Thursday, February 19, 2015

TaxSniper software slammed by experts

By +Tina Cruris

Spokespersons from H&R Block, TaxACT and TurboTax have all warned US taxpayers about the dangers of using a brand new tax software from a company called TaxSniper.

TaxSniper tax software by Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes promotes TaxSniper software
Richard Gartland from the H&R Block commercials told us, "We encourage consumers to shop around because we are confident that our product is the best, and we guarantee our maximum refund results. H&R Block would not normally discourage tax payers from trying alternate products, but in this case we feel it is absolutely necessary to warn users about this software."

TurboTax refused to go on record with a statement about TaxSniper in light of their recent fraud issues, which involved phishing and identity theft from outside sources. Some states noticed irregularities with filings and had stopped accepting electronic filings through TurboTax. Issues such as these have already made e-filers nervous about filing their taxes this year.

We contacted TaxSniper but have not received any response from them, so we tried their software alongside other popular brands. We entered the same information into each federal filing program when prompted to get a result of how much tax was owed, or due to be refunded to obtain a comparison across the brands.

Tax software refund chart
Tax software refund chart
The one major thing to note is that we had to split the chart in order to fit the TaxSniper refund of $6800. H&R Block was the other software which promised money back. TaxACT and TurboTax said that taxes were owed.

In addition to calculating the value of taxes owed, each software package also offers financial advice for the coming tax year. Most of the advice was the usual investing, and saving stuff. Some suggested contributing to pensions and HSA accounts. TaxSniper was the only software to say that you should put your refund into an offshore account and declare yourself as a non-resident alien with zero earnings for the 2016 tax season.

How do you file your taxes, software or real person? Which is your favorite tax company? Share your tax stories before Wednesday April 15th to avoid penalties.

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