New York Times business writer, Tim Gray, with the help of his dog, recently conducted an experiment involving the tax prep software from three leading companies: H&R Block, TurboTax, and TaxAct. He tried to claim his dog as one would claim their child, just to see if the software would allow it. The unstated hypothesis is that tax prep software companies should steer taxpayers away from errors that may result in an audit and potential tax debt.
The H&R Block and TurboTax software did not allow him to claim his dog because no social security number was entered. The TaxAct software allowed him to claim the dog, but warned him that there was a problem.
He seemed to like the Block software for the customer support, but preferred TurboTax for most other reasons. Interesting tax preparation franchise comparison article.