Each year, software publishers make it a little easier for owners of personal computers to prepare and file their tax returns.
One of the easier programs to use this year in preparing the 1989 returns before the April 16 deadline is "Personal Tax Preparer" from Parsons Technology, 375 Collins Road NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402-9962.
The menu-driven program is available for IBM, Tandy, Compaq or compatible computers with 384K or more of RAM and DOS 2.0 or higher. It costs $49 plus $5 shipping and can be ordered by calling (800) 779-6000, according to Joy E. McCoy, Parsons director of communications.
Personal Tax Preparer is a CPA-designed program that will calculate and print your federal income tax return, including Form 1040, Schedules A, B, C, D, D-1, E, F, R and SE as well as Forms 1116, 2106, 2119, 2210, 2441, 3903, 4136, 4137, 4562, 4684, 4797, 4835, 4868, 4970, 4972, 5329, 6251, 8396, 8582, 8606, 8615, 8801, 8808 and 8814 plus many supporting worksheets.
The program will print all forms and schedules in IRS-approved format and will print a graphic reproduction of Form 1040 on your laser, graphic dot-matrix or compatible printer.
One of the nice features of this program is that the manual is easy to read and understand. The program has on-line help windows and explanations that really are easy to use.
Ms. McCoy noted that another useful feature is the "What-if" processor that enables the user to change any information and instantly see the effect on the tax situation. It also enables the user to estimate 1990 taxes.
The manual states that the menus and screens "guide you throughout the program. Your options are provided on the screen, and accessing a menu or option is as simple as pressing the ENTER key or clicking your mouse."
At many locations throughout the program, Personal Tax Preparer will check to see if the user has answered or skipped certain important questions and issue a warning, if needed.
The program comes with a data disk and a program disk. They are easy to install in either hard disk or floppy disk systems.
This is a good program for a person who needs it. Obviously, it would be foolish to spend $54 to get a program to help you prepare a simple return.
The company has published some other good programs, including a word processor called "QuiteWrite" and a program called "Pack Magic" that enables the user to compress directories in order to provide more actual hard disk space. All of the company's programs cost $49 plus shipping.
Parsons provides technical support by telephone if the user runs into trouble.
There are a lot more Adam users out there than you might think. I know because I hear from some of them from time to time, especially right after Christmas when someone gets one of the old Colleco machines from a friend or relative who has moved on to a later model s taxing
For example, one Western New York reader wrote that she was about to panic because she couldn't find an "Adam" ribbon for her printer. She can rest easy. Although Adam ribbons no longer are being manufactured, many ribbons that are compatible with the Adam are available in office supply stores.
The compatible ribbons include the Carousel 310, Digital 310W, L Q P-01, L Q P-8#, Diablo 100, 1340, 1641 and Diablo HyType I, which, according to a friend who still has and operates an Adam, is "exactly like the Adam original ribbon."
Other compatible ribbons include the MDS 2300 and 2307, Trend Data 4000 and Xerox 122, 124, 126, 128, 151, 152, 800, 850, 860, 1500, 3010 and 3010WP.
The next question from the newly acquired Adam owners is "where can I find software and supplies?"
My friend graciously provided a list of places still catering to the needs of Adam users.
They include Adam's House, Route 2, Box 2756, Pearland, Texas 77581, where you can send $1 for a catalog; E&T Software, 1010 Westminster, Garland, Texas 75040, which also charges $1 for its catalog; Alpha-1, 1671 East 16th St., Suite 146, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11229, and NIAD, P.O. Box 1317, Lisle, Ill. 60532, a member buying group that provides a monthly newsletter. Dues are $19 a year and "worth it," according to my friend.
Personal Computers welcomes your questions and programs as well as advance notification of computer group meetings. Mail your correspondence to Lonnie Hudkins, The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240.