Preparation and filing of taxes can be an intimidating process for small business owners, they need to choose the best tax software without having to deal with a complicated and illogical program. This program should have helpful drop-down menus, using icons and assessable definitions and help.
The tax software should install easily and quickly. Online service should be easy to access and provide quick service. These tax software are computer-based software designed to help small business owners to prepare for and file income, corporate and similar tax returns.
Tax software streamlines the process of filing taxes by walking the user through tax forms and issues and also automatically calculates the small business owner’s tax obligations. Ther are many personal tax software applications are now available in the traditional physical box software format (retail software) as well as in hosted online service (SaaS) formats.
Criteria to Consider Before Choosing Your Tax Software
- The tax software must be easy to use for new computer users and inexperienced tax filers. Tax programs should be all-encompassing and provide information on current tax laws and offer clear terminology.
- The importance of current tax laws means that you should be purchasing new software every year and not using the software you used in previous years. The tax software you choose should also offer error-proofing to limit possible mistakes or omissions.
- The feature of the tax software should be a collection of tools and capabilities that may be different from other packages. A good program offers everything needed to file a complete and accurate return.
- Other parts of the feature set may include state tax forms and financial advice as well. A top-notch program even offers IRS publications, imports from other programs, checks error and deductions.
- The most important feature to evaluate when choosing your business software is whether the software will provide in-depth and easy to understand help. Well-documented programs provide definitions, complete text IRS publications, tax tips, search capabilities and help tools or icons. The tax software vendor should also provide methods of support including tax advice and technical support by phone, email or chat.
We have searched the Internet and Selected some Tax Software for your Personal Use
This is an online tax filing package is a relatively easy, cost-effective online tax filing option for homeowners with other tax scenarios to take into account, such as charitable donations or Health Savings Accounts (HSA). H&R Block offers some other tech-forward features, such as Snap-a-Pic W-2 Capture, easy input from other tax preparers, even a running tally of your refund throughout the tax-filing process.
All of H&R Block’s online filing options will earn you access to tools such as Snap-a-Pic W-2 Capture, easy import from other tax preparers, and a running tally of your refund. Other notable features include data security, technical support, and review by a tax pro before you actually file. Even better? The tax pros have an average of 10 years of experience, so they really have earned that moniker.
This is arguably the name in personal tax preparation software, and its developer Intuit charges accordingly. You’ll pay top-dollar for this one, but users and experts alike seem to think it’s worth it. It scores kudos in almost every category, from user experience to be able to import many employer tax IDs.
You can take pictures of your W-2 forms and 1099 forms rather than type in all the information they include, risking typos and mistakes. The Tax software engages you much as a professional would with questions and guidance, although some pop-up messages can be a bit chirpy and possibly jarring when you’re concentrating.
Think comments like “You’re doing great!” interspersed with questions designed to dig your tax data out of you. If you get confused or otherwise hit a brick wall, TurboTax offers experts to chat with if you use the online version. It also has a “SmartLook” feature that will put you face-to-face with a tax expert, and it offers audit support. Read more
This is often mentioned in the same breath with TurboTax and H&R Block, but it has something going for it that those two competitors don’t share: It is really inexpensive. Better yet, it offers a price lock guarantee.
You can begin your return early in the year with most software, but TurboTax and H&R Block will begin ratcheting up their costs as you get closer to the tax deadline without actually filing. You can expect this to start happening sometime in March. Not so with TaxAct.
You’ll pay the same no matter how long it takes you to finish your return and file. This tax software offers fewer bells and whistles, but it is equipped to handle returns that include self-employment and investment income.
It also has a nice feature called Life Events, which zeros in on potential changes in your tax situation from last year to this one. The web-based program offers 19 icons relating to situations that might currently apply to you.
Maybe you bought a home or you got married or had a baby. Maybe you lost your job. Whatever happened, you can click on the corresponding link for extra tips, information and guidance, although the program won’t incorporate the information into your tax return for you. That part is up to you.
This is a tax software initially designed for tax professionals, then it branched out to help individuals prepare their personal returns in the 1990s. It’s been steadily improving in that area, although its “life events” section is still less than comprehensive than TaxAct’s. The neat thing about TaxSlayer is its “Quick File” option.
This should particularly appeal to users who cringe at the idea of spending hours inputting their tax information in a sequential order that’s dictated by the program.
Some competitors will allow you to jump around to different aspects of your return, tackling whatever you want to tackle next, but TaxSlayer’s Quick File process for this is particularly efficient.
It’s cued by simply typing in a keyword rather than hunting through lists of links. The Premium edition is reasonably priced, about $40, and TaxSlayer also offers a version specifically for self-employed individuals which runs about $55. There’s the usual free version, called Simply Free, as well as an intermediate-level offering called the Classic for sort-of complex returns.
Credit Karma Tax Software
This is a new tax software designed for small business owners to monitor their credit for a fee. Credit Karma has a few kinks to work out yet, but it’s superior in a few respects to the free versions of other software. For one thing, it’s not limited to simple 1040EZ and 1040A returns.
It can handle more complex tax situations, although its hand-holding and help functions aren’t as extensive. Its interface is functional at best and the program isn’t very streamlined yet, but that can be expected to improve over time. After all, this is pretty much the tax program’s first incarnation.
Credit Karma is set up much like its competitors. It asks you questions and calculates your tax return based on your answers, although there’s no “life events” feature.
You can work on tax topics at random, choosing what you want to tackle next, or Credit Karma will walk you through the preparation process step by logical next step. Live help isn’t available, although you can e-mail for assistance if you run into problems. Read more
Jackson Hewitt Tax Software
This tax software contribution to tax software will cost you a little less than H&R Block and TurboTax, and you’ll get a really efficient and extensive wizard in return that feature that walks you through a series of questions then spits out a completed tax return based on your answers.
The Jackson Hewitt wizard covers just about every conceivable tax situation for personal filers. The tax software premium can handle complex tax situations, although you can’t count on explanatory popups to tell you why it’s done and what it’s done, at least not in every situation.
There are help topic links, however, as well as readily available links for live support, something most other tax software developers don’t offer. Then again, Jackson Hewitt has more than 6,000 brick-and-mortar locations, so the company is really positioned to offer this service.