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      July 10, 2020

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Tax Software

  1. TurboTax
  2. E-file
  3. Tax Slayer
  4. eSmart Tax
  5. Liberty Tax
  6. Tax Act

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Best Tax Software

What's the best tax software for preparing your federal and state returns? 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!

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Best Reviews


2020

Tax Software Reviews

5 stars
H&R Block

H&R BLOCKTopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

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.

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4.5 stars
TurboTax

TURBOTAX

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.

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3.5 stars
E-File

E-FILE

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.

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3 stars
Tax Slayer

TAX SLAYER

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.

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3 stars
eSmart Tax

ESMART TAX

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.

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2.5 stars
Liberty Tax

LIBERTY TAX

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.

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2 stars
Tax Act

TAX ACT

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.

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Continued from above

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:

  • Complexity of Your Return. If you're a small business owner who owns a home and has numerous investments, your return will be much more complicated than a single person with no dependents and renting an apartment. Make sure the tax software you choose fits your situation.
  • Format. Do you need or prefer to have a tax prep program that can be downloaded to a laptop rather than used 100% online? If your internet connection is limited, you may want a program that lets you work offline all or most of the time, with options to file your return on paper as well as via e-file.
  • Live Help. If you're unsure of yourself when putting together your return, you may feel more reassured if you choose a company that offers help in real time from tax professionals. Some services give you that assistance via phone and/or live chat, while others maintain brick-and-mortar offices throughout the US that you can visit in person. Be sure to check if these services are included with the purchase of the tax software or if you'll have to pay extra for them.
  • Cost. What will you spend to prepare and file your tax return? Is it comparable to what you'd pay for tax software on a competitor site? Most services don't include state preparation and filing in their federal tax prep packages, so look for those additional fees if that applies to your situation.

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!

The best tax software of 2020

With many online tax programs available, there are plenty of options to do your taxes at home in a relatively easy manner. But which one should you use? There are pros and cons to all of them, so to ...

Published:  Thu, 02 Jul 2020 10:18:00 GMT



How AI-Based Software Can Optimize Your Tax-Prep

The way that technology has changed how we do business is fascinating, enhancing our ability to get more done with more accuracy than ever before. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are ...

Published:  Thu, 09 Jul 2020 06:00:00 GMT



No tax extension: Your taxes are still due July 15. Everything you need to know

With less than one week to go until the filing deadline, we have answers to questions about the standard deduction, 401(k) plans, health savings accounts and more.

Published:  Thu, 09 Jul 2020 08:05:58 GMT



How COVID-19 has affected Australian financial software users' plans

A recent survey found that 29 percent of Australian financial software vendors experienced a small increase in customer numbers during COVID-19 while the vast majority (42 percent) saw no changes in ...

Published:  Wed, 08 Jul 2020 13:04:00 GMT



The Most Common IRS Tax Forms You're Likely to Come Across When Filing

For 2020, the tax deadline was extended to July 15. Here's a guide to the most common tax forms and when they're used - as well as other things to keep in mind when filing during COVID-19.

Published:  Thu, 09 Jul 2020 03:20:00 GMT



Chinese bank forced western companies to install malware-laced tax software

GoldenSpy backdoor trojan found in a Chinese bank's official tax software, which the bank has been forcing western companies to install.

Published:  Thu, 25 Jun 2020 10:30:00 GMT



Tax software provider Vertex files for a $100 million IPO

The article Tax software provider Vertex files for a $100 million IPO originally appeared on IPO investment manager Renaissance Capital's web site renaissancecapital.com. Investment Disclosure: The ...

Published:  Thu, 02 Jul 2020 13:26:00 GMT



The July 15 Tax-Filing Deadline Is Approaching; New Retirement-Account Rules Can Benefit You

The rules governing your retirement accounts have been loosened in the year 2020. You have more time to put money in, can take money out early without penalty, and the required minimum distribution ...

Published:  Thu, 09 Jul 2020 08:00:00 GMT



ezAccounting Software Updates 941 Form to Include Changes for 2020 Covid- 19 Employee Tax Credits

The IRS has just published the new Form 941. ezAccounting has been updated to include the changes to 2020 941 form for coronavirus (COVID-19) related employment tax credits and other tax relief.

Published:  Wed, 08 Jul 2020 02:32:00 GMT



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