TaxCalc 2003

With more and more people stepping out of the rat race and becoming self employed, more and more of those people are at some point going to have to worry about filling in a tax form.

For anyone that has done this, they will know that it is a pain in the arse and something that is inevitably left until the last minute. Quicken hope to make filling in the tax form a simply and easy to do operation by using TaxCalc 2003 a software package that promised to have your tax return form filled in within 30 minutes or you can ask for your money back.

Once the software has loaded and you’ve gone online to check for the latest updates from the Inland Revenue, you have two main choices to make. You can either follow the step-by-step instructions and answer all the questions the program throws at you, or you can chose to fill in a digital version of the form they normally send you in the post.

The step by step option is very simple and offers plenty of links that open up an additional window to explain what the hell is going on or where you are going to find that information in your paper records.

The digital form view will offer those used to filling in their tax return the comforting boxes that they know and hate. If you want you can view both at the same time or switch between the two as you see fit.

To allow you to keep abreast of things there is a status bar across the bottom of the screen and this gives you an up to date total of what you owe or are owed by the Inland Revenue.

Once you have finished, the software checks the form to make sure you haven’t missed any information off and then you are offered the chance to print to paper for you to send to the Inland Revenue via the post or to submit the form via the internet.

There are three versions of the current software - TaxCalc 2003 lite, TaxCalc 2003 and TaxCalc 2003 professional. While TaxCalc 2003 lite is free it will only cope with you earning £20,000 or less. TaxCalc 2003 standard will allow four people in your household to benefit from the software while the professional version will cope with a whole business full.

Verdict

With something that is so difficult and normally so complicated, making sense of everything could be a very hard job. Quicken, though have managed to create a simply and easy to use program that does the job, will hopefully save you money and make filling in those horrible forms a thing of the past. There is plenty of help within the program and online if things get a little bit complicated, but nonetheless we found that we didn't need to use either service. This will make that tax form a doodle, and worryingly something to look forward to next year.