The world of Tax Preparation Software is large and intimidating to most, because tax season isn’t exactly relaxing in itself. There are a wide variety of options that offer a multitude of services that range from basic and free, to total assistance with a price tag.
To start eliminating options, one needs to look at their own experience and skill in submitting a claim, what kind of claim needs to be submitted, price range, and the amount of time that is needed.
Once you have assessed your own needs, it is time to explore the options to find what is right for you.
Turbotax seems to be the most easily accessible and functional of the Tax Preparation Software available on the market.
While it is slightly more expensive than most, it makes up for it with the functionality of the website and clear navigation in the programs themselves.
With options for multiple service levels, including a Basic Free edition as well as three levels of paid editions ranging from $60-120USD there are options to accommodate everyone.
An easy comparison chart on the website helps guide you towards the level you may need, but because you only pay when you file, you can upgrade at any time to accommodate your needs.
In a key feature included in all levels, it’s as simple as snapping a screenshot or photo of your W-2 to input the information directly into your claim.
In the software itself, the navigation bar allows you to move conveniently throughout, and different cues help keep you notified for sections to complete as well as tips and guidance through the process.
If that isn’t enough, there are also now remote options to have an advisor oversee your progress as you complete your taxes, or a full service where they will be done for you. In a world that is moving more towards online services, this feature is a win.
Turbo tax may not be the most inexpensive option, but for the level and quality of assistance, many say that it is worth paying more to get the claim they deserve.
The next service worthy of mentioning is the providers at H&R Block. This chain has a presence in the online market that can’t be ignored.
They also offer three levels of paid software with a free option that is very highly rated by users.
It is deemed one of the best options on the market and it covers more users than any other free option out there including those on unemployment income as well as students.
While the prices in the higher levels are not on par with Turbotax, they are not cheap either, ranging from $49.99-109.99 USD.
H&R Block also offers online expert help to assist you and charges a flat rate to any software you choose.
Choosing is made easy on the website, with an easy to read chart showing just what features are in each option making it simple to compare. While navigation in the interface is not as easy as in Turbotax, there are still many features which make filing easy.
The navigation bar along the top helps to keep track of where you have been, and there are prompts throughout to learn about different sections and how to properly answer questions.
They also make it completely transparent what price you will be paying before you complete and submit your claim. Options throughout allow you to move between the different pricing options based on what forms you need to claim and the level of assistance you used from the experts.
In terms of customer service and ease of use, we would be remiss if E-File was not mentioned.
This Tax Preparation Software company is thoroughly impressive with an easy to navigate website, easy to choose options and a system that will automatically upgrade or downgrade your service based on the info submitted in your claim.
While other systems will upgrade your selection with more information, most will not allow a downgrade once a higher price is selected.
This seems like a small addition that really shows care for their customers.
With only three options; Free, Deluxe and Premier the prices are also remarkably affordable at only $39 and $49USD respectively. E-File does charge an additional service fee for state returns, but unlike other companies it is a flat fee for an unlimited amount of returns.
E-File seems to be so confident in their prices that they have a comparison available directly on their website with other top competitors.
Expert help is even available online without charge for the entire process, but the website itself has so many aids and calculators to help you through that human help may not be required.
E-File has really stepped up to become majorly competitive in the market, and with impressive reviews and an easy to navigate system it is simple to see why.
TaxAct is a Tax Preparation Software that is a bit of an underdog in the market, but it is getting more attention due to their low prices.
The website itself boasts that their prices are at least 20% less than TurboTax, which can make a huge impact for the average American.
TaxAct has a free product, as well as three priced options ranging from $47.95-95.95 USD, however, they also charge an additional fee for each state filed claim you submit no matter which option you choose.
Customers who have a simple state filed claim will probably find better options elsewhere to save a dollar.
TaxAct also takes care to make the customer experience a good one.
They have a maximum refund guarantee as well as an accuracy guarantee that makes the consumer feel more secure in the thought that they are getting the best tax return possible.
With a deduction maximizer that helps to find deductions to add to your claim, as well as pro tips throughout the filing process, it seems that the company is really striving to achieve customer satisfaction.
Like many of the other options, TaxAct also offers options for unlimited expert help while submitting your claim for an extra charge on whichever package is chosen.
While it seems that the company has put in a lot of effort towards the piece of mind of their customers, it is disappointing that it is much harder to navigate which option is right for you without having to start your claim.
With an easier layout, it may be easier for consumers to assess their options thoroughly. TaxAct seems to be a good option for simple claims, but definitely has room to grow.
In the world of Tax Preparation Software, sometimes it is difficult to stand apart from the rest.
TaxSlayer has made an impact on the market due to the difference in how they price their software.
They offer a free option that covers the basic claim like most of the rest, with the state claim costing extra in all categories if needed.
The difference is in the priced options, with all three available with no form or schedule restrictions.
This means that the higher the price, the more assistance you get with your claim. Instead of paying for the paperwork that is needed, you are paying for the amount of help required.
This means if you are experienced and comfortable in submitting a claim, TaxSlayer is going to be the best option for the best price.
The additional costs give you access to direct contact with a tax expert, audit assist, optimizing deductions as well as reminders to file in the future all defending on which price point you choose.
To set base pricing this way ensures that TaxSlayer is providing a solution for a wide variety of customers.
With a website that is easy to navigate, an option to compare products before committing, an option to use your refund to cover filing costs, and guarantees to get an accurate, maximum refund it is hard to ignore what the company is bringing to the table.
Liberty tax is a company that seems to be deviating from the path of most other companies in the market.
With only three online filing options and with all of them having a base charge, it is hard to recommend for anyone trying to do a simple return for a minimal cost.
The prices range from $44-89USD and an additional charge is carried for all state forms.
While the options are not the best when it comes to do it yourself solutions, Liberty Tax offers a multitude of options to work with an advisor to complete your claim.
These options include the traditional in-person meeting, secure drop off for documents, remote online appointments and a mobile app that will allow you to take photos of documents to send as well as tracking your claim once it is submitted.
The online appointments are made through a local Liberty Tax expert and provide a hassle free way to complete your taxes; however, it is not completely clear if the same pricing carries over from the solo filing options to the guided appointments.
While the website is easy to navigate and the customer reviews are excellent, it is difficult to recommend this kind of product to someone who wants to complete their own taxes.
The products and guarantees are standard across many of these companies and Liberty Tax just doesn’t seem to contend as others have. They are not catered towards self service, but have made it incredibly simple to get your taxes done for you from anywhere.
With a multitude of options to file your taxes from home, it is exciting to discover new and convenient ways to manage your taxes both throughout the year, and when it comes to making a claim.
Keeper Tax is a new and exciting app that makes tracking your expenses and write-offs easy by reminding you through the year.
You connect your banking app and cards to the app, and it will send weekly reminders or simple questions that will help keep track of business expenses.
It will also work to find automatic deductions from within your day to day expenses and inform you before adding it to your claim. Rather than carry paper receipts, Keeper Tax keeps it all in one place and actively seeks ways to save you more money.
At the end of the year when tax season is approaching, you have the option to file with the company itself, or you can export all of your information and take it elsewhere to file.
You would only pay $89USD to file through the program, including all federal and state claims or you could pay $39USD to take your information and file elsewhere.
On the website, there is a large amount of information, calculators and a free tool that can help guide your claim experience depending on your employment.
This whole experience seems much more convenient than some of the more classic options, and for someone who is self employed, it seems like an inexpensive and simple solution to an everyday problem.
Starting to file taxes on your own can seem overwhelming and downright impossible but with so many options on the market and new ones being developed it is becoming easier to accomplish.
Finding a service that can balance cost and effectiveness is always challenging, but finding something that caters to the specific needs of a single claim is really what it’s all about.
Finding the service that works best for you and grows with the world around you can put more money back in your pocket.