Which tax software to use; help on home insurance; getting cheap Wi-Fi.
(MONEY Magazine) - TIP 1 Cybertax 101 If you haven't filed your taxes yet, here are three fast, cheap e-file options. Pick the one that's right for you.
• IF YOUR TAX RETURN IS PRETTY STRAIGHTFORWARD: TAXACT is ideal for filers using form 1040EZ. The standard package offers free federal filing and costs only $13 per state. taxact.com
• IF YOU ITEMIZE: TURBOTAX's Deluxe ($45) and Premier ($60) editions cover e-filing fees and include ItsDeductible, a program that maximizes itemizing. New this year: For $15, exchange all or part of your refund for a discounted (up to 20%) store card from retailers such as Lowe's, Gap, Dell and Starbucks. turbotax.com
• IF YOUR RETURN IS COMPLICATED: Try H&R Block's TAXCUT. The experience is like TurboTax, but the Signature service ($80) gives you unlimited access to a tax adviser for one year, a better deal than TurboTax. hrblock.com --JUDY FELDMAN
TIP 2 Get a CLUE
Ever called your insurer to ask about damage coverage but then didn't make a claim? Be prepared: It might be listed in one of the industry's databases as a claim filed without any money paid out. This can cause problems when you shop for a new policy or try to sell your home.
• WHAT TO DO Most insurance companies use the CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) database. You can get a free copy of your report by going to choicetrust.com. (If your insurer uses A-PLUS, the Automated Property Loss Underwriting System, go to iso.com.) You can challenge these $0 "claims" in hopes of wiping them from your record. In the meantime, you should notify potential insurers of the situation so they know you're not a serial claimer. --KATE ASHFORD
TIP 3 Don't let Wi-Fi hot spots put a freeze on your wallet
Whether you want to network over java at the local café or Web surf by the hotel pool, it's becoming easier to grab an Internet connection out of thin air thanks to the estimated 100,000 Wi-Fi wireless hot spots worldwide. But connecting can cost you: $6 an hour at Starbucks and about $9.95 at some Hiltons, for example.
• BEAT THE FEE Two websites, JiWire.com and MetroFreeFi.com, list hotels, cafés and public spaces that offer free Wi-Fi hookups in cities across the U.S. and overseas, complete with maps to get you there. Now you can afford that third latte. --DAPHNE MOSHER
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