Quick as a Click, Devise Your Tax-Savings Strategy

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2nd Story Software, Inc., developers of the only completely free tax preparation software program and online service, announces the release of its TaxACTÂ? Preview software and the premier of TaxACTÂ? Online Preview Â? an intelligent environment designed to help taxpayers simplify the complexities of devising an effective tax-saving strategy.

For the seventh consecutive year, 2nd Story continues its tradition of offering consumers easy-to-use tools and the ability to strategize and calculate an early estimate of their 2004 federal tax returns at no-cost by combining the most commonly used forms and schedules with the most up-to-date laws and calculations.

Available today, consumers can elect to use TaxACT’s new online Preview platform. Like TaxACT’s Preview software, this innovative and powerful tax planning service provides an easy-to-understand interview format that helps taxpayers conduct careful analysis of their tax situation. Visitors need only to complete the site’s free online registration to gain full access to the host of planning forms, worksheets, schedules, calculators, and various support systems.

Registered visitors can use Online’s Standard or Deluxe Preview Editions at no cost to generate a forecasted Federal income tax refund or liability amount, providing users with valuable insight into their current tax situation. Deluxe Preview users can experience the benefits of TaxACT’s premium service features, such as having access to: additional forms and calculators; America’s all-time best selling tax guide, J.K. Lasser's™ Your Income Tax Guide by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; and, other context-sensitive, line-by-line help tips that provide insight to complex tax laws, planning opportunities, and potential pitfalls to avoid based on recent tax law changes and pending legislation before Congress. In addition, Deluxe Preview outlines tax saving strategies tailored to each user’s particular tax situation, which they can implement prior to the end of the tax year to save money on their taxes.

“Our company’s history has been punctuated with many ‘firsts’ and the release of TaxACT Online Preview is another important milestone for 2nd Story Software as a successful leader in the online tax preparation industry. First and foremost, Online Preview expands consumer platform choice and serves as a prime opportunity for users to explore personal tax-savings strategies at no cost or obligation, “ says Lance Dunn, President of 2nd Story Software. “Ultimately, we envision our Preview site as playing a leadership role in the financial planning industry allowing users to develop a tax-saving strategy that is not complicated, expensive, or require a great deal of personal time.”

About TaxACT

Approaching its 7th tax season, TaxACT(TM) is America's #1 value-leader in tax preparation software consumer services. Between the 2001 and 2002 tax seasons, Nielsen/NetRatings revealed usage of TaxACT's Web-based products demonstrated a 75% growth rate – distinguishing TaxACT the fastest growing online tax service. TaxACT continued to command stellar growth during the 2003 tax season as more than five (5) million tax returns were filed using TaxACT.

To ensure ease-of use, TaxACT’s software and Web-based service options features an interface that allows its users two distinct methods of entering their information: the interview format or the forms-based entry method. TaxACT also contains a highly reliable and robust alerts system to help prevent costly mistakes that are most often caused by omissions or missed opportunities to maximize deductions. All data entered into one of TaxACT’s Preview Versions will automatically transfer into the Standard and Deluxe 2004 Final versions (including TaxACT Online), which are scheduled for release on January 10, 2005. Regardless of the TaxACT version and / or platform, all forms are IRS and State approved.

TaxACT Online Standard and Standard software for Windows contain the most common forms, schedules, and worksheets and enable its users to prepare and print a paper return for free - no gimmicks, stipulations, or rebate checks to mail. As an option, electronic filing may be added for $7.95 per return. For the do-it-yourself tax preparer who requires extra advice or has a more complicated tax situation, TaxACT is available in a Deluxe Edition and includes one (1) free federal e-file – a $7.95 value in itself. The cost to use Deluxe Online is $9.95 or, for those that prefer to download or order TaxACT’s Deluxe Edition CD-ROM software, the cost is just $12.95. TaxACT State Editions are also available for all income-taxing states for $7.95 for the online platform, and $12.95 for download.

About 2nd Story Software, Inc.

2nd Story Software is a privately held company founded in 1998 and is the foremost leader in developing and marketing affordable tax preparation software and Web-based services direct to end consumers. Via the Web, TaxACT includes the flexibility of online tax preparation services as well as the availability of downloadable desktop software. To date, the comprehensive suite of TaxACT’s over-the-Web products have enabled over thirteen (13) million returns to be filed and continues to empower users to make well-informed financial decisions with ease, while looking out for the cost-conscious.

More information regarding 2nd Story and the TaxACT product line may be found by visiting http://www.taxact.com. Those interested in accessing TaxACT’s online services may visit http://www.taxactonline.com.

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Stephanie Behrends
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