Table of Contents Hide
- How Does a Tax Software Work?
- Our 2022 Best Tax Software Rating
- Best Tax Apps for Mobile
- What Is the Best Crypto Tax Software?
- How to Select an Online Tax Software Service Provider
- Is Tax Software Necessary For You?
- Tax Software FAQs
- Is it cheaper to do your own taxes?
- Is it worth having a CPA do your taxes?
Filing taxes is frequently the least appealing task on your to-do list, but decent online tax software can alleviate the pressure. If you choose to file your taxes online, you’ll want tax software that is simple to use and can file crypto, free, or inexpensive.
Cash App Taxes, TaxSlayer, H&R Block, and TurboTax* are the top online tax software platforms that we examined and reviewed. We evaluated their free tax filing alternatives, convenience of use, and customer service quality to find the best of the best.
How Does a Tax Software Work?
You spend a lot of time switching back and forth between paper forms when doing your income taxes. When you get to a line on form 1040 that requires a supporting form or schedule, you fill it out, then transfer the number back to 1040. Sometimes you need to fill out a spreadsheet, track down a lost document, or double-check your figures because something doesn’t appear correct. If your return is complicated, you may need to repeat this process several times.
Online tax services operate in a very different manner. You can stop thinking about the forms you need and whether your calculations are correct once you register an account and meet the site’s security criteria. You also don’t have to be concerned about how any changes to the tax code would influence your return. Everything is taken care of in the background.
When you use a digital tax preparation service, you fill out a lengthy questionnaire. These websites pose questions, and you respond by filling in blank fields, picking the right option from a list, or pressing a button. You will never be required to examine an actual IRS form or schedule (though,, in some cases, you can if you want to).
After you’ve resolved any issues, the software sends your tax information to any state returns you need to file. Then you answer a few more questions, go over your complete return, and pay the service fees (if there are any). Finally, you electronically file your return and print or save a copy for yourself.
Our 2022 Best Tax Software Rating
- H&R Block
- Jackson Hewitt
- CashApp Taxes
#1. TurboTax – Overall Best Tax Software
TurboTax is ranked first in our 2022 Best Tax Software and Best Mobile Tax Apps rankings. When completing taxes, tax filers like its simple interface and question-and-answer survey. TurboTax software is available in four levels, ranging from free to Self-Employed. Suppose you don’t feel comfortable doing your taxes alone or want the assistance of a professional. In that case, TurboTax provides the option for genuine tax specialists to assist you online or complete your return for you. Its professional services range in price from $0 to $199 for expert advice and from $0 to $389 for full service. TurboTax does not provide in-person assistance.
#2. H&R Block Best Tax Software Filing Options
H&R Block is awarded Best Tax Software Filing Options because it is the only provider in our evaluations that provides online and downloaded tax filing, a mobile app and in-person tax services. If you like the question-and-answer tax approach and want software that can handle complex tax issues, H&R Block could be a good fit. Four online versions are available, with prices ranging from $0 to $109.99 for the top tier. Each state filing costs an extra $36.99. H&R Block software has over 11,000 locations across the country and offers in-person or drop-off tax preparation if you don’t have the time to file independently.
#3. Jackson Hewitt
Jackson Hewitt provides in-person tax services through almost 6,000 locations, 3,000 housed within Walmart stores. It features low-cost online filing alternatives starting at $25 for a federal and one state return. Its software is designed step-by-step and includes assurances for accuracy, maximum reimbursement, and satisfaction. You can get online assistance from a tax specialist or the drop-off tax service when filing. If you need your return immediately, Jackson Hewitt provides a refund advance of up to $3,500 on a prepaid card. There are no fees or interest charges associated with the loan. While Jackson Hewitt does not have an app for self-filers, you can download Jackson Hewitt Tax Pro from Home if you wish to use the option of filing with a tax expert.
#4. Cash App Taxes – Lowest Cost Tax Software
This year, Cash App Taxes joins our list of the Best Tax Software. Cash App, formerly called Credit Karma (our No. 4 Tax Software of 2021), purchased the company’s tax service in November 2020. Because it is free to file your federal and one state tax return, Cash App Taxes is the Most Affordable Tax Software of 2022. You must first download the Cash App mobile app on your cell phone or computer to use the software. According to the business, you can obtain your refund up to two days faster if you deposit it into your Cash App account. It guarantees that you will receive the most significant return available. However, the software is not intended for complex tax situations, and Montana residents cannot e-file through Cash App Taxes.
TaxSlayer provides four online tax return completion choices. Its pricing starts at free and rises to $47.95 for self-employed taxpayers (usually the most complex of tax scenarios). Filling out a state return costs an extra $36.95 for the top-three tier goods. In the free edition, there is no charge for state returns. If you need assistance filing online, TaxSlayer’s premium service may be for you. It costs $37.95 and includes live chat and the chance to ask a tax professional for help while filing. If you’re confident and won’t require assistance, you can use TaxSlayer’s mobile app to file your return. Active duty military personnel are also eligible for free tax preparation.
Best Tax Apps for Mobile
TurboTax, H&R Block, Cash App Taxes, and TaxSlayer are among the Best Mobile Tax Apps of 2022. Every app in our rankings is compatible with both Android and iOS. They can also be used on tablets, such as H&R Block’s MyBlock App, which is consistent with Amazon Fire tablets. The best mobile tax apps enable you to start your taxes and upload relevant tax documents via photo capture. Some, such as TurboTax’s mobile app, allow you to upload taxes from the previous year or from a different tax service provider and provide in-app support while you work through the questions. MyBlock has similar functions and additional options, including credit score information and identity protection.
TaxSlayer’s app contains a refund calculator for estimating taxes and allows easy switching between devices while filing. The company promises to help you optimize deductions and guarantee 100% accuracy.
Cash App Taxes only delivers through its app and protects your data with 128-bit encryption. To utilize the account, requires two-step authentication and a phone number. To help preserve privacy, a separate crew watches the site. If you used Credit Karma Tax to submit your taxes last year, you’d be able to access them with Cash App Taxes, according to the business.
Multifactor authentication is used by all of the mobile apps in our ratings. Some use biometrics, such as fingerprint passwords, to protect your account from identity theft.
What Is the Best Crypto Tax Software?
This year’s internet tax software cover all but the most obscure tax concerns like crypto. You can report on 1099s, W-2s, unemployment, mortgage interest, medical costs, new self-employment income and expenses (Schedule C), crypto income and any other tax-related event you encountered this year with a tax software. One question that more people are expected to ask this year is whether tax software can assist you in determining whether you need to declare Bitcoin and another crypto.
The short answer is that if you used, sold, swapped, received as money, or mined crypto in the previous tax year, you must and can disclose such activities using a tax software. And, as our recent survey demonstrates, gig economy workers have embraced crypto.
TurboTax and H&R Block tax software both allow crypto transactions and offer articles to assist you. TurboTax, in particular, includes a bitcoin this year.
How to Select an Online Tax Software Service Provider
Three basic factors to consider when deciding on the best platform for you are ease of use, price, and customer service.
#1. Utilization Ease
We understand that filing your tax return might be difficult. However, some tax software providers can assist you in making the procedure easier. Consider the following questions before deciding on a tax software provider:
- Is the product user-friendly in terms of identifying where to enter tax filing forms?
- Is there a tax interview with a Q&A format that asks the correct questions to direct you to the tax documents needed to finish your tax return?
- Can a variety of support alternatives, such as phone, email, live chat, and professional tax advice, assist you with the process?
- Is it possible to test drive the product before purchasing it?
#2. Fees and Costs
It is critical to choose a product that not only meets your needs but also does not exceed your budget. It’s a good idea to go through each product’s price and consider the following:
- Which tax forms are included in the product? Can you, for example, file for free if you have a student loan interest deduction?
- What extras are included with the product? Consider whether the product provides support, a tax deduction finding tool, or access to a tax professional, if necessary.
- Is there an additional tax for submitting state taxes? If so, how much is it? Is a single rate for numerous states included in the package, or will you be charged each state?
#3. Options for Free Filing
You should be able to file your taxes for free if you have a simple tax return, including a W-2 and a few tax deductions. Many online tax software providers’ websites provide free filing for simple returns. While free versions of online tax software are marketed, you may also be eligible for the IRS Free File program’s tax options (discussed later).
Before you choose your product, consider the following questions:
- Which forms may you file with the tax software provider?
- Is there a fee for filing a state tax return?
- Are there any income requirements for people who may be eligible?
- Is there assistance available?
#4. Customer Service Options
If you require additional assistance while completing your tax return, look into support options. Here is a list of questions to ask yourself before purchasing a product:
- Is it possible to contact assistance via phone? If yes, what are the company’s hours of operation?
- Is there live chat or email support available when filing the tax return?
- Is there a fee for additional assistance? If so, how much is it?
- Is there a tax professional choice available to help with tax filing?
Is Tax Software Necessary For You?
While no one requires tax software, it may be of great assistance to many people, particularly if you have a relatively straightforward return and don’t require in-person advice from a tax professional but would still like some direction. If you wish to claim several deductions, report self-employment or investment income, have just had a child, or have a more complicated situation, having a tax professional prepare your return may be the best option to ensure it’s done right. A decision can cost between $220 and $323 dollars, according to the National Society of Accountants.
Finally, whether tax software is worthwhile for you relies on how you weigh the benefits and drawbacks. The following are some of the benefits of tax software:
- Simple to use: Most tax tools offer simple interfaces that are simple to use even if you have no experience with taxes or computers.
- Fast: When compared to preparing your taxes manually with paper forms, tax software can dramatically speed up the filing process, especially if you’ve stayed organized throughout the year and have all of your important information readily available.
- Cost-effective: A tax professional might easily charge you $220 or more to produce an individual tax return, whereas tax software will cost you much less.
While you won’t be able to see a tax professional in person if you use tax software, some systems offer live, one-on-one customer support through the internet or phone.
Tax software can rapidly determine how alternative filing selections would affect your tax burden, according to Riley Adams, CPA, and CEO of Young and the Invested.
Tax Software FAQs
Is it cheaper to do your own taxes?
Self-preparation software is likely to be less expensive, but preparing a sophisticated tax return yourself will be more time demanding. Returning to the very easy tax situation: wage earner, few or no itemized deductions—these persons would almost certainly save money through self-preparation.
Is it worth having a CPA do your taxes?
Hiring a tax specialist is often advantageous when your circumstances are complicated or require a large amount of labor.
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