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In the past, many taxpayers either tried to slog through the paperwork on their own or spent huge amounts of money to hire a professional tax preparer. Of course, in today's digital age, it should come as no surprise that more than 53 million people use tax software to prepare and file their returns online.
One of the most compelling reasons to use a reputable tax software package is because of the constant changes to tax law. Figuring out what exemptions you qualify for, what income requires you to pay additional taxes, and how to claim any deductions can be challenging and also have a major impact on whether you get a big refund - or owe big time!
Friday, January 15th
H&R Block offers the most comprehensive tax software on the market. Whether you want to buy the program on a disc, download it from their store, or do absolutely everything online, your options are wide open - and include access to more than 12,000 retail office locations if you need in-person guidance. From free filing of basic Federal returns to affordable packages for the self-employed, H&R Block should be your first choice if you're looking for the best all-around tax prep software.
Who's better known for DIY tax prep than TurboTax? This market leader continues to excel when it comes to ease-of-use, new features, and options for live CPA review and advice if needed. Although TurboTax comes in second place because of its higher pricing and lack of in-person assistance, this tax software is still an extremely trustworthy choice for most taxpayers.
E-file is our favorite choice for people who have a simple tax return and want the lowest-priced option for filing their taxes. While this tax software doesn't have all of the bells and whistles offered by the big-name tax prep companies, it gives customers all of the basics necessary to file an accurate, timely return.
TaxSlayer is one of the only tax software programs that offers free e-filing for simple Federal and State returns, and a free upgraded package for active-duty military. But this tax prep platform doesn't have as many features as some of our higher-ranked providers, and customers trying to use TaxSlayer to file last-minute returns encountered big problems.
eSmart Tax is the new-and-improved online tax program offered by Liberty Tax. It's priced competitively, and you're guaranteed to get the largest possible refund. And, if you wind up needing in-person help, there's probably a Liberty Tax office located near you. But, this tax prep software is missing some of the features included by higher-ranked providers, keeping eSmart Tax towards the bottom of our rankings.
Liberty Tax is popular among taxpayers who like the security of knowing there's probably an in-person office nearby if they get stuck while preparing their return online or if they want a free double-check by a professional before filing. Unfortunately, Liberty Tax is the only tax software in our review that has zero free filing options - even their sister site, eSmart Tax, offers a $0 plan. And, with a challenging-to-navigate website, Liberty Tax winds up at the bottom of our rankings.
TaxAct has a wide variety of tax prep software options, from basic free federal filing to more advanced programs for freelancers - available as an online form or downloadable software. You can get your refund via check, direct deposit, or as an American Express debit card, and TaxAct will tack on a bonus from a retailer like Amazon or Nike if you choose to get some of your refund as a gift card. But, recent user reviews indicate that TaxAct is having major problems with their customer support, leaving people with unanswered questions for more than a week.
Tax software can save you a lot of time and stress by staying up-to-date on each change made by the IRS, so that your return is accurate to the penny. But with all of the different options out there, how can you decide which tax software is right for you?
Here are several factors to keep in mind:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Tax Software available today. We hope this information helps you choose the right package for your needs, so that you can file your returns accurately and easily!
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