Experience or convenience: these are just two of the many features that taxpayers are looking for when they are about to select a tax prep solution to deal with their taxes. And these are the exact things TaxSlayer and TurboTax provide to anyone who decides to join their forces. Thankfully, though, these attributes aren’t the only things that TaxSlayer and TurboTax come with, as both of them have a plethora of fantastic features with which creating returns is a breeze. So, now there is only one question left: which tax prep service provider has the better set of features?
|Free Versions||Free Versions||Free Versions|
|Filing for Deceased|
|Previous Years' Returns|
|Covered Tax Topics|
|Forms & Attachments|
|Email Confirmation||Filing only|
|Software & Platforms|
|State Tax Price|
|IRS Audit Assistance||Free (Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed)|
|ID Theft Protection||$39.99 ($79.99/yr after first year)||Free (Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed)|
|Available Payment Methods|
Definitely one of the best companies you can trust with your taxes, TaxSlayer has long-term experience and a very handy online tax prep software. Granted, from the outside the program doesn’t look like much more than an average solution, but it’s on the inside where TaxSlayer shows most of its merits and enables taxpayers to deal with their returns in a quick and convenient manner.
For starters, not only are all the tax questions worded in an understandable fashion, but certain topics even include short video explanations. This is already impressive enough, but it’s the built-in help tools that really take the cake, whether that’s the audit risk meter, the option to compare the current return with the previous one, or the bookmarking tool with which you can skip irrelevant topics to make the filing process faster. TaxSlayer is capable of speeding up the task further, too, due to its ability to reduce manual data by importing previous years’ returns and W-2s forms, the latter of which can be captured with the otherwise bland mobile app.
As expected, TaxSlayer provides a free version for 1040EZ filers that, quite surprisingly, also comes with the option to file a state return for free. Although this isn’t available for the pay-only programs, they do still all have fair prices. In fact, even the top-tier product costs only $50. But this isn’t the only way that TaxSlayer shows gallantry, as the company’s users are also provided the option to donate to a charity during checkout.
Those who have already tried it consider TurboTax to be the ultimate tax prep software. And they have every right to be that optimistic, because the program and all its additional services are indeed exemplary. Unlike many of its competitors, TurboTax’s online solution combines a user-friendly appearance with thoroughness, creating a pleasant experience regardless of whether tax returns are accessed from a browser or from the iOS and Android mobile apps. The program is also pretty intelligent, as not only is it capable of explaining its actions in detail but it will also only display the relevant forms and can prompt users to upgrade to a higher-tier version should it be necessary. Additionally, TurboTax is equipped with brilliant help tools, including a chatbot that is connected to the extensive knowledge base. And if that’s not enough, TurboTax pays attention to properly securing users’ data, too, thanks to security options like two-factor authentication, logging user activity, or checking the validity of Social Security numbers.
While the company provides its most basic service entirely free of charge, enjoying the best features comes with a price as even the cheapest pay-only product costs $59.99. However, all paid programs come with basic IRS audit assistance and ID theft protection, services that are usually available for additional fees. In addition to that, higher-tier software versions can also be upgraded with live assistance by certified tax experts – a service that is included in the top-tier product for free.
Admittedly, it would be easy to declare a winner based on price alone, but it’s the features that really sell these two programs. TaxSlayer is a more conservative tax prep solution that ups the ante by including a set of clever additional help tools. These alone makes this program interesting but the fact that the software is capable of putting together accurate tax returns in no time and that it provides a free state return – albeit for its free users only – certainly makes TaxSlayer a must-have solution. TurboTax, on the other hand, is a bit expensive, but feature-wise it’s one of the best tax prep programs on the market. So much so that if we only took into consideration the merits of the service – like the user-friendliness, its overall intelligence, and the outstanding security – then TurboTax easily makes its value for money far more obvious.
Best Tax Software of 2020