Checkpoint: Tax Filing 2015 Edition

I’ve been using TurboTax for years. I buy the standard edition and file claims for my immediate family for less than $30 per year. I tried H&R Block’s free online offering last year but it couldn’t even handle my simple scenario properly. For the 2015 tax year, Intuit decided to step into the free game and offer TurboTax online free as well. I was going to check it out but then I heard of SimpleTax and the huge amount of praise that it received.

SimpleTax doesn’t offer the questionnaire that I’ve grown accustom to with TurboTax and that’s both a blessing and a point of worry. It’s a blessing for those who are familiar with their tax situation, have a handful of forms and receipts and just want to input them. TurboTax’s interview/questionnaire served as a checklist . I had forgotten about my public transit pass and if it wasn’t for the fact that I was owing money instead of getting a refund, I may have omitted it entirely. TurboTax would have “saved” me because it would have asked if that situation applied to me from the onset.

SimpleTax does have an optimization and suggestions function that made useful suggestions though. It suggested I take a look at medical expenses and I found out that I could claim my laser eye surgery. I would have likely explored that possibility with TurboTax’s suggestions phase as well but it was nice to see SimpleTax have that security blanket.

The process of inputting forms and receipts in SimpleTax was enough to win me over for subsequent years. It was easy to find what I was looking for with a few keystrokes in their search field. The boxes were laid out logically and I was able to tab through them with ease. I also found tooltips found throughout each form very useful.

I submitted my return for 2015 and if the tax man comes back with no complaints, I see myself using SimpleTax next year as well. I’m impressed with SimpleTax so far but I don’t think it’s as beginner friendly as TurboTax’s interview/questionnaire.

After 40 hours, I’m ready to close the book on Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright. I’m also nearing the end of the Division’s campaign but unlike Fire Emblem, I don’t feel like I’m done with the Division just yet.

Then there’s Street Fighter V which I’m trying to play more but any time I try playing online, I get fed up with the long wait times and end up chipping away at Survival Normal. There’s a new patch and character coming out next week that will hopefully give me the opportunity to find some quick matches. It’s incredibly silly to spend more time waiting on matchmaking and loading than fighting.