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The tax season officially starts on Jan. 28, but you don’t have to wait until then to start preparing or even filing your 2018 tax return that’s due April 15.
With the latest tax software, the entire process can be quick, painless and inexpensive. Pick your software, answer some questions, enter some numbers, and you’re done.
The biggest challenge? Figuring out the best tax software for you. So, following is a rundown of the most popular tax software for this tax season.
Just note that prices change frequently during tax season due to promotions. Before you pay for software, confirm that you’re getting it at the best price available at the time.
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TurboTax is arguably the leader in tax preparation software. It has been around since the early days of electronic filing and has seemingly perfected its system for completing tax returns with ease.
TurboTax can handle both simple tax returns and the more complex paperwork required of self-employed taxpayers. And the program provides plenty of online support material, the opportunity to speak to a certified public accountant and a mobile app as well.
Regular prices range from zero dollars to $119.99 for federal returns, although coupons and sales are regularly offered.
The free option — which other software programs also offer — is for taxpayers filing simple returns. Check each program’s website for specifics about the taxpayers to whom it offers free filing. And for additional free options, check out “Tax Hacks 2019: 6 Ways to Get Your Taxes Done for Free.”
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TaxAct is another longtime provider of online tax preparation services. The company has made a name for itself as an affordable alternative to other products. The price to prepare and file a federal tax return currently ranges from zero dollars to $49.95.
Like TurboTax, TaxAct offers editions to fit differing tax situations, from those with retirement income to those who are self-employed.
Although TaxAct is comparatively no-frills, it offers a $100k Accuracy and Maximum Refund Guarantee. Some of the paid editions also come with technical phone support.