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AFB  ®
Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 April 2011 Issue  Volume 12  Number 4

Letters to the Editor

More Financial Access Information from Fellow AccessWorld Readers

AccessWorld Readers Have a Lot to Say

Editor's Note: I want to thank all of the AccessWorld readers who sent in their comments and questions over the past month. Our financial issue prompted a lot of interest! Because I received more e-mails this March than in any previous month, we're going to publish three letters in this issue. These letters are primarily informative in nature, so I have not posted responses. For those of you who are waiting until the last minute to file your taxes, you may find a few more helpful tips from your fellow AccessWorld readers below.

Dear AccessWorld Editor,

In response to Marc Grossman's questions about tax filing: I've been doing my own taxes since 1992. I suppose I'm one of the pioneers in that regard. I…still use an Optacon, but I don't need it very often these days.

In the beginning, I used Am-Tax, a DOS program that made it fairly simple to fill out and print tax forms.

In 2002, when paperless technology made it easy to fill out and submit tax forms online, I started using TaxACT, because it's web-based; it's been my preferred method since. In the past couple years, they've added a CAPTCHA at the end of the payment process, but using Solona or Firefox makes it easy to solve the CAPTCHAs.

Filling out the forms isn't too hard. TaxACT and other tax software use a question and answer process; if you're familiar with the forms, you can fill them in directly. This year I discovered my 1099 forms, including my retiree form 1099-R, were all online and accessible, so gathering information was easier than ever.


Dear AccessWorld Editor,

I have been fairly successful using TaxAct Deluxe ($12.95) loaded on my PC, for preparing reasonably complex tax returns—although I do have sighted assistance readily available. TurboTax is also reasonably accessible.


Dear AccessWorld Editor,

One item I use, and didn't see mentioned in this issue, was the Accessible Tax Products link offered near the top of the IRS home page. This resource has several hundred forms and publications available in three formats. You can get text documents, BRF formatted ready-to-emboss braille documents, and self-voicing forms. I use the text and braille versions to research and prepare my taxes. I enter all the data and calculation formulas on an Excel spread sheet. Once finished, I read the list of numbers off to my wife, who writes onto the actual tax form. This is a great resource.


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