Find out more about Tax Software
What is Tax Software?
Tax software is designed to help individuals and companies prepare and file income, corporate and other tax returns. This platform simplifies the procedure for tax filing by guiding the user to properly fill up tax forms and complete related work. It automatically calculates the tax dues of both individuals and corporations. Individuals can buy and use personal tax preparation software, while corporations need to invest in business tax preparation software. Personal tax software solutions are sold both in physical box format (retail solutions) and as web-hosted SaaS products. Start by checking our leader FreshBooks, and other recommended solutions in this category.
Top 11 Most Popular Tax Software
How To Choose The Best Tax Software
Tax software helps individuals and businesses prepare and file tax returns. As there are numerous programs out there, how do you do informed comparisons to choose the best tax software solution for your needs? We help you in this task with this buyer’s guide that details the key features you should look for in such platforms.
Get to know each product with free trial
A good way to start your search for the best tax software solution is to register for and check out popular programs offered by leading tax software providers. This will enable you to understand each application’s features and judge whether they are suitable for your requirements. We recommend the following tools and you can visit their websites to check the possibility of a free trial or demo: H&R Block, TurboTax, TaxAct, Jackson Hewitt, and TaxSlayer. These apps have got high rankings in our tax software reviews that you can read to do a general comparison of their features.
- Individuals, freelancers, and sole proprietors can utilize personal tax preparation software.
- Small, medium-sized, and large corporations can use business tax preparation software.
Examples of Tax Software
- H&R Block: Offers a wide array of tax preparation services to enable you to get maximum refund. You can complete and file tax returns in multiple ways. Use this software to find a method that fetches you the most money from refunds. This company has been around for more than 60 years and utilizes this vast tax experience to deliver quality products and services.
- TurboTax: A best-selling tax preparation software solution that helps you file taxes online. You can effortlessly file state and federal income tax returns online with accuracy. The solution provides step-by-step guidance as well as double checks to simplify your task. Plus, it finds all possible tax deductions and credits you qualify for to enable you to get the biggest tax refund.
- TaxAct: Prepares and e-files your income taxes. It makes it quick and easy for you to prepare and file your taxes and get maximum refund. The company offers reliable and affordable personal tax preparation programs that accommodate important tax scenarios. Highlights are the products’ simple design, low cost, and free phone and email support.
- Jackson Hewitt: A full-service income tax preparation firm that specializes in fully computerized federal and state taxes. It offers professional tax preparation services in more than 6300 locations across the US. You can file online or book a convenient appointment. They promise to take care of all the work and are even open late and weekends.
- TaxSlayer: The best part is TaxSlayer is free. You can prepare and e-file your state and federal income taxes online free of cost. The product enables you to file your taxes on the go from any mobile device or laptop. The vendor guarantees 100% accurate calculations and if there is an error they promise to reimburse you the tax penalties as well as interest charges.
Types of Tax Software
There are two main types of tax software:
- Personal tax preparation software for individuals
- Business tax preparation software for companies
Personal tax software solutions are available as physical box retail software as well as hosted SaaS platforms.
Key Features of Tax Software
- If you have basic tax needs and have only your earned wages as income you require only a free or basic version of tax software.
- If your income is not high, you can qualify for free filing.
- But if you have kids, rental properties, and lots of credits and deductions, you need to invest in a premium version.
- All products offer a tax calculator that tells you how much exactly you need to pay.
- Top tax software solutions guide you through even complex situations and if you need assistance you can use the services of a professional tax preparer.
Benefits of Tax Software
Calculates Your Tax Deductions
Tax authorities add new deductions every year. So use the latest edition of the software product to ensure you benefit from all these deductions and get maximum refund.
Files Taxes from Your Computer
Tax software can e-file your taxes which is more convenient and faster compared to snail mailing your taxes. Another advantage is you can get faster refunds and do not have wait for a check.
Helps to Avoid IRS Audits
Tax software checks all errors before filing. This reduces the chances of an IRS audit. If there is an error, leading vendors promise to reimburse you for any penalties as well as interest.
Gets Answers to Your Tax Queries
The software provides answers to common tax queries. Top solutions display typical queries and answers on the screen. They also provide help tools. If you need personal assistance, you can contact the vendor’s customer support team over phone or email.
Stores Tax Details on Your Computer
If you use a retail software product, it will store your tax details on your computer. And if you utilize an online cloud-hosted version, you can access the information anytime, anywhere, for any year.
Tax software helps to save time by copying the details from your federal return form to your state return. This is not possible with a paper return where you need to write the details twice. You can avoid this by investing in a tax software solution which will also help you eliminate mistakes that can happen while copying the info.
Cloud Programs are in Demand
Though cloud solutions have become the norm in most industries, only 40% of accounting software users are using web-based products. This is changing as more accountants are asking for cloud access. This is important for them as they need to work overtime during tax season and mobile access can enable them to work from home and on weekends.
Optical Character Recognition Minimizes Errors
It can be hard to decipher handwriting that resembles chicken scratch on receipts, expense reports and other important tax documents. This can be avoided by using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) solutions like Hubdoc, Expensify, and Receipt Bank that can scan handwritten documents and convert handwriting into readable text. This helps to save a lot of time and minimizes errors.
Integration of Tax Software Packages
Previously, accountants were unable to access centralized data as different software solutions were not integrated. This meant manual re-entry had to be done which took a lot of time. Today, more tax software products can communicate with each other, which means users do not have to worry about siloed data.
If you need a quality tax software solution, you need to pay a good amount of money for it. For instance, the online version of TurboTax Deluxe costs $34.99 and you need to pay an extra $36.99 for a state tax return. If you have extra sources of income and need more complex calculations, you need to upgrade to TurboTax Premier which costs $54.99 for a federal tax return and an extra $36.99 for a state tax return. It is advisable to buy tax software products early in the year as prices could increase as the tax filing deadline comes near.
Some tax software programs are buggy and kick you off while you are working on them. Another glitch is the help section may not be adequate and you may not get the required answers to your queries. In such cases, contact the vendor’s support team for assistance.
List of Tax Software Companies
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Our Score Read More
FinancesOnline utilizes our certified SmartScore™ approach to gather information about all the solutions in the Tax Software category so that we can help you decide on the best possible application. It pays attention to the following aspects: individual modules, collaboration tools, custom elements, available integrations, intuitiveness, customer support, how secure a software is, support for smartphones and tablets, scores in other media. At the moment, QuickBooks Online is the leader in this category and we gave it the highest score in our tests. Following thorough testing it had the best results among its competitors and our reviewers strongly suggest that you include it as one of the choices for your business.
User Satisfaction Read More
A look at general user satisfaction with the solutions in our Tax Software category calculated using our unique algorythm that analyzes user reviews, comments and opinions across a wide set of social media platforms in order to help you make an educated buying decision.
Pricing Read More
Every vendor in the Tax Software category will offer a different group of pricing packages for its service and every plan will include a unique set of features. Below we list the general pricing for the most affordable package offered for each product. Keep in mind that advanced features may have an extra cost.
Devices Supported Read More
An analysis of what type of devices and operating systems are supported by the listed B2B solutions in the Tax Software category, including mobile platforms and web-based solutions.
Laguages Supported Read More
Check what languages and countries are supported by the popular B2B solutions in the Tax Software category, including services designed for international markets and created for multi-cultural groups of employees.
Pricing Model Read More
Learn which pricing models are provided by the vendors in the Tax Software category to check which one matches your business needs and expenses best. Note that certain solutions can provide free or freemium accounts for you to try out first.
Customer Types Read More
A brief look at what groups of customers a selected B2B service in the Tax Software category provides for, from small businesses and non-profits to large enterprises.
Deployment Read More
An overview of what types of software deployement are provided by every B2B vendor in the Tax Software category. Although the majority of modern SaaS solutions are cloud-based certain solutions might offer an on-site deployment model too.