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TAXPAYERS TURN TO SOFTWARE TO SAVE TIME, MONEY AND AGGRAVATION; EGGHEAD OFFERS FREE BUYING GUIDE

 ISSAQUAH, Wash., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- This year, more and more Americans are deciding to put their home computers to work and make the 1993 filing season less taxing, Egghead Software (NASDAQ-NMS: EGGS) said today. Tax-preparation programs are one of the fastest growing software categories according to the Washington, D.C.-based Software Publishers Association. Industry experts agree the record 1.3 million units of tax software sold last tax season demonstrate that a growing number of taxpayers are leaving their calculators and pencils behind to plug into computer-based tax preparation. And, while these programs don't guarantee to make filing fun, they give personal-computer users a convenient and affordable way to accurately complete their federal and state tax forms.
 "In 1991, sales of software in the tax category grew 74 percent over the previous year, nearly three times the North American software growth of 25 percent," said David Trembly, research director for the Software Publishers Association.
 According to Kirk Keys, general merchandise manager at Egghead Software, the tax category has shown consistent, strong growth for the nation's leading software reseller, regardless of what was happening in the rest of the industry. "We certainly expect this trend to continue as more taxpayers are now realizing the money and time-saving advantages of using tax software," said Keys.
 To help ease the annual tax-time frenzy for taxpayers across the country, Egghead has identified this season's best programs for DOS, Macintosh and Windows operating environments.
 "This year's software programs offer taxpayers an opportunity to save money and gain more control over their finances," said Keys. "They offer instant calculations by entering the relevant figures only once -- then the software transfers them automatically from form to form as needed. We believe these products represent the best value in the tax category for our customers."
 All of Egghead's recommended programs provide "what if" capabilities that allow users to compare various tax scenarios without recalculating. These programs are also compatible with a variety of money-management packages, giving users an opportunity to organize their finances throughout the year and then easily import the data directly to their returns. "Even people who don't itemize deductions can benefit from the tax tips and planning advice offered by these programs," added Keys. "And those who use accountants can save money on their preparer's services if they present them with a computerized print out of their financial situation first."
 Tax-preparation programs eliminate the need to look up information in often lengthy, difficult-to-understand Internal Revenue Service (IRS) instruction booklets. As users tab from field to field, TaxCut from MECA, for example, prompts users as to what information should go in the blanks. By using powerful branching logic, TaxCut asks users a series of questions, transparently tailors the interview to the taxpayer's individual situation, automatically selects the necessary forms, and fills in the numbers.
 In addition to providing money-saving advice, tax programs like ChipSoft's TurboTax alert users to entries which could trigger an audit, so a warning is received only from the consumer's computer -- not the IRS. Tax-preparation programs virtually eliminate mathematical error, the most common mistake for filers according to the IRS. All of the tax programs recommended by Egghead offer an ironclad guarantee of 100- percent accuracy, or the publisher will pay the penalty.
 Computerized tax preparations can also be submitted electronically to IRS computers via a third-party processor. Because returns are never keyed into IRS computers, more potential errors are avoided. "Electronic filing also drastically reduces the handling time, and users can expect their returns much faster," said Jerry Littlefield, IRS electronic filing coordinator. "Because of the increased popularity of tax programs, we're expecting more than 14 million Americans to file electronically this year."
 Littlefield also notes that the number of electronic filers may increase in the near future, as an IRS policy statement is pending that will reduce the number of filing standards by 1995. "The change would mean that returns could be filed in only one of three ways: electronic return, 1040PC format and IRS-provided paper forms," he said. According to Littlefield, the proposed policy would affect substitute form standards used by professional tax preparers.
 Egghead's top picks for tax programs print IRS-acceptable forms, including the 1040PC, on any printer using blank paper. The 1040PC format is the fastest way to print a tax return, and the IRS also expects to process returns printed in the 1040PC mode more quickly than the traditional format returns.
 To help consumers get their taxes on-line now, Egghead's Keys suggests that taxpayers consult their favorite software store to find the right product to suit their needs. Egghead also offers customers a free guide to buying tax software, available by calling 800-EGGHEAD or visiting one of Egghead's more than 205 retail stores across North America.
 Egghead Software is the leading personal computer software reseller in North America, offering its retail, corporate and government and mail-order customers the best value through a combination of service, selection, convenience and competitive prices. Egghead currently operates more than 205 retail stores, a corporate and government sales force of approximately 330 sales and service representatives, and its 800-EGGHEAD mail order operation.
 -0- 2/23/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: For information about tax-preparation software programs, to arrange interviews with local store managers, to obtain Egghead's Tax-Preparation Software Picks grid or to schedule a photo shoot, contact Tamese Robinson./
 /CONTACT: Tamese Robinson of Egghead Software, 206-391-6247/
 (EGGS)


CO: Egghead Software Inc.; Software Publishers Association ST: Washington, District of Columbia IN: CPR SU: PDT

SM -- NYTFNS2 -- 9191 02/23/93 07:02 EST
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