Should You File Your Tax Return from the Cloud or on Your PC?

Using online tax preparation software to file your taxes is the new "normal". More and more people in the U.S. are taking advantage of do-it-yourself software to fill out and file their returns each year. The IRS reports that in 2012 more than 112 million taxpayers used the e-file service to submit a return.

If you are thinking about filing your return with an online tax service this year, you may want to consider the limitations of a desktop software program versus a cloud based program (provided and stored online). Using filing software over the cloud is virtually identical to using desktop software, however, using desktop software has a number of usage limitations when compared with cloud based software.

First with online tax software, there are never any operating system compatibility problems. You access your return from a web browser running on any web-enabled device. That can be a PC, laptop, tablet or phone and powered by an either Apple, Windows, Chrome or any other operating system. With a desktop based program you are limited to one device running a specific platform which it was designed for, unlike the cloud where you can work on your return from any web enabled device.

With cloud-based, online tax preparation, your return is automatically backed up on secure servers. With us, prior year returns are stored and accessible for your convenience at any time. If you use a desktop program and do not back up the return, you risk losing it if you have a hard drive or operating system failure.

Did you know you are responsible for downloading updates with most desktop preparation programs? If you are using a cloud based program, you never have to worry about having the latest version of the software or downloading updates during the tax season. Bugs are fixed and tax law updates are made automatically. You will always be accessing the latest version every time you log in.

Only you can judge if desktop or cloud-based tax software is best for you. If you decide to choose a cloud filing product this year, we hope you file your taxes with