All the major tax prep players have had Web-based versions for years, and all look and work like their desktop counterparts, letting you save partially finished returns and finish them in multiple sessions. It's convenient, and the sites remember your data from year to year. Even if your local copy gets hosed, you've got a copy on the tax-prep site. And there's a good chance much of your basic data will carry over from year to year, giving you a headstart on the process. compares the 5 major players: CompleteTaxOnline, HandBlock At Home Premium, Premium Edition, TaxACT Online Ultimate Bundle, and TurboTax Premier Online Edition.

Both the online and desktop versions of these three popular tax preparation software packages are reviewed, and the merits of e-filing versus printing and mailing tax returns are also considered,

Another comparative review from of the pros and cons of the top tax preparation software packages, plus information on the new, free IRS online tax preparation software— FreeFile—for those making less than $56,000 annually, and its enhanced eFile program.

Federal Tax Forms and Publications

Links to online tax forms and publications. You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader browser plugin in order to download and print these materials. Some browser JavaScript capability is needed to comfortably navigate the site as well. Also, check out the main IRS page at IRS page for a wealth of resources, and the new 1040 Central.

  • USAGov Taxes: Federal and State
An excellent selection from the U.S. Government's official web portal.

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A commercial—not an official government—site, but quite complete and helpful.

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State / City Tax Forms and Publications

Michigan State Dept. of Treasury provides downloadable forms and publications in Adobe .pdf format for 2010 and back through 1997.

The City of Detroit provides downloadable forms and publications in Adobe .pdf format for 2010, and, on the left margin of the Tax Division Page a list of forms going back to 1998.

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Property Tax Information

City of Farmington

City of Farmington Hills

Oakland County—Pay Local Taxes Online

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General Tax Information Sites

A fine site sponsored by Drake Software. Federal and state forms and publications, links to various state tax authorities and the IRS bulletin board system as well as current tax news and information.

Tax tips, basics, glossary, new law, rates; information on tax scams; some tales of "weird tax write-offs": and more to get you started on your U.S. income tax preparation. Also has summaries of state income, personal, and sales taxes.

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Before itemizing that charitable donation, it's a good idea to use this IRS page to find out if the organization really is exempt from federal taxation, and how much of your contributions are deductible. You can search by keyword and/or city and state to bring up 25 results at a time. There is also an alphabetical index by organization name.

Kaye A. Thomas, a Chicago tax lawyer, maintains this site of free tax information from a pro. He offers 10 separate Tax Guides, on topics ranging from what you need to know about taxes if you're just starting out as an investor to spousal liability.

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A history of the federal income tax and basic explanation of the tax process. Includes overviews of alternative tax ideas (flat tax and national sales tax), and links to related information. From How Stuff Works.

Tax tips, news, and free tax calculation tools are offered as free content at Quicken's TurboTax site. Includes sections for employees, homeowners, landlords, newlyweds, and the self-employed.

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According to, Margaret Milner Richardson, the former IRS Commissioner, swears by the content here, provided by Accounting.

Tax laws provide some special benefits for active members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those serving in combat zones. This site features information about combat zone tax provisions, the Military Family Tax Relief Act of 2003, tax assistance for military families, and related topics. From the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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Information from the federal government about federal tax laws in the United States. Topics addressed include a history of the U.S. tax system from Colonial times to the 2001 Bush tax cut, writing and enacting tax legislation, the economics of taxation, taxes and the economy, tax relief, and health savings accounts. Also includes brief information about state and local taxes and international taxation.

Tax forms, estimators, calculators, preparation, guides, tips, terms, calendars, rates, rules, news, and state tax profiles. Includes tax basics section for those new to preparing U.S. taxes and a tax guide for investors