Top Tax Software

Benefit from tax preparation software

Tax preparation software helps you meet your legal obligations while finding ways to save money by claiming deductions you might not otherwise have been aware of. When you compare tax software programs, consider how each option meets your specific needs. If you have dependents, if you’ve earned money through stocks or other investments, if you have appreciating assets, and if you’re self-employed or own a business, you will have specific tax filing needs that will require special attention. Make sure your tax preparation software has the features you need to generate a complete tax filing that maximizes your return eligibility.

Our picks for the top income tax software include:

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Turbo Tax

Description: Turbo Tax has a long list of advanced features, both for personal use as well as business tax software capabilities. The standard package comes with a wide range of functions, including the ability to import past tax returns, electronic filing, direct deposit of your tax refund, and a comprehensive range of filters and modifiers that automatically recognize deductions based on your personal or business situation.

You can also use an online tax software version, which offers additional features on a subscription basis. Some of the optional online add-ons include state returns, corporate or LLC filings, self-employed and rental property owner filings, and filings for self-employed people and people with medical expenses to claim.

Review: Turbo Tax earns high marks year in and year out for its comprehensiveness as well as its pinpoint accuracy. Tax software is frequently tested by having reviewers make intentional errors in sample returns and checking to see if the program catches them; Turbo Tax earned a 100 percent accuracy score. It is also very user-friendly, with an intuitive interface, and it can be set up to automatically update if any changes are made to existing tax laws.

You won’t need to worry about doing any math – any at all – if you have Turbo Tax software. It consistently earns rave reviews, but the one drawback of it is that it costs a bit more than its competitors. However, considering the value added by its high performance, it is well worth the extra money.

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Description: TaxACT helps both individuals and businesses prepare accurate, professional filings with a wide range of filters and item modifiers and convenient electronic filing features. It supports the importation of tax filings going back to 2009, has a handy refund/owe tracking feature, and offers helpful guidance through the interface. Your purchase also includes five free e-filings to take the annual stress and worry out of preparing your return in time to mail on April 15.

Review: While TaxACT is comparable to Turbo Tax, and priced at a more affordable level, it is not quite as accurate or as comprehensive as its chief competitor. It does offer audit support, electronic return preparation assistance and a comprehensive range of affordably priced web-based upgrades, but it does suffer from a couple of drawbacks. The first of these is that telephone support, while available, is not free of charge. Also, their online repository of tax information isn’t quite as complete as what’s offered by its competitors.

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Tax Slayer

Description: Tax Slayer offers comprehensive personal and business tax preparation tools and a wide range of online upgrade options, including 1040s for small business owners, filers with dependents, filers with capital gains to claim, and much more. Telephone and email support are also both included with your purchase.

Review: Despite its somewhat unusual name, this is a tax preparation software program that has a great deal to offer. It has made major gains in the market in recent years, and is an ever-improving option. However, it suffers somewhat from an inability to import tax data from past W2s and 1099 forms, and its support options are somewhat limited, as live chat support is not offered and the company offers only partial audit support.