimated taxes and withholding forms. This program received MacUser's Eddy for "Best New Personal Finance Program" for 1988. MacWorld quotes the price for MacInTax at $119, with yearly updates cost $55. MacUser says it should cost $99 for the federal form, $45 for California. MacInTax is currently in version 1.0 and was created by SoftView Inc., 4820 Adohr Lane, Suite F, Camarillo, CA 93010. TaxView Planner is listed at $79, and you must have MacInTax to use it. Both programs require a 512K Macintosh or better. The company's phone number for orders only is (800) 622-6829. The office phone is (805) 388-2626. Other tax programs discussed in the MacWorld article include tax templates from Excellent Exchange and EZWare's EXTax-Prep, which work only if you use them with the Excel spreadsheet program or Microsoft Works, a multi-purpose program package. Also mentioned are EZWare programs EZTax-Prep 1065, for partnership returns, and EZTax-Plan, which can project your taxes for up to 45 years based on your current return and your financial plans. The latter program even points out when your projected deductions may exceed the average, making you more likely to be audited. Unfortunately, MacWorld does not list these programs in its "Where to Buy" column. MacMoney gets high ratings, also MacMoney received a 4-1/2 mouse rating from MacUser and is described as "a complete and easy to use personal financial system." A complete review of the program appears in the May 1987 issue of MacUser. MacMoney requires a 512K enhanced Macintosh or better and is listed at $74.95. It is sold by Survivor Software, 11222 La Cienega Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90304. MacMoney is not copy protected. Another program that will input directly into MacInTax, according to MacWorld, is Dollars and Sense. This is described in MacUser as "a bookkeeping system" that "uses standard double-entry accounting techniques." It will run on a 128K Macintosh or better and lists for $149.95, available from Monogram, 8295 S. La Cienega Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90301.
Copyright © march, 1988 by Cheryl Gibbs