Online Tax Software Review
Why Online Tax Software?
The best online tax software can help you quickly, affordably and correctly file your 2014 federal returns, often for free. Most services only charge for state filings. E-filing online is now the government's preferred method for filing. Additionally, it is faster and in many cases, more accurate, than traditional methods.
These online tax services are simple to use, regardless of your tax situation or tax preparation experience. The best services guide you through the preparation process and help you create the most beneficial return, even if you are not sure what you should claim or report. These services are generally more affordable to use than a CPA or professional tax service.
There are few reasons for you to be intimidated by using these services to file online. These services are easy to use and provide tax assistance if needed. The applications error check your return and often provide audit support. You can prepare a 1040EZ return within minutes, even using your mobile phone. Homeowners with children and more than one source of income will also find preparing a 1040 using this software relatively easy. The top tax services also offer solutions for preparing returns if you need to claim small business or 1099 income.
For the simplest-to-use e-file service, consider TurboTax by Intuit. Or, if you are looking for the most affordable option that covers most common tax situations, consider TaxACT. If you require additional assistance, such as in-office consultations or in-person audit support, consider H&R Block. You may also benefit from visiting our online-tax-software learning center.
Online Tax Software: What to Look For
When testing tax software, we consider two major requirements: accuracy and ease of use. The best tax preparation services guide you through the process to create the most accurate return possible, regardless of your prior tax knowledge. We test every tax service with the same scenarios to compare numbers and ease of use.
Many online tax services advertise that they can provide the largest refund; however, the largest refund (or lowest owe amount) results from an accurate return, not a hidden tax loophole that only they know about. E-filing with a good online tax service is one of the best ways to ensure that your return is correct with the most up-to-date forms and tax law changes included. Even the IRS endorses e-filing as the "safest, fastest and easiest way to submit" individual tax returns. The best services create accurate returns and provide tools for preventing errors.
Ease of Use
Using the best tax software, you should be able to create an accurate return tailored to your circumstances without having extensive tax knowledge. The tax service should complete all math computations for you and be designed to catch common entry errors. It should not be more difficult to use than answering a few life-event questions and filling in a few form entries. Most services also provide useful tools, such as tax calculators and tax estimators, to assist you.
Help & Support
Though your online tax software should be simple to use, adequate customer and technical support should be readily available if you need it. Please note that e-filing services can only provide limited tax support after you file. For the most part, after you file you will be communicating with the IRS or state tax division unless you simply need to file an amendment. Most online tax services help you file an amendment for free if you originally filed using their service. The best tax services provide telephone, email and chat support during extended business hours as well as extensive tax information posted online to answer general tax questions before you file.
Tax time does not have to be stressful. Using an online e-file tax service, you can create accurate federal and state returns within minutes. If you have a complex tax situation, the best online tax software can guide you through your earned credits, deductions and income-declaration requirements to create the most beneficial return as possible.
We are not certified tax advisors. Please consult with your tax consultant with regard to your tax situation.