Historically, I have used TurboTax on-line and this year I also tried out the on-line version of H&R Block’s TaxCut service. Both programs walk you through an exhaustive array of potential deduction scenarios to help you minimize your tax liabilities. However, I was shocked by the end results for my Illinois state refund. I would have been willing to live with a minor difference between the two, but they were off by a factor of 10, with TurboTax offering the higher refund.
I went back through the steps for both programs multiple times with no change in the outcome. Finally, I discovered that TurboTax was applying some deduction or credit for consulting work, based on my 2007 taxes. Adjusting for this brought the TurboTax-calculated refund more in line with that of TaxCut, although they still did not match.
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