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500 Tips
Tax Software
TurboTax Deluxe

Read It!

Take a few minutes to peruse the Read1040 file, which contains late-breaking information. In Windows 95, go to Start/Programs/TurboTax 1996/Read1040. If you're using Windows 3.x, open Program Manager, open the TurboTax program and double-click on the Read1040 icon.

First Things First

Transfer data from last year's tax return before importing financial data from Quicken or another program. Use the Import command only once for each file you're importing.

Transfer Trick

Tax forms have changed somewhat since last year, so if you're transferring data from your 1995 return, check this Help file topic: "Transferring data from last year's forms: situations to watch for."

Look Before You Leap

Before importing information from Quicken, print a Tax Schedule Report from that program. This will help you ensure your Quicken data is assigned to the correct tax forms and lines.

TaxLink Import

When you're ready to import data by going to File/TaxLink, close all other applications-except Quicken.

Import-ant News

Want to find imported data in your tax return? Look for the green text on your tax forms. You can also click on Tools/My Tax Data and look for Import in the right-hand column. If it says Transfer, that means you transferred the data from your 1995 return. If the column is blank, you entered this data manually.

Speed Things Up

If TurboTax isn't running fast enough, close down other programs to free up some RAM. Don't forget about background apps like fax software and screen savers.

Out with the Old

If you want to change data you imported from your financial software, delete it from the return, adjust it in your financial program and then reimport the corrected information. To delete imported data, go to the Forms view, choose File/Remove Imported Data and click on Yes. Note: This won't delete data you transferred from last year's tax return.

The Color of Money

Identify entries by text color. Data entered manually is blue, while entries calculated by TurboTax are black. Errors and entries that override a calculated value are red. Entries you mark as estimated are red italic. Entries for which you created a supporting details list are purple. Data transferred from last year's tax return is aqua. Data imported from Quicken or another financial software package is green.

Size Things Up

In Forms view, you can enlarge and reduce the size of forms. Select Forms/Magnify and choose the desired percentage. Fit Page will show all text within the window.

Drive Time

If a document won't print or prints with text in the wrong fields, and you've turned off Print Manager, that means the printer driver is not accepting the TurboTax routine properly. You need a printer driver that's more compatible with TurboTax. Check the printer manual for help or get updated drivers from the printer vendor's Web site.

This Is Only a Test

A few weeks before your taxes are due, try printing a test page from your tax return. That way, if you encounter printing problems, you have time to solve them.

Stumped? Get Help

If you're working on a form and have a question about a particular entry, right-click on the field and choose Guide Me. You'll jump to the EasyStep section for the specific item. To return to the form, click on Forms/Go to Forms.

Get Around

Speed through a form by pressing Ctrl+Home to go to the first line of the form and Ctrl+End for the last line.

Refresh Your Memory

To see what you've entered in your return thus far, choose Tools/My Tax Data. If you're not sure how to interpret an entry, select it and click on Interview to open the EasyStep interview topic for that entry.

Go Straight to the Source

To view the source for data in a calculated field, click on the magnifying glass to the left. You can also click on Help/Data Sources, then choose a specific form.

On Second Thought ...

If you've overridden a calculated value provided by TurboTax, but think better of it, choose Edit/Cancel Override. TurboTax will update the field with the proper calculated value.

Coping with Leftovers

If you've finished the Interview but you still have receipts, income or expenses you weren't asked about, click on Help/Tax Help and search for the appropriate item.

Error Check

To pinpoint errors, in Forms view, select Forms/Form Errors to display a list of errors or omissions. Click on an error message to open the form and enter correct information in the highlighted field. Run Form Errors again to make sure you've caught them all. You can also search a specific tax form for errors or missing data by pressing F7 repeatedly.

Check It Twice

Before you call it quits, compare this year's return to last year's to spot possible irregularities. If you used the Transfer option, go to the Forms view, choose Tools/History Report and view the Tax History Worksheet. If you didn't use the Transfer option, refer to a hard copy of last year's return.

Don't Trip Up

If you file your form electronically, do not use the Override feature, and don't enter zeros in blank fields.

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