Online tax-filing services make tax-prep easier than ever! Rather than spend potentially hundreds of dollars on an accountant, consumers can instead use tax preparation software to account for their incomes, investments, deductions, and more. Many of these online tax filing services can be utilized solely online, without the need for downloads, and accessed across mobile devices. The best online tax-filing services provide clear instructions, are easy to use, are up to date with the latest deductions and credits, and lead consumers through each step of the filing process with ease. These software programs also allow individuals to e-file, which helps them get their tax refunds faster than ever before. The best online tax-filing services featured here include Turbotax, Tax Act, H&R Block, Credit Karma Tax, TaxSlayer. Read on to find out more about how these online software programs can help you file your taxes.
Top 5 Online Tax-Filing Services
- Tax Act
- H&R Block
- Credit Karma Tax
Known as one of the biggest names in tax preparation software, Turbo Tax proves that it doesn’t have to be complicated to file your taxes. This online software is one of the most user-friendly online tax programs available, using a question-and-answer format with language that is easy to understand. The software is easy to use, with intuitive tools that help users navigate the various sections. This software allows users to work on a number of devices, including tablets and mobile phones. Users can file the new Form 1040 federal return and a state return with the free version. This version is best for people who don’t plan to claim any credits or deductions. There are several versions of the program, including a free version, as well as Turbo Tax Free, Turbo Tax Live Basic ($89.99), Deluxe ($59.99), Premier ($79.99), and Self-Employed ($119.99). While filing federal tax returns is included in the price of the software, it’s important to know that customers must pay another fee to file state tax returns, which can cost between $29 and $39. If there’s a problem, getting questions answered is also simple, including a progress banner on the side of the screen that keeps track of the process and flags areas that still need to be completed.
- Free version is available
- Intuitive tools that are easy to use
- State returns cost extra
Tax Act is a solid online tax preparation program that includes a free version for those who have basic returns. This online tax preparation program is easy to use, with an intuitive interface and simple navigation. One of the best features is the system this program uses to review a tax return before it’s filed. The program displays errors and omissions, making recommendations about where deductions or credits can be added to improve a return. While a previous year’s return can be imported, users cannot import their W-2s, which is a useful feature in comparable tax programs. If users have more complicated tax returns, it is recommended for them to use one of the paid versions. Besides the free version, here are four additional online tax software programs made by this company: TaxAct Plus ($27), Freelancer ($39), Premium ($51), and Self-employed+ ($49.95). State returns cost extra - around $37 - to file. Consumers receive their refunds through direct deposit, a check or a prepaid card.
- Pay your filing fee with your refund
- You cannot import your W-2
- State returns cost extra
Known for providing in-house and in-person tax preparation, H&R Block continues to offer comprehensive professional service and support with their online software. Instead of having to visit a tax professional for expert advice, user can use the online tax prep software and connect with experts while filling out their returns. Customers can also choose to pay a bit extra to have a pro review the return before it’s submitted. Like other companies, there is a free option for those with basic tax returns, but filing the state return with H&R Block is free. However, filing the state return with the H&R Block paid programs cost $36.99. The paid tax software programs include the deluxe ($34.99), premium ($54.99), and the self-employed plan ($74.99). One of the best features is the W-2 import, allowing users to take a photo of their W-2s and upload it, while other programs require employers to partner with their online tax programs. Another handy feature is the final accuracy check, which takes users directly to sections of their returns that require corrections.
- With the free software, filing the state return is free
- Users can connect online with tax experts
- Final accuracy check takes users directly to mistakes to correct
Credit Karma Tax
This online tax preparation software is the best choice if price is the main concern. Credit Karma Tax doesn’t charge users for using their software, regardless of how complex the tax returns are. This software is also the only one that allows users to file state taxes for free. To get this online tax software, individuals need to sign up for an account with Credit Karma, a free service that allows users to track their credit scores. This is also one of the most user-friendly programs, including allowing you to import W-2s. Navigation is easy all the way through the program, with clearly marked sections and the opportunity to correct identified errors. Users can receive their refunds through check or direct deposit.
- The most economical online tax prep software
- File state taxes for free
- Requires sign up with Credit Karma account
This online tax prep program is priced more economically than many others on the market, and also offers a free filing option for basic returns. Additional TaxSlayer software for more complicated returns include TaxSlayer Classic ($17) and TaxSlayer Premium ($35). No matter which plan you use, you’ll pay $22 to file a state return. This program is easy to use and immediately identifies errors, not letting users go forward until errors are corrected. There is not, however, a final review at the end, so correcting these errors along the way is important. Users can import their W-2s as well as PDF versions of a previous year’s return from another tax preparer. Refunds are available by check, direct deposit, or prepaid card.
- State returns cost only $22 to file
- No final review of returns
- Import previous year’s return from another tax preparer
With all of the online tax preparation software available, there is one that will be perfect for your unique needs.