With the growing interest in home computers, it only figures that it wouldn't take long before computer owners would be able to do their taxes on the screen.
Available on the market now are software programs that can assist the taxpayers in his annual chore of filing federal income tax.As one user said, "It's as simple as pushing buttons . . . as long as you push all the right buttons."
A few years ago, computer software companies set about writing a programs for home computers that would, in fact, help the user figure his or her federal taxes.
Those programs are becoming more and more popular as more and more people place computers in their homes, and realize some of the advantages of computer tax preparation.
One of the leaders in the tax software movement is Double Eagle Software, Inc., out of Torrance, Calif. Its program is called "The Tax Advantage," and offers a user-friendly program that can be used on Apple, IBM, Atari and Commodore computers.
Suggested price ranges from $49.95 to $59.95.
According to Double Eagle, the "1988 Tax Advantage," is an income tax preparation program for individuals and sole proprietors. It also points out that its 1989 version is current with all the reform changes for 1988 taxes, such as new tax rates, new standard deductions, new personal exemptions, new limitations on personal interest and rate adjustments for higher income ranges.
What the program does is take the user through common tax forms, including the 1040. One of the most appealing aspects of the program is that it does all the calculations, all the adding and subtracting and percentages.
Along with placing items onto the various forms in the program, the user can also itemize when necessary.
Among the forms in the program are the standard 1040, Itemized Deductions, Interest and Dividend Income, Profit and Loss From Business, Capital Gains and Losses, Supplemental Income Schedule, Farm Income and Expenses, Social Security Self-Employment Tax, Employee Business Expenses, Credit for Child and Dependent Care Expenses, Depreciation and Amorization, and Alternative Minimum Tax.
Also, the user can prepare up to three Schedule Cs (Profit or Loss From Business); two Social Security Self-Employment Tax forms; and provide a supporting list and statement when itemizing.
The program can calculate amounts at high at $9,999,999 and can give to the user printouts of completed forms, schedules and itemizations to submit directly to the IRS.
Another feature that users find beneficial is that on Form 1040, the program actually calculates your tax after every entry, instantly updating your screen as you make changes and corrections.
The software comes with a manual, but a demonstration program on the disk makes it almost unnecessary to read it.