OLT OnLine Taxes – Affordable Pricing
If you like simple and affordable, you might be interested in having a look at OLT OnLine Taxes. This online tax preparation software product makes it easy and affordable to prepare your state and Federal income tax returns. While OLT OnLine Taxes doesn’t have some of the features found in more comprehensive and expensive products, it should work well for taxpayers with relatively simple tax situations. Read on for our full OLT OnLine Taxes review.
OLT OnLine Taxes Overview
Unlike a lot of other tax preparation products, OLT OnLine Taxes doesn’t have a lot of different versions of their product. Many software programs come with three or four versions of the software, depending on your tax situation, needs, and the forms and schedules required. That’s not the case with OLT OnLine Taxes; they only have two versions of their product for Federal tax returns. OLT OnLine Taxes is part of the Free File Alliance; if you’re interested in using OLT OnLine Taxes that way, you’ll have to access their site from the official site of the IRS. Otherwise, you can access OLT OnLine Taxes from their Website.
The two versions of OLT OnLine Taxes are:
OLT OnLine Taxes Free Edition
This version of OLT OnLine Taxes lets you prepare your Federal income taxes for free, and that includes preparation, printing and filing your return electronically. OLT OnLine Taxes says that all forms and schedules are included, and that they can handle simple, 1040 EZ-type returns as well as complex returns involving self-employment, stock transactions, real estate purchases and sales, complicated income tax deductions, and rental property income. While the OLT OnLine Taxes Free Edition is without charge, it does come with a few limitations, including the fact that you can only receive tech support via email, which means you could be waiting quite a while for a reply if you have a question.
OLT OnLine Taxes Premium Edition
Like the Free Edition above, the OLT OnLine Taxes Premium Edition allows you to file a Federal tax return that’s either simple or complex, as the software can handle just about any situation you might have. All forms and schedules are included, and you can print and file without additional charge. The cost of the OLT OnLine Taxes Premium Edition is currently a very reasonable $7.95, but for this modest sum, you also receive the following benefits that are not available in the Free Edition:
- Tech support via live chat or telephone
- Extended access to your returns (four years)
- The ability to import data from prior years
- Priority tech support via email
- Live support via chat and telephone
- Year over year return comparisons
- Priority audit assistance
- Discount on state pricing
Given that the cost for the OLT OnLine Taxes Premium Edition is less than ten dollars, it seems like the better value. State returns incur a charge for either edition, though the charge is $9.95 if you’re using the Free Edition and $7.95 if you’re using the Premium Edition.
Like many modern tax preparation software products, OLT OnLine Taxes works by asking the user a series of questions interview-style. From these answers, the software is able to determine what forms and schedules you’ll need to complete your return. These are all basic features, and if you have a good idea as to what you need to do to complete your taxes, you’ll do just fine.
On the downside, you cannot import your W2 forms and OLT OnLine Taxes lacks life events questions, which can help simplify the filing process. Questions such as “Did you buy a home?” or “Did you have a baby this year?” are common in more sophisticated software products, although such products also tend to cost a great deal more money than the $7.95 you’ll be paying for OLT OnLine Taxes.
Another issue with OLT OnLine Taxes is something that is common to all tax software – it only knows what you tell it. That may seem obvious, but few taxpayers realize that buried within the tens of thousands of pages in the US Tax Code are hundreds or perhaps thousands of ways that you could be saving money on your taxes via legally deductible expenses. As we’ve pointed out elsewhere, whether you can deduct certain expenses is often a matter of context, and this sort of nuance is not something that tax software products are able to discern. If you know about unusual or offbeat deductions that could save you money, OLT OnLine Taxes can handle them and add them to your return.
Most taxpayers, however, have no idea about the many ways they could be saving money and don’t have the time or the expertise to wade through the Tax Code to discover them. That’s not the fault of the tax software, whether you’re using OLT OnLine Taxes or something else. That’s the fault of our cumbersome tax laws, and it’s simply too much to ask of any taxpayer to know about every possible way they could be saving money. Tax software isn’t enough; taxpayers who want to save the greatest amount of money on their income taxes need to be able to know what’s deductible and what isn’t so that they can maximize their legal deductions and pay the least amount of money in income taxes. This is tax strategy, not tax preparation and it’s beyond the scope of OLT OnLine Taxes or any other tax software.
There is, however, a great resource available that can help the average taxpayer learn how to save the most money on their taxes. It’s possible to learn about available deductions and how to apply them and the information is presented in easy to read plain English and not complicated tax-speak or legalese. Once you determine how to save money, you can add the information to your forms using OLT OnLine Taxes and you’ll be on your way to saving money.
For most taxpayers, OLT OnLine Taxes is a more than adequate product. But if you want to save the most money you possibly can on your taxes, you’ll need more help.