Tax Deadline Now July 15, 2020: The IRS announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds are still being issued within 21 days.” More info.
Regardless of whether you are doing your personal or business taxes, you need a tax software program that accommodates your needs.
Incomplete forms and errors are the last things that you want to deal with when filing your taxes, and filing as a military family can add even more confusion as you may be dealing with more unique complications.
Having a high-quality and accurate product that is developed for your specific situation is critical.
We’ve taken the time to find the top 15 tax software products on the market, outlining their key features to help you pick the right one.
Our Top 15 Best Tax Software Programs
Many individuals and businesses view TurboTax as the best tax software there is.
This software doesn’t only outperform its competitors when it comes to user-friendliness, but also in the number of features that it has to offer.
Firstly, it lets you import returns from previous years and autofill your information to save time.
You can also import your W-2 or upload a picture of your W-2 and 1099 form, and as you enter your information, the software will notify you if you qualify for any credits or deductions.
TurboTax’s tools also help you find errors in your return. After you’ve completed each section, a screen will appear that tells you to make a correction before moving on to the next step.
There are several TurboTax packages to choose from, including Absolute Zero, Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed, and the pricy TurboTax Live. Absolute Zero is free and suitable for simple filers, and there is even a TurboTax military discount.
If your tax preparation and filing needs are advanced – for example, if you want to itemize or if you are a real estate investor – you will have to upgrade to the Deluxe or Premier versions.
2. H&R Block
H&R Block’s paid products feature the same tools and benefits as the ones that TurboTax has to offer, but they are more affordable. H&R Block also has a free version called More Zero that users can use for basic 1040 filing.
With this software, you get W-2 Early Access, which is a tool that allows employees to obtain electronic copies of their W-2 forms from any H&R Block office so that they can file their taxes and receive funds at an early date.
Another unique feature of this software is the ACA calculator that you can use to determine how the Affordable Care Act affects your taxes.
H&R Block also incorporates a tax prep checklist into their software so that you can identify the items that you need while you prepare your tax return.
You can either create a custom checklist by answering a few questions, or you can access the full checklist that is available with the software.
TaxAct provides fewer features than other high-end products, but it can manage returns that include investment income and self-employment.
With TaxAct, you also get step-by-step taxation guidance and personalized support, which makes it one of the most suitable options for beginners.
Small business owners can also subscribe to receive a package that is tailored to their needs as well as access to IRS e-file for quick and accurate return filing.
Depending on your situation, you can choose from five different professional TaxAct products: Free Basic, Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed.
If you are a TaxAct user, you will also receive an email or text notification when the IRS has processed your return.
E-file is an affordable and straightforward online tax software provider. This software’s plans allow for free federal tax return filing for users who qualify for the simple 1040.
Even if your tax filing needs are advanced, you can rest assured that E-file’s paid plans will be sufficient.
One of the features that users like about E-file is that you can pay for their tax preparation and filing services with a portion of your refund. If you don’t want to pay with this method, you can still use your debit or credit card, however.
E-file has three products to choose from: Free Federal E-file, Deluxe Plus E-file, and Premium Plus E-file. The Deluxe and Premium plans include support for form 1040A and allow you to file for dependents and to deduct mortgage interest.
An added benefit of the Premium plan is that it offers support for all deductions and credits, itemized tax deductions, and personal and business income.
FreeTaxUSA is free of charge for federal tax filing and charges a fee for state tax submissions. If you are a FreeTaxUSA client, you will be able to use the software’s IRS approved E-File provider, return guarantees, audit assistance, sample forms, and amended deluxe returns.
Premium clients receive one-on-one tax filing guidance as well as priority support at any given time. FreeTaxUSA goes the extra mile to help their users understand the results of IRS audits and to assist in preparation for an audit.
Users can access FreeTaxUSA’s deluxe audit center for information on responding to an audit notice and preparing for the process.
FreeTaxUSA can be used for all mainstream tax situations, including joint filing, dependents, self-employment, itemized deductions, and property ownership. Like E-File, this high-end software focuses on affordability and high-quality assistance, especially when it comes to IRS audits.
6. Liberty Tax
Liberty Tax is a popular tax software that offers W-2 import through ADP or Equifax to save time and eliminate errors. With this platform, you can also import a previous return to auto-fill your personal information.
Liberty Tax’s software is user-friendly and features a floating section that that auto-populates questions and provides explanations for deductions and credits that you are adding to your return.
Also, the software allows you to receive refunds through check, prepaid card, or direct deposit.
This software doesn’t have a free plan, so if you are eligible for simple 1040 filing, you will still have to buy the basic version, which also accommodates itemized deductions.
If you receive investment income, the Deluxe plan will be more suitable for your needs, and if you are a small business owner, Liberty recommends that you opt for the Premium version.
Although the lack of a free version is widely regarded to be a drawback, the paid software is still relatively affordable, and the basic version offers a wide range of handy features for advanced filing.
7. Credit Karma
Credit Karma provides users with free federal and state filing and features an interview-style to walk you through the process of preparing and filing for taxes.
Credit Karma Tax offers all the advanced features that you may need to prepare and file your tax returns, including support for all tax preparation forms and schedules – for example, itemized deductions, capital gains and losses, and self-employed income.
This software also provides a simple interface that lets you choose to work on your basic Info, federal taxes, or state taxes. After entering your basic information, you can select the applicable tax scope for each section.
Before transferring your data, the software will carry out a double-check to ensure that there are no errors or omissions.
This software is still relatively new, so the interface is not entirely user-friendly. It can, however, take care of advanced tax situations. Since it’s free, if you have some experience with tax preparation, it may be one of your best options for personal income tax filing.
8. eSmart Tax
eSmart Tax is software from Liberty Tax and consists of four products: Free, Basic, Deluxe, and Premium.
The Free version with paid state filing is suitable for basic return filing for users who are eligible for basic 1040 and Schedule B. It features ACA forms, previous year return access, W-2 download, importing from competitors, and free tech support.
The Basic version is suitable for families and small business owners and supports health savings accounts, interest, and ordinary income, as well as itemized deductions.
The Deluxe version is geared towards investors and supports sole proprietor income and specialized deductions for operating a home office. If you receive income from a property, you may be better off with the Premium version.
The eSmart Tax software offers a 100% accuracy guarantee and tax filing error alerts, as well as tax reviews. You can also use your deductions to pay for the software’s tax preparation services.
ezTaxReturn is a streamlined online tax service for basic tax filing. The fee for all types of 1040 form filing is the same and does not increase for additional forms or things like self-employment income.
When you use this service, you will receive paper copies of your returns at an additional fee, and you can also purchase audit defense and amended return insurance. ezTaxReturn offers two refund payment options, namely direct deposit or pre-paid debit card.
The software allows users to complete their forms with either guided or self-help navigation. If you have experience with filing your tax returns, you may find the DIY option to be the quickest.
It is worth noting that the guided navigation does not include life-change questions relating to things like recent property purchases or new family members.
TaxSlayer offers several tax preparation and filing services that are geared towards simplifying returns and maximizing refunds. This software is a compact taxation solution that is user-friendly and suitable for beginners.
It features all the IRS forms, tools, communication links, and calculations that you may need to prepare and file your federal and state taxes.
Some of the features that this software offers to make return filing easier include a high-end error checker with notifications and auto-corrections, as well as a guarantee that your taxes are processed without delays and that you will always receive the maximum refund you’re entitled to.
TaxSlayer’s interface is cloud-based and accessible on all devices and operating systems, regardless of where you may find yourself, giving you more control over your tax filing activities.
Like FreeTaxUSA, TaxSlayer also knows the importance of reliable support and has experienced agents on standby to provide free support via email and phone.
11. Jackson Hewitt
Jackson Hewitt is tax software that specializes in simplicity, making it one of the preferred products for inexperienced taxpayers. To increase the interface’s simplicity, the software incorporates the following:
- Understandable language
- Step-by-step training
- Database of guides and instructions
- IRS-approved tax forms that are ready for use
- Information storage on a secure database
There are four Jackson Hewitt plans to choose from: Free, Basic, Deluxe, and Premium. These four plans accommodate all market tiers, including single, self-employed with dependents, property owners, advanced returns, and stock investment income.
This tax software guarantees accurate calculations, and if you’ve entered your information correctly, the program will accept responsibility for penalties imposed by the IRS.
With this software, you also receive a wide range of valuable features, including automated import of W-2 forms, income interest, retirement, stocks, and bonds investments, deductions, and self-employed income.
12. Community Tax
Community Tax’s services to their clients are two-fold and consist of comprehensive tax assistance as well as debt relief.
Clients can also make use of Community Tax’s IRS audit defense tax resolutions and income tax preparation services.
When you sign up for their services, you will receive a designated tax preparer with an IRS power of attorney.
Community Tax uses IRS tax records to ensure that there are no errors or omissions relating to income or expenses, and their review team analyzes returns to eliminate mistakes.
1040.com is a low-cost tax preparation and filing program that is easy to use and that offers three different plans that you can use, depending on the complexity of your situation.
This tax software is suitable for experienced filers that can complete their returns confidently and don’t want to spend a lot of money on software.
The program uses an interview-style process to enable you to enter sources of income and possible deductions.
After completion of the process, the software will automatically upgrade or downgrade your account based on the information that you provide.
Additional features that 1040.com offers include an accuracy guarantee, a refund tracker, and service fee payment with your refund.
OLT.com is tax software that offers free tax filing with the new simple 1040. If you know precisely what credits and deductions you can claim and don’t want to spend a lot of money on software, OLT.com is the perfect low-cost option.
With this software, you can import prior returns, complete your forms and information by following the platform’s guided interview style, and amend your return for free.
OLT.com also provides its clients with decent phone and live chat support. It also posts FAQs and features a searchable knowledgebase and federal code error to help you identify issues.
15. DIY Tax
DIY Tax is a high-quality software that offers clients free state and federal tax filing.
With this software, you can also import returns from previous years to save time and reduce the risk of errors.
Another great feature of DIY Tax is its free technical support.
If you require assistance relating to tax preparation and filing, you will have to purchase a support bundle from Liberty Tax, however.
With the tax software platforms on this list, you should be able to file your taxes far more effortlessly this year. With some of them, you could potentially file your taxes for free.
Before purchasing any tax software product, take some time to consider your needs and situation and find a plan that guarantees accuracy and delivers a maximum refund.
Any of these programs can help to eliminate the confusion and stress of filing your taxes. It’s all about picking the software that best fits your needs.