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      May 26, 2019

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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!

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews


Tax Software Reviews

5 stars
H&R Block

H&R 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


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. Read More... Visit

3.5 stars


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. Read More... Visit

3 stars
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 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 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


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. 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!

Tax delays and canceled home sales: The costly ripple effects of today's cyberattacks

On May 7, accounting software company Wolters Kluwer faced devastating malware attack, shutting off service and panicking many accountants who were racing to file their clients' tax returns by a May ...

Published:  Sun, 26 May 2019 11:10:00 GMT

Intuit Raises Full-Year Guidance After a Strong Tax Season

Intuit has invested heavily in tax product differentiation in recent years. TurboTax Live, a help feature that connects customers to certified public accountants and enrolled agents (tax practitioners ...

Published:  Fri, 24 May 2019 14:30:00 GMT

Gypsum camper owners overcharged for vehicle tax and they aren't the only ones

But the new Colorado DRIVES software allows for more than one factor to be considered in vehicle specific ownership tax calculations. Werner said the statute now reflects the argument that Dorothy and ...

Published:  Sun, 26 May 2019 09:40:00 GMT

Intuit: Outperforming The Tax Quarter

Intuit (INTU), the software company best known for its tax and accounting software tools like TurboTax and Quickbooks, just beat estimates in its most important quarter yet. Revenues and earnings ...

Published:  Fri, 24 May 2019 09:22:00 GMT

Lake County sent out hundreds of error-filled property tax bills: report

Hundreds of Lake County residents received tax bills that improperly demanded too much money, thanks to new computer software that didn't include exemptions some homeowners earned, according to ...

Published:  Fri, 24 May 2019 12:00:00 GMT

Tax Filing Should Be Free and Easy: Editorial (Podcast)

Bloomberg Opinion presents an editorial arguing that the Internal Revenue Service should provide the necessary software for free online tax filing itself, and not outsource the job. This editorial ...

Published:  Thu, 23 May 2019 11:34:00 GMT

"Great' Tax Season Drives Intuit Earnings Beat

The company's DIY tax prep software was particularly strong in Q3, with TurboTax Live users more than tripling year over year. Intuit reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, reflecting ...

Published:  Fri, 24 May 2019 05:55:00 GMT

Your taxes: Will robots replace tax officials?

the OECD recommends that tax authorities incorporate license management into their practices. Where tax authorities depend on third-party software, steps should be taken to understand their risk ...

Published:  Thu, 23 May 2019 12:52:00 GMT

China to offer preferential tax treatment for integrated circuit design, software firms

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will offer preferential income tax treatment for companies involved in integrated circuit design and software, in an effort to support the development of the industry, the ...

Published:  Wed, 22 May 2019 00:52:00 GMT

Trump Administration proposes raising import tax on game consoles to 25% as trade war with China intensifies

The Entertainment Software Association has weighed in, expressing their disapproval. Trump's import tax consideration is not really a new concept but one that first surfaced last year. However, the ...

Published:  Fri, 24 May 2019 09:55:00 GMT

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