The best tax software of 2021: H&R Block, TurboTax and more
Tax season is coming soon enough, and having the best tax software to help you file can save you time and avoid costly mistakes.
We’ve reviewed the top providers to find the best tax software to help you this tax filing season.
Bankrate’s picks for the best tax software:
- Ideal for beginners: H&R Block
- Ideal for complex returns: Jackson hewitt
- Ideal for freelancers: TaxAct
- Best tax software overall: TurboTax
- Best Free Tax Software: Karma Credit Tax
Best tax software for beginners: H&R Block
- Simple Federal and State Statements: Release
- Deluxe for more complicated and independent returns: $ 39.99 for state returns and $ 49.99 for federal returns
- Premium for rental property owners and investors: Starting at $ 44.99 for state returns and $ 69.99 for federal returns
- Freelance for business owners, freelancers and carpooling drivers: Starting at $ 44.99 for state returns and $ 104.99 for federal returns
If you don’t know the difference between a W-2 Form, 1040 Form, and 1099, a tax software platform that guides you from start to finish is probably your best bet. H&R Block walks you through the process, making sure you don’t miss any important sections as you go.
Getting started is easy. H&R Block will ask you a few questions to help you determine your deposit status and walk you through the concepts as you go. If you prefer to come and go, the clearly organized sections are listed on the left or displayed as a simple menu bar at the top. You can import a photo of your tax forms to avoid having to worry about exactly what information to enter. And if you get stuck, there are several support options available to you:
- 24/7 live chat.
- Telephone support for paid plans.
- Live help on screen via Tax Pro Review or Online Assist.
- Visit to an H&R Block store.
Best tax software for complex returns: Jackson hewitt
- Free plan for federal and state returns with standard deductions for wages under $ 100,000: Release
- Premier Plan for itemized deductions and income over $ 100,000: $ 49.95 for federal returns, plus $ 36.99 for state returns
Some circumstances require more than just a guided software platform. Owning multiple businesses or having to file returns that include capital gains from investments and real estate income are just a few examples.
Jackson Hewitt’s online software provides a number of tools such as calculators to determine depreciation, income tax credits earned, and other complex calculations. Once you’re done, you can file the completed return at any of the nearly 6,000 locations (many are located at Walmart) so that a tax professional can review it before filing.
Jackson Hewitt offers a lifetime accuracy guarantee – you will be reimbursed for any liabilities the tax practitioner has missed. In addition, a Jackson Hewitt tax specialist will handle your case on your behalf if you are audited.
- Plan for self-employed workers with year-round planning resources and income management: $ 74.95 for federal returns, plus $ 40 for state returns
Freelancers have special tax requirements, such as self-employment taxes – and numerous tax deductions. Some of the best tax software in this roundup has a standalone or standalone version, but the version of TaxAct may offer the best bang for the buck.
With TaxAct, you will be able to enter all the deductions you have and review them using the Deduction Maximizer, which makes more suggestions based on your industry. Another freelance-friendly feature allows you to plan how your tax liability will change based on different scenarios. Best of all, TaxAct has a money back guarantee that will compensate you up to $ 100,000 if there are any errors in your tax return.
- Free edition for simple federal and state tax returns: Release
- Deluxe version with tax credits and deductions: $ 60 for federal deposits, plus $ 50 per state declaration
- Premier version for investors and real estate transactions: $ 90 for the federal, plus $ 50 per state
- Independent version for itemized deductions and income / expense declarations: $ 120 for the federal, plus $ 50 per state
In our research, the best tax software overall is TurboTax. It’s comprehensive, yet simple enough to handle all types of tax filing profiles, from small business owners to first-time filers to individuals with non-standard tax deductions. And if you use Quickbooks software, TurboTax can be integrated for a seamless tax filing experience.
TurboTax beats its competition when it comes to live support. You will have a number of help options if you get stuck with phone support, the TurboTax Community or live chat. You can also pay an additional fee to speak to a certified tax professional via live video chat for assistance and to have your tax return reviewed before submitting it.
In addition, the platform is always up to date with the latest changes. TurboTax is one of the few tax filing software companies to provide free COVID-19 assistance with the CARES Act program which provides individuals and businesses with stimulus funds. Using the Help tool for help will help you or your business determine if you are eligible for stimulus checks and funds from Paycheck Protection and any related programs.
If you don’t mind investing the time in preparing your tax returns, Credit Karma Tax is completely free. You are probably familiar with Credit Karma’s free service that monitors your credit and helps you build it along the way. If you have an account, you can also file your taxes for free.
One important thing to note: Credit Karma sells its tax business to Square. This follows the decision of the Ministry of Justice forcing Credit Karma to divest itself of its tax activities so that the acquisition of Credit Karma by Intuit can continue. (Intuit operates TurboTax.)
“For the next fiscal season, Credit Karma Tax will remain on the Credit Karma platform but under the leadership of Square, while Square moves the business to its Cash app,” according to a Credit Karma spokesperson.
A Square spokesperson added, “At this time, there is no change in the current customer experience with Credit Karma Tax. We will provide further updates to our customers as we begin to work on the integration.