Fortunly's Guide
Advertiser Disclosure

Best Tax Software Solutions for 2024

Written By
G. Dautovic
Updated
October 17,2023
Some or all of the products/services listed on this page are from our affiliate partners from which we receive commissions. This, however, does not influence the evaluations in our reviews. Learn more by reading our Advertiser Disclosure.

We can all agree that tax-related tasks are no fun. Luckily, there is a way to lower your tax season stress that doesn't include paying a lot of money to a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or other tax professional and that’s with the help of tax software.

Designed for individuals and business owners with little tax knowledge and even less filing experience, the best tax software solutions can help you file your return correctly, get the maximum possible return, and avoid audits - all for a fraction of the fee a CPA would charge.

Below we have outlined some of the best tax software solutions available in 2024 to help you decide if any of these companies can help you avoid stress and file your taxes with ease.

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Top-Rated Tax Software for February 2024

TurboTax Logo

TurboTax

Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

  • Easy to use
  • Full expert support
  • Well-established and praised
Taxhub Logo

Taxhub

Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

  • CPA-based tax filing
  • Robust calculators
  • Bookkeeping review services
TaxAct Logo

TaxAct

Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

  • Competitive pricing plans
  • Year-round tools to help you save on taxes
  • Excellent refund policy
TaxSlayer Logo

TaxSlayer

Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

  • Pricing varies by support level
  • Simple tax returns can be filed for free
  • Low additional fee for state returns
FreeTaxUSA Logo

FreeTaxUSA

Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

  • One of the market’s most affordable options
  • Access to tax and audit specialists
  • Free tax calculator
H&R Block Logo

H&R Block

Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

  • Wide range of tax forms covered
  • Ability to upload W-2 from your phone
  • Easy-to-use interface
Quick Breakdown

The Best Tax Software Providers of 2024:

  • TurboTax - Best for expert support

  • Taxhub - Best for dedicated CPAs

  • TaxAct - Best for experienced filers
  • TaxSlayer - Best for well-structured support
  • FreeTaxUSA - Best for those on a budget
  • H&R Block - Best for upgradable plans

Deeper Overviews of Tax Software Solutions

TurboTax Review

Overview
5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Starting Price:
$0
Preparation Type:
Self-prepared, CPA-prepared available
Free Version:
Yes

TurboTax is a very popular tax software known for its hands on support and simple free, albeit limited, version that can be used to file a Form 1040 and handle very simple tax filing. Most of the features they offer come at a premium and even their starting offer is more expensive than their competitors’. With that said, they provide excellent support and much needed human help which can easily justify the price through the piece of mind qualified help brings.

They offer multiple packages both as standalone and assisted by tax professionals that can help you file everything correctly.

TurboTax Pricing and Features

Pricing starts at $0 if you qualify for a free tax return. If not TurboTax’s first tier ranges from $59 per state to a total of $129 depending on the services you require. This first tier doesn’t come with professional help but includes audit support, maximum refund guarantee, a simple to follow questionnaire that guides you through your tax filing process, and the ability to scan, upload and import your docs to TurboTax. They also transfer all of your information once you sign up so you can get started right away.

Their following ‘Assisted’  tier costs from $99 to $219 and is the first tier with live, on-demand, expert support. This tier offers everything from the previous tier plus unlimited help from tax experts, a final expert review before filing and year-round support from tax experts. It’s a great peace of mind option if you want to save on your tax report by filing it yourself yet still get professional support to ensure everything’s in order.

TurboTax’s next tier goes even further, providing a full tax service for a fraction of the cost of traditional CPA counsel. Ranging from $219-$409 TurboTax’s Full Service offer provides everything found in their previous offering plus the added benefit of a dedicated tax professional suited to your situation that can file and sign off on your tax return, ensuring you get every dollar you deserve.

Guarantees and Reimbursement Provided by TurboTax

TurboTax offers a number of far-reaching guarantees for the full 7-year life of your tax return. They offer guarantees on the accuracy of their calculations, guarantees on the maximum refund you deserve and a guarantee on audit support.

Starting with costs resulting from fines, if you pay an IRS or state penalty as a result of Tubotax’s calculation error, you can expect to be reimbursed by TurboTax both for the penalty and any resulting interest. Terms and conditions apply.

Furthermore, if you get a larger tax return or smaller tax due from another tax software or preparation method, TurboTax will refund the applicable purchase price of their service. This doesn’t apply to their business tax services, so check TurboTax's terms for details.

If you get audited by the IRS based on your tax report provided with the help of TurboTax, you can expect support from TurboTax as part of their Audit Support Guarantee. The support they provide is informational only in nature and they cannot serve as your legal counsel in case you need it. You can expect to be connected with a tax professional to discuss the audit and get support, and if none are available, TurboTax will refund the purchase price of applicable services.

What's TurboTax's User Experience and Support Like?

Possibly unique, TurboTax’s sign-up and registration process is a breeze. They offer relevant questions pertaining to your tax filing process and assess what type of service you may require. This entire process is free and quite enjoyable due to their questionnaire/quiz-like approach to getting to know you.

You don’t have to enter the same information or answer the same question twice and with their friendly and well-designed user interface, you almost forget that you're working on your taxes.

In regards to support, as part of premium plans they offer extensive support from legal experts which we’ve discussed above in the pricing and features section. As far as customer support is concerned, Intuit offers a support number 1-800-4INTUIT (1-800-446-8848) where you can discuss any details regarding the TurboTax product with live support, and on the TurboTax website, you have access to TurboTax support with plenty of useful articles and information about their product and filing taxes in general.

Pros:

  • Great user-interface
  • Well-tiered pricing structure
  • Full expert support available

Cons:

  • Can get quite costly depending on your needs
+ Show more

Taxhub Review

Overview
4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Starting Price:
$169
Preparation Type:
CPA-prepared
Free Version:
No

If you're looking for a comprehensive tax solution, Taxhub is definitely worth considering. Established back in 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Taxhub soon acquired an A+ rating with Better Business Bureau and won silver in the Best in Biz Awards 2016 in the category of tax software company of the year. 

Taxhub reviews your tax needs and then combines the professional expertise of a tax advisor with the convenience and affordability of an online tax software. A platform designed to match tax filers with dedicated CPAs, Taxhub offers a wide range of features and services to make tax filing as simple and stress-free as possible.

Taxhub Pricing and Features

With Taxhub’s transparent pricing plans and wide range of services, you can find the perfect solution for your personal tax needs or business tax needs without hidden fees.

If you need basic tax services, you should go for the fully-customizable Personal Tax Prep solution which starts at $159 and includes one free state tax return, unlimited W2s, $10,000 IRS Penalty Insurance Guarantee, unlimited stock transactions, itemized deductions, interest or dividends, and a maximum refund guarantee. 

Taxhub is also possibly the best tax software for the self-employed since their Personal Tax prep plan allows users to add a variety of extras, among them the Self-Employed Sch C add-on, which is perfect for those who are running a business on their own and want to avoid paying for extra tax services when filing their reports.
The Business Plan, priced at $459, is quote-based and requires you to fill in a questionnaire about your

business. This plan is suitable for C-corporations, S-corporations, partnerships, and trusts. It offers federal & state tax prep, audit defense on all federal & state, deduction of company fees from your return, and free scheduled tax consultation.

Taxhub also offers tax consultation services with a dedicated CPA which cost $49 per 15-minute interval, making it one of the best professional tax software options. You'll pay upon finishing the call and clearing up complex tax issues with an expert.

If you end up becoming a tax-filing client, the first $49 charge for this call will be deducted from your tax prep package fee. Scheduling one-on-one coaching sessions is a breeze as there's an on-site list of available time slots you can book with a few clicks.

The S-Corp Conversion Calculator is a new service from Taxhub, and it helps users calculate their S-Corp tax savings. Also, non-US citizens can apply for LLC and corporation tax preparation and filing.

The price of the service starts at $459 and includes filing for 5472 (foreign-owned information return) in all 50 states. Taxhub also lets you calculate your federal R&D tax credit to determine eligibility and potential savings.

With so many features on offer and the fact that Taxhub CPAs own the company so you get to work with the same experts year after year, the company is an excellent choice.
Also, you don't have to worry about overpaying as Taxhub offers a maximum refund guarantee - if you find a lower advertised price for the same service, they will refund the difference.

Guarantees and Reimbursement Provided by Taxhub

Taxhub provides several security features to help users become more comfortable with their platform. You won’t have to pay for a tax return until it's been filed.

Among other tax preparation options, all Taxhub tax returns come with a $10,000 IRS Penalty Insurance Guarantee, which means that if you incur an IRS penalty, Taxhub will reimburse you.
It also offers an Audit Defense Guarantee on all state and federal returns it prepares which will cover the cost of representation in case you're selected for an audit.

What’s Taxhub’s User Experience and Support Like?

To get started with Taxhub, you first need to create an account in a few simple steps. Then, you'll be able to connect with a designated CPA with whom you'll be working year after year. The online platform then requires you to upload your tax documents; you can even email a picture of the documents, and it'll be enough. Owing to all of these convenient features, Taxhub is perceived as the best online tax filing service by many satisfied clients.

After that, you'll schedule a phone or video call with your CPA to discuss your tax situation. To complete your return, make sure to sign and verify it through the platform's Experian-powered verification process.

When you're done, your CPA will file your taxes on your behalf. You won't need to pay until your tax return has been accepted.

Taxhub offers unlimited support through phone, email, and live chat. Additionally, you can leave a question in the contact form on the site. You can always reach out to your dedicated CPA for help and guidance.
The company also has an extensive blog section and FAQ page where you can find answers to all your tax-related questions.

Pros:

  • CPA-powered tax filing
  • CPA consultations
  • Transparent upfront pricing 

Cons: 

  • Somewhat pricey
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TaxAct Review

Overview
4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Starting Price:
$0
Preparation Type:
Self-Prepared
Free Version:
Yes

Founded in 1998 with the aim of offering affordable online and downloadable tax filing services, TaxAct has already helped file more than 65 million federal returns. They’re best known for their 100% accuracy guarantee, ease of use, and year-round tools that can help anyone save on taxes.

TaxAct Pricing and Features

As far as features go, TaxAct offers options similar to the ones provided by other tax software providers. Users can either prepare their taxes online or opt for the downloadable version supported by Mac and PC computers. Here’s an overview of TaxAct’s pricing plans:

The first of TaxAct’s four service tiers is their Free plan ($0 federal plus $39.95 per state filed). Designed for simple filers with earned income credit, college expenses, retirement income, child tax credit, and dependents, this plan also lets you determine your W-2 form and import your previous returns.

As one of the tax return software options, the Free plan also comes with unlimited account support and an online wizard that makes the filing process quicker and easier.

Marked as the most popular option, TaxAct’s Deluxe plan is priced at $46.95 (plus $54.95 per state) and meant for homeowners with credits, adjustments, and deductions.

The service at this tier comes with the assistance of a tax specialist (via phone) and covers everything from the Free plan plus itemized deductions, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, child and dependent care, adoption credits, health savings accounts, and student loan interest.

TaxAct’s Premier plan comes with a $69.95 fee (plus $54.95 per state) and is considered one of the best online tax filing solutions for investors.

Along with everything from the previous two tiers, it also covers home sales and similar investments, investment expenses, foreign bank and financial accounts, rental property income, and royalty and Schedule K-1 income.

Another great thing about this plan is that it provides prioritized support with even screen sharing included. 
Finally, TaxAct’s Self-Employed plan is priced at $94.95 (plus $54.95 per state) and designed to help freelancers, independent contractors, and sole proprietors maximize their deductions.
This is easily one of the best tax filing software solutions available, as you’ll get everything from the first three tiers plus the ability to easily report your business income and expenses, calculate depreciation, stay on top of your business taxes with year-round planning resources, and reduce your audit risks, as TaxAct will inspect your return for errors and omissions.

Guarantees and Reimbursement Provided by TaxAct

TaxAct guarantees that its product is 100% accurate and capable of getting you your maximum refund. If not, TaxAct will pay the software fees, as well as any difference in your higher tax liability or lower refund and even any legal or audit charges up to $100,000.

TaxAct also lets you request a refund within 30 days if you’re dissatisfied with their services. 

What's TaxAct's User Experience and Support Like?

TaxAct offers a simple and easy-to-use platform that can handle most business and personal tax prep needs. Customers can either use the online version or download the software to their computers. There’s also a mobile app, but it’s not as full-featured as the aforementioned options. 

As far as customer service goes, support levels are dependent on the service package you decide to go for. Either way, all customers get access to the provider’s detailed help page, as well as unlimited chat, email, and phone support. 

Pros:

  • Competitive pricing plans
  • Year-round tools to help you save on taxes
  • Excellent refund policy

Cons:

  • High state fees
+ Show more

TaxSlayer Review

Overview
4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Starting Price:
$0
Preparation Type:
Self-Prepared, Online Support
Free Version:
Yes

Launched in the early 1990s, TaxSlayer is easily one of the most affordable tax filing companies among the industry’s major players. Founded by Rhodes-Murphy & Co., a Georgia-based tax preparation service, TaxSlayer employs more than 200 employees and helps file 10 million personal and business tax returns each year. 

TaxSlayer Pricing and Features

As one of the best tax software providers, TaxSlayer offers a four-tiered service. Unlike most of its competitors, this provider ties its prices to the level of support, not to the tax forms and situations a software package can handle. Let's take a look:

Meant for individuals with a simple tax situation, the Simply Free plan doesn’t incur any fees for federal returns and even includes one free state tax return.

This package lets you prepare, print, and e-file your tax return, import your W-2 form, and report education expenses and student loan interest. Should you hit any “bumps on the road”, you’ll be able to contact support agents via phone and email.

Marketed as the best fit for most taxpayers, TaxSlayer’s Classic plan is priced at $29.95 (plus $39.95 per state). Designed to suit almost all tax situations, this option covers everything from the Simply Free plus earned income tax credit, child tax credit, all deductions and adjustments to income, and all income types without any form or schedule restrictions. 

Priced at $49.95 (plus $39.95 per state), the provider’s Premium option is one of the industry’s most affordable tax software options at this level of service.

It comes with everything offered in the Classic option with the addition of premium-level support features such as IRS audit assistance for three years, priority phone and email support, live chat for quick tech support, access to a tax professional, and the ability to file faster with unlimited assistance. 

Lastly, TaxSlayer’s Self-Employed plan comes with a $59.95 price tag (plus another $39.95 per state) and is best suited for freelancers, contractors, and 1099ers.

This tier includes everything from the lower three tiers, plus access to a tax professional with self-employed expertise, the ability to maximize work-related expense deductions on your Schedule C, guidance with 1099 income, estimated tax payment reminders on a quarterly basis, and year-round income and tax tips. 

Guarantees and Reimbursement Provided by TaxSlayer

Much like most of its competitors, the company claims that its software is 100% accurate and offers reimbursements for any state and federal penalties and interest charges that you may incur due to their mistake.

As one of the best places to file taxes, TaxSlayer states that it will refund any applicable fees if you don’t receive the maximum refund you’re entitled to. 
Another great thing about this provider is that it lets e-filers who’d like to avoid using a credit card pay for tax prep use the File & Go feature. If you select this option, you won’t have to pay anything in advance, as your tax fees will be deducted from your refund.

What’s TaxSlayer’s User Experience and Support Like?

As one of the best software options for taxes, TaxSlayer offers a simple and easy-to-use interface. Customers start by explaining their tax situation or importing their previous year’s tax return, entering their income, or importing a W-2 form.

That’s enough for the software to start finding the best deductions. Although TaxSlayer doesn’t offer as detailed on-screen explanations as its competitors do, all users can easily access customer service via phone and email.

The support available via phone and email is free and valuable for most types of technical situations. However, tax help comes free with only the highest two service tiers. 

Pros:

  • Pricing varies by support level
  • Free filing for active members of the military
  • Low additional fee for state returns

Cons:

  • Tax help only available in highest tiers
+ Show more

FreeTaxUSA Review

Overview
4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Starting Price:
$0
Preparation Type:
Self-Prepared
Free Version:
Yes

Rightfully considered one of the best free tax software solutions among IRS-authorized e-file providers, FreeTaxUSA is one of the fastest-growing tax platforms.

Its service is best suited for experienced filers who know what they’re doing and don’t need over-engineered software with lots of on-screen explanations.

Federal returns are completely free, even for individuals with rental properties, investors, and the self-employed. However, state returns come at an additional cost. Users also have the option to upgrade to a higher level of support.

FreeTaxUSA Pricing and Features

It’s the pricing that makes FreeTaxUSA arguably the best place to do taxes online. The deal is simple - you won’t be charged anything to file a federal return, regardless of your income, filing status, or the type of 1040 you’re filling out.

If you’d like to file your federal return for free, FreeTaxUSA has got you covered. Once you join, you’ll get a 100% accuracy guarantee, more than 300 options for deductions and credits, the ability to compare your filing history, and the option to print past and current tax returns whenever you want.

Homeowners and those with investments and rental property income would benefit from the option to have their mortgage interest and property taxes written off and the amount they deposited in their HSA deducted.
As one of the best free tax sites, FreeTaxUSA also offers assistance to self-employed users. Supporting all 1099 forms, the tax company is also an excellent choice for those with complex tax situations, as it lets users report small business income, asset depreciation, real estate sales, and more.  

However, once you decide to file a state return, you’ll have to pay a flat fee. For $14.99, you can save time by filing your state and federal returns together. You can prepare the return with just a few clicks, e-filing and direct deposit included. To top it off, FreeTaxUSA offers a maximum refund guarantee.

FreeTaxUSA may be one of the cheapest tax software options, but despite its name, it isn’t completely free at all levels of service. If you’d like access to priority support via live chat, audit assistance, and unlimited amend returns, you should get the Deluxe plan for $7.99.

Guarantees and Reimbursement Provided by FreeTaxUSA

Much like most of its competitors, FreeTaxUSA accepts responsibility for any errors that occur on the system’s end. In other words, should the IRS impose penalties or interest for incorrect tax calculations, the provider will take care of the costs.

Thanks to this feature, you get peace of mind knowing that you’re protected from any financial repercussions due to a miscalculation. Just keep in mind that you must input the correct information.

What’s FreeTaxUSA’s User Experience and Support Like?

As one of the best online tax programs, FreeTaxUSA starts your state and federal return tax prep with a step-by-step interview.

The platform also lets you skip the questionnaire and go straight to the forms. FreeTaxUSA’s interface is simple and straightforward - there are no animated on-screen explanations or over-engineered features.
While some users may dislike the plainness, others may welcome it, especially users who already feel more or less confident doing their taxes and want to finish this task as quickly as possible.

Taxpayers who are afraid of being audited or feel like they need a lot of help filing their returns may not find FreeTaxUSA’s free income tax software good enough due to the lack of support.

While all customers get access to the company’s searchable knowledge base and support via email, this may not be enough if you happen to have a specific burning question. For a higher level of support via live chat, we suggest you upgrade to the Deluxe plan.

Pros:

  • One of the market’s most affordable options
  • Access to tax and audit specialists
  • Free tax calculator

Cons

  • No expert help
+ Show more

H&R Block Review

Overview
5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Starting Price:
$0
Preparation Type:
Self-Prepared & Assisted
Free Version:
Yes

Operating since 1955, H&R Block has established itself as one of the most trustworthy tax preparation firms with a long-standing history. The company has more than 12,000 offices around the world and offers state-of-the-art tax preparation, payroll, and business consulting services.

H&R Block’s tax software solution is a good choice for both the common taxpayer and people with more complicated tax scenarios. As one of the best tax preparation software providers, H&R Block offers competitive pricing plans, access to a human tax professional, and an overall excellent user experience. 

H&R Block Pricing and Features

As with many other tax software providers, H&R Block offers a free version of their offer for people who wish to file everything themselves and require minimal support. The great thing about their free version is the ability to upgrade at any time and continue where you left off with the help of a professional or simply hand the process over to a qualified tax expert altogether.

Filing your own taxes with the support of H&R Block offers step-by-step guidance and real-time results. The version of this offer that remains free covers simple tax returns, W-2 income, Child Tax Credit, Unemployment income and is useful for students too. If you wish to upgrade you have the choice of the Deluxe, Premium and Self-Employed versions, coming in at $55, $75 and $115 respectively +$49 for each state filed

The Deluxe version includes everything that comes with the free version plus child and dependent care expenses, the ability to itemize deductions and you can store your tax returns for six years at H&R Block. Premium provides all this plus the inclusion of rental income, investments and crypto sales in your tax return filing.

If you’re running a small business, are self-employed and looking to add deductions on your business or include rideshare/food delivery drivers and marketplace sellers, then the self-employed version provides this for an additional fee totaling $115 plus $49 per state filed.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to skip the hassle and are willing to pay a little extra, H&R Block offers filing options with a tax professional suited to your needs and even hands-off options. These services start at $85 plus filing fees and require a consultation. H&R Block even claims to be the cheapest option on the market as far as professional online support and tax filing is concerned.

Guarantees and Reimbursements Provided by H&R Block

Another great thing about this tax preparation software is that it offers a guarantee of 100% accuracy and the maximum refund. In other words, if you find an error in your tax preparation made by H&R Block, the company will refund the fees you paid for the software and also let you use the service to amend your return at no additional cost.

Moreover, you’ll be reimbursed for any penalties and interest (up to $10,000) that you may face should H&R Block’s tax preparation software make an error on your return.

What’s H&R Block’s User Experience and Support Like?

As one of the best tax prep software providers, H&R Block is praised for its comprehensive explanations of tax concepts, clear instructions, and easy-to-use platform. It’s also worth mentioning that the company does a great deal to ensure that its customers’ personal data is secure, and their privacy protected. 

As far as customer service goes, tech support is available via phone or live chat. There’s a comprehensive help page on the website and customers can also visit a brick-and-mortar H&R Block location to speak to a tax expert in person.

Pros:

  • Wide range of tax forms covered
  • Ability to upload W-2 from your phone
  • Easy-to-use interface

Cons:

  • Limited support compared to competition
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What is Tax Software and How Does it work?

Tax software, electronic tax returns, etc., are software solutions made to aid in filing annual tax returns both at a state and federal level. Compared to an accountant or tax professional, they can be a much cheaper solution for anyone looking to streamline their annual tax return.

Tax software has become a great option for many due to the complexity and wide-reaching scale of these programs that cover all important areas of tax filing. Granted, dedicated tax professionals and CPAs may be more accurate and able to save money for their clients by skillfully managing the process, but they’re also a much pricier option upfront than most tax software and are usually more suited for people with complex income streams and tax situations.

There are two common types of tax software, interview and form-based. The first presents questions and guides you through its interface in an interview-like manner in order to gather all of the necessary information required for your tax returns. The other simply presents the necessary forms electronically for you to fill out and print or send to the IRS electronically. Tax software also provides a quick and easy way for you to e-file your taxes which is the most secure way to file your taxes and the way that the IRS prefers. 

Most tax software also offer cloud storage and secure handling of your tax documentation for a number of years and you can expect to get notified if you’ve missed an important form or get notified if you’ve entered some information incorrectly. There’s also the added benefit of support provided by the company that you’ve purchased the software form that can help you with basic information about forms, requirements, laws, etc.

Do I Need Tax Software?

We highly recommend that most people get at least some type of software for their tax returns. There are plenty of cheaper and even free options out there that can help you correctly file your taxes. The only people that don’t need tax software are the people who have hired an accountant who handles their tax returns. Even if your tax returns are very simple, we’d still recommend that you use tax software to ensure that all of the required information is entered correctly and is up to date with the most recent legislative changes.

What Should I Look for in Tax Software?

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the pricing structure of the tax software you’re considering. Some may charge extra for additional forms, fillings, and other expenses, so look for tax software that covers your needs while staying on budget. Secondly, consider the ease of use of your chosen software. Tax returns can be quite daunting as is, so it's best to find software that streamlines this process even if it costs a little extra, it will save your valuable time.

There’s also the question of data storage. Most online solutions offer cloud storage that gives you access to your forms and data anywhere, however some software may be more localized which means you’d have access to your data only on a specific network/computer.

Is it Safe to Store Tax Documents Online?

It’s considered best practice to keep your tax documents along with copies both online and offline. If you’re responsible with your passwords, two-factor authentication and platform-specific account security, then storing your tax documents online, on the cloud, is considered safe. 

Using services such as Google Drive or Dropbox is a safe way to store your tax documents since your data is encrypted and usually inaccessible to hackers and thieves, but you have to be diligent about general account and password security. On top of that, physical records are also important since some forms need to be held on for forever, and we’d even recommend some type of hard storage such as a portable hard drive or USB.

How Long Should I Keep My Tax Records?

Most financial documents related to your tax returns should be kept for at least three years, this includes supporting documents that back up income, deduction or tax credit claimed on your return and can include W-2 forms, charitable donation receipts and 1099 forms. 

However, some documents should be kept for six or even seven years such as if you claim a loss on worthless securities or bad debt deduction. Then there are documents that need to be held onto indefinitely, such as any records related to the purchase or sale of a home or stock. You should also hang on to records of major, value-adding home improvements. We recommend that you treat all records in this manner since with cloud and hard storage they don’t take up any space and aren’t hard to look after.

How Can I File My Taxes for Free?

You can file your taxes for free through the IRS Free FIle program. If your AGI is below a certain threshold you even get access to guided tax preparation for free, and if it’s above that threshold you get access to all the required forms for you to fill out on your own. These services are provided by tax filing software companies who have partnered with the IRS to cover these basic services for free.

Is it Better to Mail or e-file Taxes?

E-filing is far superior, safer, faster and the IRS even recommends it. There’s no chance your physical forms will get lost in the mail and you can get your refund much quicker especially if you go with a direct deposit. Just make sure that all of your documents are in order before submitting to avoid having to send amendments or new forms.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Fastest and Easiest Way to File Taxes?

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Filing your taxes electronically is the most secure and fastest way to file your taxes. On top of that, if you choose a direct deposit for your tax refund you can expect that your tax returns are received within 24 hours while paper tax returns take weeks. Tax software can also help you get your taxes in order very quickly and file them correctly in a few clicks.

What's the Best Tax Software for Cryptocurrency Transactions?

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There is a lot of popular crypto tax software on the market with prominent companies such as Koinly, CoinLedger and CryptoTax Calculator sticking out. We have a full page on crypto tax software where we’ve reviewed all of the best crypto tax software providers on the market which you should have a look at to find out more.

What is the Best Tax Software for Me?

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There are a few things that you should keep in mind when looking for the right tax software solution. Consider their pricing plans and if those plans cover the forms you require. Some may require additional payments for things like multiple filings or forms out of the ordinary. Ease of use is another important factor. 

Tax software should be easy to use and have all the forms you need at their disposal. You can contact support prior to choosing a software to ensure it covers your exact needs.

Why do People Need Tax Software Programs?

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Tax software solutions help taxpayers with little to no tax knowledge file their tax returns accurately, get the maximum refund they are entitled to, and avoid IRS penalties. Best suited for individuals with relatively simple tax situations, these services can be as reliable for simple tax returns as hiring a tax expert, but much more affordable.

What are the Advantages of Using Tax Preparation Software?

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The most significant benefits of using a software to prepare and file your federal and state tax return include affordability (the industry’s top competitors offer their services for a fee below $50), speed (with most tax programs, preparing and submitting your return won’t take more than 30 minutes), and ease of use (most tax software options provide a step-by-step filing model that helps you avoid costly mistakes).

How Much Does Tax Software Cost?

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According to a recent survey conducted by the National Society of Accountants, individuals who hire tax professionals to help them file their tax returns pay $176 on average.

However, the cost of hiring a tax expert can go up to $1,563. On the other hand, the best tax software providers charge less than $50 to help you prepare your tax returns. What’s more, their services usually come with 100% accuracy and a maximum refund guarantee, along with reimbursement for any losses due to system errors.

Why does the IRS Prefer you File Electronically?

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Electronic tax filing is by far the most accurate and secure method of filing your taxes. It’s also very fast and the IRS can get your files within 24 hours compared to the weeks it takes your mail to reach them. If you select a direct deposit for your refund, you can also get reimbursed much quicker.