Did you know that the average cost of hiring a tax preparer to help with filing taxes is $188? Filing your taxes can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience, so it is no wonder that people seek help come tax filing season.
Going to see an accountant for help isn’t your only option, though. Accountants can take the hassle off of your shoulders, but they cost a lot more than doing it yourself.
What if there was another, cheaper option? Tax software is a perfect middle-ground for getting the help that you seek with filing your taxes while not spending an arm and a leg for that help.
Keep reading to learn about the best tax software on the market today, and how it can make filing your taxes a walk in the park.
TurboTax is one of the most popular tax software programs available today. A big reason for that popularity is the ease of use. TurboTax is great at letting you know which forms you need when filing taxes.
Another big selling point for TurboTax is the top-notch live customer support that they provide. For something as confusing as filing taxes and determining your tax return, TurboTax makes the complicated easy for you.
TurboTax also has technology that allows you to import your W-2 either by entering your employer identification number or by taking a picture of your W-2 with the TurboTax app.
If your personal taxes are a bit complicated, TurboTax also offers a search function that allows you to search for a particular form and then jump immediately to it, making filing taxes a much easier process.
By far, the best feature of TurboTax is customer support. TurboTax allows you to share your screen with a TurboTax associate who will help you through the process.
TurboTax associates are available from 8 AM to 12 AM EST during the workweek, and even on weekends leading up to the last day to file your taxes. With all of the free time that you have, you may even find time to pick up a new hobby.
Itemized deductions are also a much simpler task when using TurboTax to prepare and file your taxes. This does a great job of letting you know if you’ll pay more by itemizing your deductions versus keeping the standard deduction.
TurboTax is very affordable, as well. It is available for as little as $39.99 for the Deluxe + State version of the product. It is a great alternative to hiring an accountant to help prepare your taxes.
H&R Block is a great choice for help with filing your taxes because it offers the best free version of tax software. Even if your taxes are a little more difficult there is still a possibility of filing your taxes for free through H&R Block.
The free filing option with H&R Block will allow you to file your Schedule 1, 2, and 3 tax reports. This covers child expenses, student loan interest deductions, tuition statements, and even unemployment income.
Be prepared, though. H&R Block will attempt to upsell you consistently while using their free product. This can be annoying and is something to be aware of.
Another nice aspect of H&R Block is the user interface. It has been upgraded for 2021 and is much more user-friendly. The search function is especially helpful when it comes to filing your taxes.
H&R Block also provides some support options that are similar to TurboTax. If you run into an obstacle and want assistance you can access live help from an expert. This service normally costs an additional $69.99.
It will also grant you access to live on-demand chat features or even screen-sharing and video chats with experts who will help you get your taxes filed. The only drawback is that the wait times can be longer than that of competitor’s products.
H&R Block definitely provides the best free service of the best tax software programs for 2021. If you want to gain more features, there is a deluxe package that is also available for $29.99.
TaxSlayer is a great option for those people who have more complicated taxes but don’t want to pay a fortune to get them prepared. TaxSlayer provides full service for as little as $17 for your Federal taxes and $32 for your State taxes.
A big benefit of TaxSlayer is the ease of navigation through the program. It is easy to use and figure out. Functions such as entering a Schedule K-1 are easier to find and process than with competing software brands.
Similar to H&R Block, there is a free version of TaxSlayer that will still provide phone and email support. Unfortunately, you will need to pay extra in order to get live support from a tax expert. This upgrade costs only $37.
The big downside to TaxSlayer is that even with the premium software option it is difficult to find the chat support option. This means you may have to call support with any issues that you encounter, which can be a frustrating experience.
TaxAct brings to the table the strongest guarantee of all of the tax preparation software options. It not only promises 100% accuracy but provides a $100,000 reimbursement if their software produces errors.
This guarantee is nice for peace-of-mind purposes, but it does not protect you from any errors that you make when entering your taxes. It only refers to errors made by the software.
The good news is that TaxAct’s software is easy to use. It provides some useful benefits like allowing you to file your taxes jointly with a tax preparation expert.
TaxAct also offers live tax preparation help from a CPA 7 days per week for an extra $35 to $75, depending on the complexities of your taxes. TaxAct has a fairly reasonable cost compared to other tax preparation software available.
A big downside to TaxAct is that you are no longer able to file your state taxes for free starting in 2021. It only costs $4.95 but compared to the other programs in this review, it is the only one that doesn’t allow the first state tax filing to be free.
If you’re interested in TaxAct, the best time to get it is in the weeks leading up to Tax Day. They are known to offer discounted rates, so you are able to get a great deal if you time your purchase correctly.
Get The Best Tax Software for 2023
There are a bunch of great options out there for helping you prepare your taxes for this year, especially if you’re not wanting to hand over big bucks to a CPA for their assistance.
You can even use tax software to become a tax preparer and make some extra income from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is nothing that will stop you from finding the best tax software for your needs.
For more reviews and helpful advice for making 2021 a fantastic year for you, click here.