Best Tax Software Reviews of 2018
Looking to do your taxes on your own with online tax software? With Best Reviews’ expert-written reviews, handy comparisons and constantly updated lists of free solutions and special offers you’ll surely find the tax prep solution that best fits your needs in no time.
Having spent quite some time thoroughly researching and testing different solutions, here are our picks for the best tax programs of 2018:
Tax Software Reviews
In order to provide a clear insight into the market’s best tax prep programs our expert team conducts thorough tests and research to bring you all the information you need about the world of online tax preparation and filing. Not only do our reviews detail just how the tax prep process works with the software in question but they also highlight the features and extra services that are unique to that solution. We also put great emphasis on explaining about the software’s ease of use, its security options and how well suited it is to mobile. And finally, we compare the prices of each product that the company has to offer and make sure the package is complete by testing how the customer support responds to user inquiries.
Tax Software Comparison
Online tax programs are eerily similar to one another in almost every regard except for their individual appearances and smaller details and features available, which makes picking the right solution a challenge. With our highly detailed comparison chart, however, all it takes is a single glance to learn the most important aspects about the chosen companies, whether that is their features, their compatibility with the most popular mobile platforms, or the respective costs of their products. Would you like to have more information about the tax software that you are considering with before deciding? No problem: we also have an ever-growing list of comparison articles in which we line up two selected online tax prep solution providers next to each other and discuss their individual strengths in greater detail.
One of the biggest advantages of online tax prep programs is that users are always able to create a free account to begin calculating their taxes as accurately as possible. In nearly all cases these free versions of any given chosen tax software allows users to prepare and file federal returns without paying a dime provided that they comply with certain conditions. These specific conditions can all be found on our dedicated page, where we list the free products of the best tax companies.
Using tax software is already a huge step towards dealing with taxes in a cost-effective way, but these programs can still be used for less than the base fee? That’s why we collect together every possible option to save big on the market’s best tax prep solutions as well as on their extra services. And in addition to the up-to-date coupons, promotions, and discounts, we also provide special promotional offers from time to time with which certain tax prep solutions can be used for ridiculously low prices.
Tax Software 101
Why Use Tax Preparation Software?
Taxpayers who want to prepare their taxes on their own know what a pain in the neck the process can be. Certified accountants can be a hassle-free alternative, but their services are way overpriced; the IRS’s tax program is a bother to deal with; and paper-based tax filing is downright ridiculous in an age where virtually everything can be done online. Online tax prep programs, on the other hand, combine the expertise of accountants with convenience, user-friendliness, and great prices to create such a smooth experience for taxpayers that afterwards they unanimously ask themselves: ‘Why didn’t I opt for such a solution before?’
By purchasing online tax software it is possible to put together accurate federal and state tax returns in no time by simply answering a set of straightforward questions and entering in data from forms that you already have. Not only that, but these solutions are capable of adapting to the different needs of taxpayers by automatically detecting the best deduction options for them, and will often automatically upgrade to a different, more suitable product should a form be lacking from the current version of the software.
Best of all, online tax programs only require a web browser to use, allowing for users to deal with their data anywhere, while certain companies even provide mobile apps for their solutions, too. Tax software and its additional services – particularly meaning audit assistance or ID theft protection – are free of charge until filing, though there is also an option to cover the service costs by deducting the fees from your refund.
How Tax Software Works
The basic principle behind all tax programs – online and downloadable versions alike – is to make tax prepping as simple as possible, meaning that there is no need to be a tax expert in order to understand how these programs work. In fact, a tax prep tool should be considered as a virtual accountant, since it asks the same set of thorough questions that a certified public account (CPA) would. The only difference is that in the case of tax software it’s actually the user who conducts the interview and feeds the program with the necessary data so it can select the relevant forms and do the math for you.
However, unlike accountants, there are certain aspects that make the use of tax programs even more convenient. The option to add W-2 forms to the return via importing from an electronic source or having it processed by the tax company’s dedicated mobile app is one such example. This same automation is also present when it comes to the last year’s return. In fact, not only can the software easily fetch the return from the previous year’s version of the software, but they also allow you to upload the document as a PDF, which is particularly useful in cases where the return was created with a competing solution. Tax programs can handle e-filing your return and even track it up until the point that it is accepted by the IRS.
Tax Software for Businesses and Self-Employed
One of the best things about tax prep software is that it’s versatile, making it an ideal choice for sole proprietors and businesses, too. However, there are certain aspects that need to be taken into consideration should you need to opt for a business tax program.
Picking the most fitting solution is a bit easier if you run a sole proprietorship because you have the option to choose between online tax prep solutions and desktop-based programs. Although picking an online tool is more logical, sole proprietors should note that with this method they are usually required to purchase the top-tier version of any given tax software in order to create a tax return that will fulfill their needs. However, by doing so they will they get a program that can handle personal and business taxes alike and enables advanced features like industry-specific credits and deductions, live assistance by the company’s tax experts and, sometimes, the option to import relevant information from third-party solutions.
Small business owners, on the other hand, have no choice but to rely on a downloadable solution, because all the forms that are related to the business taxing can only be found in desktop-based programs. While downloadable software does lack mobile functionality and the option to only pay after filing, all forms are included in the program and it’s possible to file more than one return with the same solution.
Filing Taxes Yourself
Preparing taxes on your own for the first time is a huge step up from simply passing the job on to a professional, but everything becomes way easier when an online tax prep solution is involved with the process. Accurate tax returns can be created by even less experienced users thanks in large part to the straightforward quizzes and document importing, automatically filling the resulting data into the return to reduce manual entry to a minimum. This is enhanced by the fact that W-2 forms and entire tax returns from previous years can easily be imported into the software either from competing sources or by using the program’s mobile app counterpart.
There is no need to worry about erroneous data entry, either, as tax programs are intelligent enough to warn you should something look wrong. This intelligence is present when it comes to credits and deductions, too, because tax preparation software can automatically select which tax saving options are best for you based on your answers.
There’s also some comfort in the fact that help is at hand during the preparation process. Tax apps come with built-in help tools like a knowledge base or tax glossary. However, remember that there is always the option to turn to the tax experts of the chosen tax company who can further clarify tax-related issues as well as answer any questions related to the software itself.
Would you like to learn about the difference between online tax services and downloadable solutions or how tax software handles your data once it enters the cloud? Do you want to know about what forms are required to start completing the tax returns? Are you interested in what to do in case of an IRS audit? All these things and more are thoroughly answered in our blog, which is regularly updated with the news, facts, and trivia related to taxing – and only during the current tax season…
A huge advantage of tax prep programs is that they are all created in such a way that users can immediately understand how they work and what is needed to fully comply with the requirements of the IRS. Despite this straightforwardness, there can still be additional questions you want answers for to help with such issues as whether tax software itself is deductible, how often it should be updated, or the best ways of choosing the most fitting program. Our FAQ can give all you the answers that you are looking for, whether for a specific issue or a more general topic.
Looking to do your taxes on your own with online tax software? With Best Reviews’ expert-writ…