With the latest tax software, the process of filing your taxes 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.
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 $120, 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 “6 Ways to Get Your Taxes Done for Free.”
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 $80.
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.
3. H&R Block
Long before people were filing taxes online, they were relying on H&R Block to prepare and file taxes for them the old-fashioned way. Today, the company still maintains a network of offices for those who want to hire a tax preparer. But they have also put their software online and in stores for taxpayers to file their own returns.
Regular prices for online filing of federal returns range from zero dollars to $104, before any discounts.
All editions, including the free online one, offer free technical support via chat, and all paid editions offer free support by phone.
4. Tax Slayer
TaxSlayer doesn’t have the same name recognition as some of the bigger tax preparation firms, but the company has many of the same features as its bigger competitors, including the ability to import data from competitors. It supports all major IRS forms and provides both phone and chat support.
TaxSlayer is up there with TaxAct when it comes to affordable returns. Prices for federal returns currently range from zero dollars to $47.
Active-duty military members can file a federal tax return for free, making it a good choice for those in the service.
Like H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt was offering tax preparation services in an office long before it started filing people’s taxes online. Today, the company offers both options — including the option to have someone do your return for you in a Walmart store.
Which of these popular tax software services makes the most sense for you? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.