Top 5 tax software solutions
Before “happy new year” can sink in, it’s time to get busy. It’s that time of year: tax o’clock.
Don’t wait until the last minute this time. After all, you may have money coming to you, and who wants to delay a check?
But with so many different tax prep software choices out there, it can be hard to decide which to use. A few features to look for: strong customer service (to help you if you get stuck), an easy way to import data, an easy-to-use process with explanations in plain English and an accuracy guarantee.
Here are four of the top tax software options out there and how to navigate them to choose the one that’s best for you. Bonus points? Go through ShopAtHome.com to earn Cash Back on your tax software.
1. Turbo Tax – 7.5% Cash Back:
This is a longstanding favorite for many reasons. First, the software is super easy and safe to use. With the new option to take a picture of your W-2 form and upload it that way, it’s hard to imagine any easier way.
Need help? It’s easy to ask questions to experts, such as CPA and tax attorneys.
It’ll also alert you if you have any potential audit threats, offers tax-planning assistance and has a solid mobile app. Although Turbo Tax is not the cheapest option, its value is in removing headaches, assuring accuracy and saving time.
2. H&R Block – 10% Cash Back:
H&R Block has a solid reputation, in particular for its customer service. H&R Block boasts thousands of locations to get help in person from a professional. Don’t want to go to an office? The live chat is easy to use, too.
Its software is appealing for its low price point — even a free option. And it’s easy to use, with plenty of explanations, including an as-you-go way to see how your refund changes as you input info. This means no surprises at the end and helps users recognize ways to increase their refund in future years, such as by donating more to charity.
3. TaxAct – 7.5% Cash Back:
TaxAct is known as one of the cheaper options for tax software, but what it offers does not sacrifice quality. This simple, smooth, straightforward program is ideal for relatively simple tax filings.
Complicated taxes may benefit from a more comprehensive program (you can only get help via email, not in person), but for the average Joe or Jane who doesn’t want to complicate and overpay to file taxes, this is the best option. Best of all: You don’t have to pay until you file, so you can give it a whirl for no risk.
4. eSmart Tax – 10% Cash Back:
eSmart Tax may not be as known as Turbo Tax, but it’s worth a try, for users who value free live chat support and a free audit — two nice bonuses that some of the cheaper or free software options out there don’t provide. The basic version of eSmart is free.
It’s easy to import last year’s returns to eSmart Tax, even from other companies, like H&R Block. And the website also boasts in-person help at thousands of offices.
5. Free Tax USA – 25% Cash Back
FreeTax USA is a fast growing, secure and budget friendly tax preparation website that is an IRS authorized e-file provider. They are 100% American with every employee (including customer service representatives) living and working in the United States.
They offer some of the best pricing (including a free option) with all the tools you’ll need for basic returns. They update the software each year to ensure it’s ready for the new tax season. Plus, Free Tax USA has an A+ BBB rating.