Online Tax Software

Are you looking for the best way to file your own taxes? Do you want to save your money and do them yourself instead of paying for an overpriced accountant? There are a variety of online tax software programs that can walk you through everything you'll need in order to file your own taxes.

Since there are so many different options to consider, we have reviewed five of the best online tax software programs for you. After reading our reviews, you'll be able to find the best option to meet your needs and get your taxes filed.

Top 5: Online Tax Software Review

Recommendation #1

TurboTax

9.9

Recommendation #2

H&R Block

9.7

Recommendation #3

TaxSlayer

9.4

Recommendation #4

Jackson Hewitt

9.2

Recommendation #5

Credit Karma

9.1

TurboTax

TurboTax offers a variety of software options that you can download or install using a CD. Your tax needs will help you determine which software option is right for you. The four options they offer are: Basic, Deluxe, Premier, and Home & Business.

The basic option, which is the least expensive, is designed to help those with less complex returns. It includes five federal e-files, but downloading state forms will cost extra money. This option will help guide you through entering all the information you'll need to complete your taxes and will allow you to import information like W-2s, investments, and your information from last year's tax return.

TurboTax

If you are looking to get the most out of your deductions, TurboTax recommends upgrading to the Deluxe version. In addition to the features included in the basic version, this option will help you identify the value for items you donated and will help you identify and choose from more than 350 deductions you may be eligible for. This option also includes a free download of one state form.

With the Premier version, you will enjoy additional features and support. This version will help with entering information related to investments and will provide you with help related to retirement taxes. With the Premier version, you can also receive personalized advice to help you understand your taxes and get the most out of your next refund.

If you are self-employed, consider the Home and Business version. In addition to all the features offered by the other versions, this option will make it easier for people who are self-employed to enter deductions. It can also help to create W-2 and 1099 forms if you have employees that work for you.

TurboTax

If you're not sure which software option is right for you, visit their website. You can select the different options that apply to you, and TurboTax will recommend the product that they think is best for your situation.

To keep your information secure, TurboTax uses a variety of features. They offer multi-factor authentication and Touch ID (on the mobile app) to help ensure that you are the only one who has access to your personal information.

When you use TurboTax, you'll also be able to contact their product support team. They can help walk you through any questions you have about the program or your specific situation.

Pros

  • There are four different versions to help you meet your specific tax needs.
  • You can visit their website to enter a little information about yourself in order to determine which version is best for you.
  • There is a support team available to help you with using the program.

Cons

  • Unless you have a very simple return, you'll need to purchase one of the more expensive options.
H&R Block

H&R Block can help you find the perfect program option to meet your needs. They offer four different versions of tax software that range in price. Their website can help you select which program is best for you; all you'll need to do is click on the items that describe you and your situation like whether you have kids, own rental properties, are self-employed, or have investments.

The first software version offered by H&R block is the Free Online version. This is a great option if you have a pretty basic return and are not a homeowner.

The Deluxe Online version is the next step up. This version is geared towards people who own their own homes, have made charitable donations, or have an HSA.

H&R Block

If you are a freelancer, investor, or freelancer, consider purchasing the Premium Online version. This version costs just a little more than the Deluxe Online version, but is more tailored towards the individuals in these groups.

Finally, the self-employed version is recommended for people who own their own businesses or are self-employed. This is the most expensive option, but will really simplify small business returns.

When you choose to use any of the versions offered by H&R block, you'll be able to access a professional using live chat. You can share your screen with them, so they can help answer any questions you have about your tax return. There is an additional fee for this service, but if you are having trouble with the software it could be very useful.

H&R Block's software is protected by Tax Identify Shield to keep your information secure. They also offer online data security. When you use this software, you'll be able to see the amount of your refund in real time.

Pros

  • Your information is protected with Tax Identity Shield.
  • If you have a very basic return, there is a free online version you can use.
  • The different versions are designed to simplify the process for various groups of individuals with different tax preparation needs.

Cons

  • Using the live chat option will cost extra.
TaxSlayer

When you use TaxSlayer, you are guaranteed to receive your maximum refund. This program also offers a 100% accuracy guarantee. TaxSlayer offers five different software options for you to choose from.

The first option is Simply Free. This option includes your state return and is best for people who are single, married and filing jointly, or student. There are no fees associated with this option.

The next option is called Classic. This version is designed to be used by individuals with all types of tax needs. Filing a state return will require an additional fee with this option.

TaxSlayer

The Premium option includes all the features of the classic option, but also provides you priority support from the TaxSlayer team. This can help you get your return done more quickly and feel confident that it is error-free. There is also an additional fee for filing a state return with this option.

If you are self-employed, you can choose the Self-Employed version. This option will help you enter all the information you'll need to report self-employment income and enter your deductions. Again, you will need to pay an additional fee to file a state return.

Finally, the last version is designed to provide you with complete confidence about your return. This version is called Ultimate. When you purchase this program, you will also receive defense and protection in the event you get audited.

Pros

  • TaxSlayer offers a 100% accuracy guarantee.
  • If you sign up for the Ultimate version, you'll also receive defense against an audit.
  • With five versions, you'll be able to choose the perfect match for your needs.

Cons

  • If you have any dependents, you won't be able to use the free version.
Jackson Hewitt

Jackson Hewitt's programs come with a satisfaction guarantee. They will allow you to easily fill out your return and file it online. Jackson Hewitt has three main software versions for you to choose from.

The first option is designed for people who make less than $100,000, are single or filing jointly with their spouse, have no dependents, and are only taking the standard deduction. This option will allow you to sign up and file your returns for free.

The second option is moderately priced. It is designed for families, those with dependents, people who have student loans, and retirees.

Jackson Hewitt

The final option, which is the best for those who have more complex tax returns, is a little more expensive. People who make over $100,000, are self-employed, own a rental property, or plan to list itemized deductions should consider this option.

All three of the options offered by Jackson Hewitt will provide you with step-by-step directions for filling in each form. They also come with a 100% accuracy guarantee and a maximum refund guarantee. You will also have access to unlimited online support to help you understand and complete the various tax forms.

Pros

  • A 100% accuracy guarantee and maximum refund guarantee are included with each option.
  • There is unlimited online support available when you need it.
  • Jackson Hewitt's software can auto-complete your state returns.

Cons

  • There are not as many software versions to choose from as some other companies.
Credit Karma

With Credit Karma, you won't need to worry about any hidden fees or extra charges. Filing both federal and state taxes is free with this service. They also offer a guarantee that their calculations are accuracy.

Even though this service does not cost anything, you'll still be able to use it to file more complex returns. With other options, only the most basic returns can be filed for free. With Credit Karma, everything is free. If you decide to use Credit Karma for your taxes, you will also need to sign up for the credit reporting service they offer.

Credit Karma

Using Credit Karma's software is easy. It has a variety of features that you'll enjoy, such as allowing you to import you W-2 and auto-filing your information. The software will ask you question to make sure that you have included everything that you need in your return.

Pros

  • Filing any type of tax return is completely free.
  • There are user-friendly features such as auto-fill and W-2 importation.
  • You will be asked questions as you complete your return to help you make sure all the necessary components are included.

Cons

  • If you get audited, there will not be any support available for you.

Buying Guide

Using an online tax software can make it easy to file your taxes on your own. Most programs will walk you through inputting all of the information you'll need to determine the amount you'll owe or the amount of your refund. In addition to being easy to use, using a software program can save you money since you won't need to pay someone else to prepare and file your taxes for you.

When looking for the right tax software program, there are a few features you'll want to consider and compare across the different options that you are considering. First, look for an option that is easy to use. Finding a program that will guide you through what you need to do is important, especially if you don't have a lot of tax knowledge.

Next, be sure to choose a program that will meet your tax needs. For example, if you are self-employed, choose an option that is more tailored towards small businesses and free lancers.

Some software programs will notice when you make an obvious error (such as writing an amount in a box where it doesn't belong). They can stop you from being able to move on until you correct this error. This feature can help make sure your taxes are error-free.

If you can, try to choose an option that offers audit support. This means, that if you get audited by the IRS, the software company will be able to walk you through the steps of responding to the audit.

Finally, pick a product that is reasonably priced and doesn't charge crazy filing fees. There is no need to waste extra money when you are filing your own taxes in order to save money.

Top Pick

TurboTax is our top pick for online tax software. We like that there are four different options you can choose from depending on your tax needs. This will help ensure that you only pay for what you need.

TurboTax's website can also help to make it easy to decide which program option is right for you. Just select a little information about yourself, and it can make a recommendation for you. This can save you some of the hassle of reading the descriptions for each product and trying to determine which is the best option for you.

TurboTax

TurboTax's software is also easy to use. It will help guide you through filling out the various forms you need to complete. It will also help to alert you to any errors you may have made when completing the form.

Visit TurboTax's website today to place your order so you'll be ready to get your taxes done and filed!

Commonly Asked Questions

Are Online Tax Returns Safe?

Yes, using e-filing to file your taxes is safe. When you e-file your taxes, the date is encrypted to prevent hacking. It can be safer to use e-filing than physically mailing in your taxes since someone could open the envelope you mail.

Is It Easy to Do Your Own Taxes with a Software Program?

Depending on the complexity of your personal situation, an online tax software program can be very easy to use. Most of these options tell you exactly what information you'll need to complete the appropriate tax forms.

When Are Taxes Due?

April 15th is due the due date for taxes.

What Happens If You File Your Taxes Late?

If you file your taxes past the April 15th deadline, you will owe penalties. However, if you know your taxes will not be done in time, you can request an extension which will save you from needing to pay penalties.

REFERENCE & RESOURCES


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