When looking for a DIY tax software company to fulfil your tax obligations, there are always several factors to take into account. First of all, make it clear to yourself – what are you looking for? Just someone to regularly submit W-2s or Schedule 1-6 along with audit defences? Would you prefer a free service that offers basic but limited assistance, or a paid service which provides all kinds of options? The quality of the services in this industry is largely dependent on the prices. The most expensive high-end tax agents in the world will set you back several hundreds of dollars while private companies are usually lower, , however CreditKarma offers their services for absolutely free. There’s also the question of introductory learning as some tax software providers have steep learning curves that will take up more valuable time from the customers’ sides. Some tax software companies prefer to help you through the process with advice, while some will hand out easy-to-fill forms.
Key Factors in Choosing A Tax Software Service?
When it comes to the old way to do taxes, everyone knows how – call up a tax specialist or sit at home with your calculator, adding up everything you can find and almost certainly making mistakes. That may have already happened and it may also be the reason you’re reading this now! Anyway, once you’ve decided to choose an online tax software service, you need to make sure they fulfil your criteria, before moving on any further. Of course, the first criterion anyone ever cares about is price, so you have to take that into account. Next, you have to ask yourself – how complicated is this? If it’s just a simple tax filing, any company will get the job done without hesitation. If it’s a bit too complicated, you’ll need to go with a company that can handle complicated tax filings.
Following, you’ll need to consider if the company does things exactly like you want them or do they take an alternative route? Either way, by this time it should be clear to you about what you’re looking for in a tax software service. If price is your only criterion, the choice is simple – the cheapest service! If your taxes are a bit more complex and you know you’re going to have to pay anyway – any other service, depending on your specific needs!
Which plan size do you need?
That depends on your specific needs from this company. Let’s look at a few scenarios:
First of all, let’s say all you want to do is file a basic tax return such as a 1040, most companies will let you do it for free so you should get the cheapest plan available. If, for example, you need to itemize your deductions or maximize your tax credits, you’ll need to pay for the first paid plan.
However, if you’re self-employed and you have many transactions that you can’t really keep track of, you’ll need one of the more expensive, usually titled ‘Self-employed’ packages.
If you have mortgage deductions or if you want to know if you have more deductions and tax credits, you’ll usually need to go with the third most expensive package.
In short, the more complex your tax operations, the more you should expect to pay.
Most good tax companies will have a basic plan that costs nothing, free for everyone to use. When you’re looking for the best free tax software, it’s highly recommended that you check out CreditKarma or any of the free plans of the tax software companies listed below. TaxSlayer, H&R Block, TaxAct, and TurboTax will all let you do the basic operations without any payment, and you can even import your W-2 into the program to start it. Anyway, there are several clear-cut pricing tiers that you need to know about if you want to file some tax returns – aside from the free plans!
First of all, the basic tier will set you back anywhere from $15 to $25, and it will provide enough for most people’s tax operations. Very few people have more complex tax filings than the ones perfect for this first paid tier.
Next, if you’re looking for a professional to sit by you and guide you through the process of doing your taxes, you’re probably going to pay somewhere around $27-$40 to get the job done.
Next, if you need to file state returns you’ll probably pay around $30.
Finally, if you’ve got very complex tax operations every year, or if you think you’ll need extra protection and tax defense, you’ll need to go for the higher priced plans which will usually set you back anywhere from $50 to $60.
Additionally, if you’re self-employed, you’ll pay the most, starting at $70 with most companies, the one exclusion being TaxSlayer.
Customer Support and Safety
When looking for the best tax software, you’ll need to look at their customer support track records and their tax preparation fees too. As opposed to a company with a bad track record supervising your taxes, you’ll want someone you can trust with vastly positive reviews, predominantly explaining their service. The several listed services on this page all have very positive customer feedback reviews and each of them has been praised for being the best online tax service for one reason or another.
Next, you’ll want to make sure you can always reach your company so they should have emails and phone numbers listed as points of contact. Furthermore, if possible, talk to a company representative at one of their offices – meeting someone in person builds trust and you’ll know exactly who is responsible if things don’t go as planned! Nevertheless, with the companies listed here, things rarely go wrong and we’re confident you’ll be fine.
The Best Options
So, why are these tax filing companies on this list? Because they’re the best online tax filing entities in existence, in our opinion. If you’re looking for the best choices offering tax preparation software, you’ll need to pick one of these companies.
Is your only criterion the price of the tax preparation services? Then your choice is simple – go with CreditKarma! This service will do everything you need and they’ll do it fast and for free. If you want to do something more complicated, you’ll need another tax software company.
You may want to consider going with TaxSlayer if you have some more complex operations but you’re still worried about being overcharged.
If you want to talk to a representative in person and you’ve got moderately complicated tax reviews, you will certainly want to consider H&R Block, as they’ve likely got an office with tax professionals in it, somewhere near your location. Additionally, H&R Block lets you file state and federal returns for free, while more complex operations will cost you between $30 and $40. H&R Block isn’t recommended for self-employed people though, as this service costs more with them than with most other companies.
If you want one of the most experienced tax filing companies taking you through the process, you can go with TurboTax, who will immediately notify you if you’re eligible for any more tax deductions.
Finally, if you have more complex operations but you’re out of funds and you would prefer to pay the company when you get your tax refund, then look no further than TaxAct.
Whichever company you pick, these five are the best of the best!
Filing your taxes is important, not only for smart financial choices but also for getting what’s yours through your tax refunds. If you want to make the best of the tax situation every year, you’ll need a stable company that will help you through filing exactly as you want it. It doesn’t matter if you need to file state or federal returns, or if you just want to see what’s deductible and what’s not – your taxes still have to be submitted and this is where all of these companies come in.
Whether it’s just a free operation with CreditKarma or getting the Self-Employed packet from TaxSlayer, tax filing companies will make your life easier for a very reasonable price. So, check out our best tax software reviews and always make sure to keep those receipts handy – you never know what’s going to be deductible!