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Ho Ho Ho...Tax Preparation Software Arrives

Techstination feature for Tuesday, December 10, 2002

It's that taxing time of year again. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. I'm not talking about all of that holiday shopping... I mean the other kind of taxing. Intuit and H&R Block are out with the latest versions of their tax preparation software. Intuit's Scott Gulbransen says the company's TurboTax line sold 5 and a half million copies during the last tax season... .not including Web based software customers... that topped 2 million... .

"These are people who used paper and pencil to prepare their taxes. They're skipping the boxed software and going right to an online solution which is very peculiar. We didn't expect that, but we're seeing people adopt the Web, like the convenience of it, they don't have to go to a retail store to purchase it, they don't have to use a credit card to go into an online center and do it. They can actually do it right on the Web. They can have the time, they can come back to it and it allows them to skip the whole installation process which is attractive to them."

The Web based version of the program should be available in mid-January. The boxed software... for those who want to get a head start... is out now. Unlike other kinds of programs... users have to upgrade every year. There are some new features being added ... .

"We're introducing a retirement planning edition of TurboTax for people within ten years of retirement. We're also introducing an investor's edition for people who have a lot of stock transactions, bond transactions, all kinds of different investments. This allows them to plan their taxes more efficiently. We're also introducing the first really personal finance software title in Spanish."

Another new feature... activation technology to prevent unlicensed use of the software. Pricing starts at under 30 dollars. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.