Right around the corner it will soon be tax time. It is the sad fact of life that the only certainties are death and taxes. However, over the last decade, computer software has aimed to make the tax filing process much simpler and easier. The tax code itself is one of the biggest and longest documents in the world, and the rules can be very tricky. That is why many people opt to use tax software when preparing their taxes.
However, as Net Worth TV with Terry Bradshaw notes, there are a lot of options when it comes to selecting the best tax software for you. Net Worth TV regularly looks at the best software for various areas, and has looked at what makes each piece of tax software a bit different. Here is what you need to know about the best and most popular pieces of tax software available.
Net Worth Looks At Turbo Tax
Turbo Tax was the original tax software program available to help individuals file their taxes. It originally did your taxes by asking you a series of questions, and then allowed you to print your tax forms. While still doing that, it now allows you to file your taxes online via eFile when you’re complete.
Turbo Tax is extremely popular because it is so simple to use. It just guides you through a series of questions to help you file your taxes. For example, it will ask “Did you earn income through employment?” If you mark yes, it will ask for your W-2, and if you mark no, it will move on to the next question. This simplicity is what has made it a hit with tax filers of all levels.
Turbo Tax offers several versions depending on your needs. It has a basic, free level, if you just have employment income. It also has levels for people who have investments, businesses, and rental property. Make sure that you choose the right level for your needs.
H&R Block tax preparation software was designed by the H&R Block brick and mortar tax preparation company to directly compete with Turbo Tax. H&R Block has a very similar setup to Turbo Tax in that it has different levels for each type of individual, including a free level for qualifying filers.
Net Worth TV notes that H&R Block differs from Turbo Tax in that it tries to provide a bit more tax help and support to its customers by leveraging the power of all its offices nationwide. If a tax filer using its software needs help, it can easily call a tax professional.
Tax Act is the third most popular tax filing program available to the public. This is the baseline tax preparation software that is very similar to both Turbo Tax and H&R Block, but without all the bells and whistles. It still does the job well, but it doesn’t have a lot of extra features or even extra pricing structures. What you see is what you get with this software.
Net Worth TV on Other Options for Tax Filing
However, the Net Worth TV series notes that there are many other options for filing taxes as well. Many filers qualify for free filing, and can file their taxes directly on the IRS website. This is designed to save both time and money for tax filers and the IRS. All these tax filers need to do is input their basic information, and everything is taken care of for them.
Some people also still prefer to fill out their taxes manually on paper. This year will be the first year where the IRS has actually discontinued printing paper forms for tax returns. They used to be available for pick-up at government offices like post offices. This year, however, tax forms will only be available for download from the IRS website, so tax filers would need to print them out at home to submit them. The IRS is trying to get most tax filers to use eFile to save time and money.