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TaxBrain Review

It’s never too early to start preparing for next year’s taxes. Whether you organize your tax documents [3] ahead of time, or whether you are shopping around for some great tax software to help you file your taxes [4], it’s a good idea to be ready for the next tax season. If you don’t want to have to fill out your taxes slowly by hand, but you aren’t interested in paying someone else to do it, you can use tax preparation software to help you out.

TaxBrain is one option for helping you fill out your tax forms, and file them. If you are looking for something simple and basic — and web based — TaxBrain might be just the thing for you.

Simple, Minimalist Tax Preparation from TaxBrain

The main selling point of TaxBrain is its simplicity. The program starts out by asking you basic questions that help the program eliminate certain forms and schedules from your tax return. You are presented with places to enter your tax information, and it can be done fairly quickly if you have a simple tax return. TaxBrain is offered by Petz Enterprises, and is only available online. The different versions of TaxBrain also include e-file.

The simplest form is 1040EZ, and is $14.95. Next is the 1040 Basic, for $19.95, which includes information for those with standard deductions and simple income adjustments. If you itemize deductions and/or have income from partnerships, S-corps and investments, you will need to get the 1040 Deluxe package, which starts at $39.95. The Premium version starts at $69.95 an includes profit and loss, depreciation, and home office deductions. Adding a state tax return will cost $29.95 to your overall cost of the federal return.

It is a plus that TaxBrain will build a package for you, based on your needs, but understand that you might get a better deal from a more features-rich tax preparation product. Consider what you are likely to need, and then decide whether TaxBrain is really right for you.

Extra Features of TaxBrain

It’s worth knowing that there are some interesting extra features that you can receive when you use TaxBrain. If you are worried abou an audit, you can pay $34.95 for audit defense on your TaxBrain return. This means that a TaxBrain professional will represent you to the IRS if your tax return is audited. You can also store your tax return online for five years for $9.95. This can be a good way to keep a digital copy at your disposal, just in case you need to reference it. Finally, you can have printed copies of your tax returns mailed to you for $19.95.

Bottom Line

If you have a simple and straightforward tax return, you might benefit from TaxBrain. It is quick and easy to fill out in the 1040EZ and 1040 Basic versions, and can be completed in less than half an hour. However, as the complexity of your tax return increases, so does the time it takes — and the price you are charged. Carefully consider the types of forms and schedules you will need, and compare prices based on those needs, rather than the base cost of the tax prep software.