During this tax season time we have to wonder about how each person is doing. Do taxes stress you out? Are tax professionals too expensive for you? Are you feeling uneasy and want to know how to do them easier? As taxes keep changing I find that using tax software is an easy way to do them. I have found six different softwares to see if they are right for you.
With doing our taxes I have to ask:
If you are brand new to taxes or have done them for years there is always something new to learn. The rules keep changing. You have to think this is the year I go with a CPA or do it by hand. Let me help out.
Sometimes we may fear doing our taxes, but do not fret help is on its way.
I am going to go over 6 of my favorite tax softwares that you should consider when doing your taxes. They will save you time, money, and unneeded stress.
So I took some time to research, dive deep, and give you the best overview of these different tax software to help you on your journey.
At this time, I do not have a favorite tax software, but I will be going over the best features and why you may like to choose each one. Honestly, I really do like H&R Block’s software.
We have six different softwares to go over.
Let's start it off:
Credit Karma Tax:
Our first Tax software is the new kid on the block, Credit Karma Tax. You guys may have heard of Credit Karma before. They recently in the last few years made a tax software. Here are some of the features:
Credit Karma Tax offers
- Free Federal & State Returns
- Clear and Easy to Navigate the interface
- Audit Defenses
- Accuracy Guaranteed
- A Credit Karma account
The cool thing is that everything is free. Yes, I said it is all free. Credit Karma Tax is the Cheapest software on this list. You can’t get cheaper than “free”
Since it is so cheap it does not have document upload. You have to type all the forms in. If you are a DIY person then this could be the best option for you.
There is also no audit support or any live support at all. You are basically doing it all by yourself.
This is the cheapest do it yourself software. If you know what forms you need, then this is the cheapest option.
You may be wondering why it is so free. Well… Credit Karma doesn’t need to make money off the software. They make money through financial services offered to their users like credit card offers.
The one catch with Credit Karma Tax is that you must sign-up for a Credit Karma account. It is not that bad, especially if you are getting free software to do your taxes.
If you are looking for the cheapest option besides doing it by hand then Credit Karma Tax is the right one for you.
Our next option in Software for taxes is FreeTaxUSA. It has “free” in its name. So this is a very affordable option when considering tax software.
If you value low prices and super convenient experience and you don’t need help from a professional this could be the tax software for you.
- Easy Navigation
- No Upsell
- Little Guidance Needed
- Best for Self Directed Filer
- Tax return storage up to 7 years
- Great Pricing.
Free Tax USA has a price of free for all federal returns. The state returns cost $12.95 per state.
It is free for those states that don't have an income tax, I am looking at you Florida.
If you want the option for more complicated tax situations, you can pay for the Deluxe Option, which is $6.99. This includes live support, audit support, and unlimited amended returns.
This is a great bargain for those bargain hunters.
This does have some drawbacks. Like Credit Karma Tax you have to know what you are doing. The software can be quite clunky, which can frustrate people that have little experience filing taxes.
People without experience in filing taxes could get lost in the software. Once you are lost it is hard to find your way back. That is why I take my compass.
In all seriousness, this is another good software for those looking for a DIY option that is cheap.
Jumping to the more expensive options.
These next software options give you much more ease of use, but there is a higher price. You pay for what you get.
TaxSlayer is our next one on the list.
With Taxslayer, if you know what you are doing you can start off pretty quick and painless. If not you may have to upgrade to the better plans.
- Guided tax calculations
- Advanced help features
- Mobile app
- Multiple ways to get refunded
- Accuracy guaranteed
Tax slayer is a bit more pricey than the last two options. With that price comes some additional perks.
There is a mobile app added on. There are multiple ways to get paid your refund.
It is even offered by the IRS for the Free File option as long as you meet the requirements.
The price is 0-$54.95 for Federal with $32 for State returns.
As you can see the price is much more than Credit Karma Tax.
The great thing about TaxSlayer’s price is that the price goes up based upon the amount of support you need. So you will get the same forms at the free version as you would get at the $54.95 version.
The more support you need the more you will pay. A lot of the other software has the price based upon the package.
I really like that about TaxSlayer.
There are some drawbacks.
- The interface can be a bit clunky.
- You do not have the option to upload documents.
- It may take a bit longer to do your taxes than the more expensive softwares.
All in all it is pretty good software to choose from. It is cheaper than the big name brand ones, but also has some more advancements like a mobile app.
If you are looking for a more bells and whistles type of software, but without the price, our next software is TaxAct.
TaxAct is for those that don’t want to pay the high-end price of Turbotax or H&R Block, but still want that premium feeling.
This is truly the middle of the road option.
Now TaxAct Offers:
- Streamlined interface
- Double-Check tool
- Mobile App
- Tax return storage
- Accuracy Guaranteed
- Multiple ways to get your refund
Plus this software is the premium software at the budget price. It is even offered by the IRS as the free file option for those that make under $63,000.
The price is going to be 0-$80 with 4 different packages that you could upgrade to depending on your tax situation.
The state return is $44.95 per state. This is quite expensive.
Some things you may not like is:
- That there are no explanations for certain tax questions you may have.
- Filing taxes in your state can be quite pricey.
Besides these things, TaxAct does a great job giving you a premium experience with a budget price.
Our next one, ( a personal favorite of mine.) H&R Block
The cool thing about H&R Block is that you can literally take your tax forms to one of the offices and they can prepare your taxes for you. That service alone is $69.99. Why deal with some software when you can go to a physical office. That is service with a smile.
If you are looking for convenience then H&R Block is the place to go with.
H&R Block Offers:
- Easy From import/upload
- Mobile version
- Step by step guidance
- Live support options
- Tax return storage for 6 years
- Multiple refund options
- Accuracy Guaranteed
Being able to import and upload forms is a huge time saver. If you are ok with uploading numbers and filling out each form there are much cheaper options.
H&R block is more pricey than TaxAct, TaxSlayer, FreeTaxUSA, and Credit Karma Tax, but it is cheaper than TurboTax.
This software is one of the best softwares to use if you really do not know what you are doing.
With the many functions the price is not going to be the cheapest. It will start off at $0, and the highest will be $109.99. The State filing will be $36.99 per state, which is much cheaper than TaxAct.
They provide 4 different packages to help along.
The great thing is that there is so much guidance to help you file your taxes. You will not feel lost, and it guides you painlessly through your taxes.
At the end of filing your taxes you should feel completed. Believe me, it is a huge weight off your shoulders when you are done. Something like H&R Block makes this easy.
The cool part is that they just created an expat version of the software. The cost for it is $99.
The only issue I see with H&R Block is that it is not the cheapest option.
Our last Tax software is TurboTax.
Everyone has heard of TurboTax. It is like that fancy car with all the bells and whistles. Plus it has the price to prove it.
It is the most popular tax software out there. Handling 30% of electronic filings in the U.S. You might like this if you have complex tax situations.
Here are some of the features.
- Guidance for Tax Forms
- Easy tax form upload and imports
- Helpful resources
- Upgrades to live support
- Tax return storage for 7 years
- Multiple ways to get a refund
- Accuracy Guaranteed.
Since Turbotax is a household name, it comes at a high price. How else can you explain all the commercials?
It will start at $0 and can go as high as $120. State returns are $50 per state.
This puppy is pricey, but you get what you pay for.
That’s good customer service, intuitive forms, great user interfaces, and the confidence you need to do your taxes this year.
TurboTax live support option can give you ease of mind. They have a chat option if you have issues and so much support to help answer your many questions. This software is geared to help out with many complex situations.
TurboTax is definitely not the cheapest, but if you have some complex tax issues it could be the best.
The 6 Best tax Software
Today we have taken a look at some of the best tax software out there on the market to help you on your way to filing taxes.
Those 6 softwares for your taxes were:
- Credit Karma Tax- The Cheapest Option
- Free Tax USA- Great for Bargain Hunters
- Taxslayer- Best Pay for What you Get
- Tax Act- Best Middle Tier
- H&R Block- Best All around
- TurboTax- Best for complicated taxes
They each will help you on your way to make this Tax season the least stressed. One thing is for sure, it is an easier cheaper way to do your taxes.
We could send all of our documents to a CPA and be charged at minimum $150 plus whatever else, but with the ease of this technology we can save money, save time, and be less stressed.
With this we are learning, saving, and working on making our life simpler.
Which Software would you choose?
At the end of the day, we all want to make the best decisions about our finances. There are many choices. If you are lucky, you can even get a nice refund that you can spend.
What else could you ask for?
Which one would you choose?
Well, that’s my list. I hope it was helpful. If this helped you in making a good decision on choosing your tax software, then I consider my job done.
” Spend less than you make, stay out of debt, and invest the rest”
I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.
2 thoughts on “The 6 Best Tax Software to Help You do Taxes”
Thanks for sharing your personal tips Steve! With your guidance and instructions the tax in the US doesn’t sound that complicated at all( this is coming from someone who has never dealt with American tax lol)
But hey seriously this is incredibly detailed breakdown here I’m sure there are people who will benefit from this analysis and who will be grateful for you. 🙂
Good news: I got my money wired to my Firstrade acct this week and have bought some good amount of VTI.
Bad news: VTI share price dropped from $206 to $204 in two days after I closed my position…
I am glad you can take some value from this tax article. I hope that people take a look at some of the options.
I am happy for you Tommy buying into VTI. Do not worry too much about the price drop. It is all about time in the market instead of timing the market. Plus the dividend for VTI should come at the end of March. So you will benefit from some fractional shares being bought.
Thanks for always reading.