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You still haven't started your Christmas shopping, and the April 15 tax filing deadline might as well be a million years away. So why should you think about tax preparation software now? Because this Cyber Monday deal is the lowest price you'll see between now and tax time, with Amazon offering up to 50% off on the two leading tax-prep packages: TurboTax and H&R Block. They're available as an instant download for Windows 10/11 or Mac, and updates between now and April are free.
TurboTax is the market leader, and if you use Quicken to keep track of income and expenses, it's the obvious choice. (ZDNET reviewed last year's version here.) There are a half-dozen different versions to choose from, depending on how complex your finances are. The Basic and Deluxe editions are good enough for most simple filing scenarios. Choose the Premier edition if you own rental property or trade in stocks and other securities, and opt for the Business edition if you have an S or C corporation or need to file a partnership return.
H&R Block Tax Software is the number-two choice in the market and is backed by a familiar name. It's also considerably less expensive and is every bit as trustworthy. Like its rival, it comes in multiple editions, so read the descriptions carefully before making your choice. (Are you self-employed or a small business owner? Compare your options in this roundup: Best tax software 2022: Self employed and SMB options.)
If you live in a state that requires you to file an income tax return, consider getting one of the options that includes one state edition. If you forget and wait until filing time, those options will cost dramatically more.
And here's a money-saving note: Every package from either vendor includes the right to file up to five Federal returns with no extra fee. (Printing and mailing a paper return costs nothing, of course.) So if you're the designated tax-prep specialist in your family, you can take care of the whole gang without paying extra.
Buy the software now, download the files to your Windows PC or Mac, save the activation code, and then go back to procrastinating. You can start working after the New Year, when those W-2 and 1099 tax forms start arriving.