If you want to get your taxes done faster than ever, you got to be using the best tax software. Learn more about the different tax software available today, and eventually, choose the one that you think fits your needs.
The upcoming tax season may lead you feeling anxious. Well, that’s normal. After all, tax is one of the most crucial things to do. Needless to say, you have a deadline to meet, which definitely adds to the pressure.
While you can opt to hire somebody to do your tax needs for you, you can also do things on your own. But with all the hassles, you probably are thinking twice.
Let’s admit it, filing taxes can be very complicated — whether it be figuring self-employed tax, capital gains, or tax deductions, it can get challenging. But the thing is, when hiring a one-on-one professional tax preparer, you have to deal with the fact that it can get a little costly.
Now, thanks to technology, today, there are many tax preparation as well as filing companies that help make filing taxes a breeze. Needless to say, more affordable. Today, tax preparation can be less challenging through downloadable software or online form or smartphone app.
If you are one of those frugal taxpayers out there, this is definitely the way to go. In fact, you can even find free or super low-cost options that can match the work of more established companies. Choosing the best tax software is the key to less complicated tax preparation.
Having said that, we are going to look into some of the best tax software in 2020 that are available today, and hopefully, this helps you decide which one to use for your tax preparation needs.
Note that we will specifically look into the best tax preparation software for each category, which includes:
– Personal Use
– Business Use
– Overall Pricing
– Live Personal Support
– Free Software
If you are ready, let us begin.
BEST TAX SOFTWARE: PERSONAL USE
For this category, we believe that the best choice is the INTUIT TURBOTAX. This software comes with an excellent reputation, a wide variety of support options, and above all, it is very easy and convenient to use.
The Intuit TurboTax lets your upload young W-2 form directly to the site by simply snapping a photo using your smartphone or their mobile app. It walks you through the rest of the tax preparation process through bombarding you with questions, which are designed to help make sure that you get every applicable credit, as well as a deduction. According to your answers to the online questions, the software will automatically fill out the right forms for you, which makes it absolutely very convenient.
The software comes with a TurboTax Live feature, which allows you to connect with an enrolled agent or a CPA if in case you have questions. We love the fact that their support team is ready anytime you need them — like if you need tax advice as you go along. More so, they also perform final reviews to help ensure that you inputted all the right data or information.
While there are so many things to like about this feature, it also comes with its own drawbacks — and that is the price.
Yes, unfortunately, TurboTax comes with a hefty price tag. For instance, filing your federal return may cost you between $60 and $160. In addition, you will have to pay for $45 for every state return. If you are going to add the TurboTax Live feature, it costs an additional $80 to $200 depending on the kind of version you are going to use.
So, if you are on a limited budget, this may not be the best app for you. However, if you do have spare money or you have a budget for tax software, we highly recommend the Intuit TurboTax – no less.
Before moving on to the next category, we thought you might check this video by Crysta Tyus, EA wherein she runs through her personal choice when it comes to the best tax software specifically for tax professionals this 2020.
If you want to have an idea at least, click the play button below:
BEST TAX SOFTWARE: BUSINESS USE
To be honest, INTUIT TURBOTAX is definitely one of the ultimate choice among many business owners because of how convenient it is to use, plus the integration of Intuit’s QuickBooks, which is the most popular small business accounting solutions in the market today. More so, it allows users of QuickBooks to import their financials into the software real quick and with ease. Also, the TurboTax interface guides you through the rest of the filing process.
Just so you know, Intuit TurboTax offers two amazing products that help serve business owners, and these are:
– TurboTax Home and Business, which is ideal for sole proprietors and 1099 contractors. It allows the filing of business and individual taxes all at the same time. Cost-wise, for filing an electronic federal return, it costs $120, while $45 additional for each state runs.
– TurboTax Business, meanwhile, is ideal in filing taxes for corporations, partnerships, as well as LLCs. It comes with the preparation of W-2s, K-1s, and 1099s. The price starts at $159.99 for the electronic filing of federal return plus an additional $54.99 for each state.
Now, if you want an alternative, there’s another tax preparation software that is ideal for business use as well. It’s called the H&R BLOCK.
H&R Block is another top choice among business owners –, particularly for business returns. H&R Block software allows an easy and fast upload tax return information regardless if you use different software in the past year. More so, Wave and Xero are also integrated into the software, which is very ideal for small business accounting needs.
One feature to love about H&R Block software is the Accuracy Review, which basically works on double-checking your work, at the same time, assesses your audit risk. In addition, the company guarantees a 100% accuracy of your returns. They also reimburse should you have any IRS penalties.
Just like TurboTax, H&R Block offers two options for business owners, which include:
– H&R Block Premium, which is created for sole proprietors, as well as independent contractors. Compared to TurboTax, it will cost you $74.95 for federal return. The fee includes paper filing one state return. Meanwhile, the e-filing of state returns will cost you an additional $19.95.
– H&R Block Premium and Business is ideal for corporations, partnerships, as well as LLCs. It also offers preparation of 1099s, W-2s, and other appropriate informational returns. This premium starts at $89.95, which includes unlimited state returns. Meanwhile, e-filing state returns cost the same for $19.95 each.
BEST TAX SOFTWARE: MULTI-PLATFORM
When it comes to the multi-platform option, apart from TurboTax, we have to give it to H&R BLOCK as well. H&R Block is another heavy hitter when it comes to decent features like unlimited technical support, as well as phone and chats support, which is ideal for higher-tiered users and customers.
With H&R Block, you get to wade through simple questions, built-in calculators that you can use for different tax situations, as well as detailed and really informative articles to help you get through any tax-related situation.
We like the fact also that it allows you to file your taxes in-person, online, through their app, or by downloading the software. More so, customers get a 60-day 100% satisfaction guarantee, a 4% refund bonus should you happen to get it via Amazon gift card, as well as import previous year’s tax returns from other companies.
If you have spare money, you may also opt to get a certified tax specialist to help you in reviewing your tax return before filing it.
Just like anything though, nothing is perfect. The H&R Block also has its own downside, which includes not getting free in-person support for audits. The only ones who get to enjoy this feature are those who purchased H&R Block software, as well as the Tax Pro Review.
When it comes to pricing, by the way, it costs $105 for federal, while for Tax Pro Review, it costs $145. Meanwhile, there’s an additional $30 to $40 for each state.
BEST TAX SOFTWARE: OVERALL PRICING
When it comes to pricing, one name stands out for us, and that it TAXSLAYER. It definitely is one of the best tax software online if money is concerned.
TaxSlayer supports all kinds of tax reforms on its Classic level and other higher levels. Regardless if you use the free or paid version, you will get to access tax advice through its phone and email support, as well as its educational tools. More so, if you get higher levels, you will have access to audit protections, live chat support, as well as assistance coming from tax professionals.
We believe that the major perk when it comes to using TaxSlayer is the fact that it offers a no-interest advance on your tax refund, which means you receive either $500 or $1000 once the IRS accepts your filing, and then receive finds on a Green Dot Prepaid Visa card within 24 hours. Upon receipt of a refund, TaxSlayer will deposit the remaining after deducting any applicable fees, as well as your advance.
The downsides of this software though include not having calculators for amortization and depreciation, as well as audit protection for those who are self-employed.
TaxSlayer is definitely the best tax software in 2020 because it offers free to $47 for federal, while it costs only $29 per state.
BEST TAX SOFTWARE: LIVE PERSONAL SUPPORT
The list of best tax software in 2020 will not be complete without having the best one when it comes to live personal support.
For this category, we have to give it to INTUIT TURBOTAX again. The company ensures that with TurboTax, there is something for everyone. They offer a variety of options regardless of how complicated your tax situation is.
This software is very much useful for both self-employed and real estate investors as it allows you to use Quickbooks by connecting it to TurboTax. Meanwhile, if your tax situation is not that complicated, its user-friendly interface makes it easy for you to get through tax preparation.
Although it comes with an additional charge, having TurboTax, we must say, is worth it. Through this feature, you get to access help from reliable people, which include certified tax professionals, CPA, as well as EA. Getting in touch with these professionals is available from a live video chat. By the way, a CPA or EA will also assist you by reviewing your tax return ensuring it is ready to be sent off to the IRS.
In addition, the software’s audit defense option called, Max, offers a dedicated specialist to represent on your behalf. And the amazing features do not stop there! It also includes identity theft coverage services like identity loss monitoring, as well as insurance.
Compared to other software, you will definitely have to pay more if you want access to their live support feature. However, they do have a free version, but the offerings are limited to those who only need basic requirements.
For your reference, TurboTax costs free to $120 for federal, $45 per each state, and an additional $60 to $90 for access to TurboTax Live, and another additional $50 if you want to add Max.
BEST TAX SOFTWARE: FREE SOFTWARE
For the best tax software in 2020 under the free tax software category, we got to give it to CREDIT KARMA TAX.
As compared to other tax filing software, Credit Karma Tax does not charge anything for state returns, which we have to commend because it is still a lot of money saved.
Apart from that fact, this software also offers a user-friendly interface, live chat technical support, as well as very helpful guidance explaining tax-related terminologies. More so, the company claims to have more features as compared to the free option of TurboTax. Some of its free features include the ability to file for mortgage interest, student loan interest deductions, as well as property tax.
In addition, it also includes features such as audit defense, which allows customers to enjoy services like a consultation from a representative who can attend hearing for you, at the same time, help with available options regarding tax debt resolution.
What is makes it more appealing is that if you get a larger tax refund or you have less in federal taxes after tiling through Credit Karma, you may get up to #100 worth of gift cards.
While it comes with a lot of very helpful features, Credit Karma has its own limitations as well. One of its downsides includes not being able to import returns from its competitors. Also, to be able to start filing, you first need to grab the IRS transcript of the previous year’s return.
BEST TAX SOFTWARE: ACCURACY
When it comes to the best tax software based on an accuracy guarantee, we have to give it to TAXACT.
What is notable about TaxAct is that all its paid tiers get to receive an add-on option, which is getting guidance from a tax specialist. Depending on the tier, you may enjoy unlimited one-on-one phone or in-app chat support, as well as screen-share capabilities.
We also like the fact that TaxActs provides a very easy and simple process of importing the past year’s taxes. It is also easy to navigate through its platform, as well as browse its knowledge database.
TaxAct offers $100,000 Accuracy Guarantee, which means you may get up to $100,000 for any difference in terms of refund or liability, interest, as well as IRS penalties. More so, you can get a refund for TaxAct software fees. WE find this very ideal for those who receive high income or a complicated tax situation where errors are likely to happen.
Cost-wise, TaxAct pricing starts from free to $80 for federal, $15 to $80 for tax specialist support, and $40 for state filing (free tier is an exemption).
BEST TAX SOFTWARE: OVERALL
Overall, we have to say that the best tax software is INTUIT TURBOTAX. It is no doubt the “name” when it comes to personal tax preparation. Needless to say, its developer charges appropriately based on what the software can offer.
Yes, you will have to pay more compared to other tax software out there, but ultimately, it’s worth it. In fact, both experts and users believe it is a great value for money.
Looking at almost every angle, the software is commendable. It excels in almost every category — from user experience to the ability to import a lot of employer tax IDs.
It is also worth noting that it is convenient, allowing you to take pictures of your 1099 and W-2s forms instead of typing all the information. This feature allows you to get rid of possible mistakes or typos. To be honest, there are just too many helpful features that this software offers.
Another thing we like is the fact that it engages you just like any other professional would with questions and guidance. More so, it has a very reliable team of experts to chat with if you have questions.
TurboTax also has a SmartLook feature that enables you to come face-to-face with a tax expert, and it offers audit support.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BEST TAX SOFTWARE
While some people find dealing with taxes excruciating and too much of a hassle, there are companies that work on making it more bearable for you and offering software that will help make the work so much easier.
Thanks to technology, tax software is available in the market today, and we just have to say, it is really very helpful.
These days, dealing with taxes no longer has to cause us a headache. More so, there is a software available depending on your needs.
So, have you found your best tax software yet? Care to share your pick and why?