Whether you’re looking for a software to file taxes or for keeping up with your financial information, there are a lot of great programs out there for doing both, but you may not be sure where to start looking. We’ve assembled our top picks for simple tax and accounting software.
QuickBooks tax preparation software is a very popular accounting software package developed by Intuit. QuickBooks products are geared mainly toward small and medium businesses for on-premises and cloud-based applications that allow you to input your financial data, pay and manage bills. The features of Quickbooks include cloud accounting, expense tracking, invoicing, accounting reports, data security, and 24/7 customer support.
TaxSlayer is a tax preparation and financial technology company based out of Augusta, Georgia. The company offers online tax preparation software for consumers and tax professionals alike, allowing them to electronically file state and/or federal returns. TaxSlayer also offers business technology products and services for legal, bookkeeping, human resources and payroll services. They offer their services to consumers, professional tax preparers, IRS VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly) program volunteers.
H&R Block’s tax preparation software is another great tool which lets you file your taxes from the comfort of your home. They offer consumer tax software, as well as online tax preparation and electronic filing from their website. There are also tiered packages available to fit any personal or business filing needs: free, deluxe, and premium edition. H&R Block also has numerous storefront locations with professional staff who are trained in tax law, who can legally prepare and file your taxes.
TaxAct is a budget software compared to most of the competition. While it lacks the functionality for complicated tax situations, it is definitely a cost-effective option for single filers with simple tax returns. The plus version costs about half as much as other comparable products. TaxAct’s interface isn’t fancy, but it covers all the bases, and you get useful tools like import functions for last year’s returns, your W-2s, a donation assistant, planning tools, and calculators. Free phone and email tax support is available as well as a mobile app for Android and iPhone.
Things to Consider
- Do you need online tax software or desktop tax software?
- Do you need a basic account, or a premium service package?
- Do you need to file state and local taxes?
- Do you need help organizing your tax deductions?
- Do you need a lot of software support?
If you have dependents, houses, work as a freelancer, own rental properties, or have complex deductions, it’s probably your best bet to pay for upgraded versions of the software. Using a tax calculator first can help you identify the capabilities you’ll need when it’s time to evaluate your tax software options.
A good tax preparation software like Quickbooks, that’s easy to use is usually the best bet for most simple tax situations. If your adjusted gross income was less than $64,000 for the 2016 tax year, you probably qualify to use the IRS Free File program, which allows you access to free tax preparation software. But, if your situation is less than simple, you should consider using a professional tax preparer instead.
Tax time can be a headache if you don’t have the proper tools for filing, and nobody wants to risk an IRS audit. If you are filing your taxes yourself this tax season, finding a good tax software will be the first step in alleviating tax-related stress before it becomes overwhelming.
Do you file your own taxes or do you use the services of a professional? Leave us a comment in the section below.