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Best tax software to get the job done yourself

There are two things in life that are guaranteed. Death and taxes. Unless you’re an accountant, you’ll likely dread tax season like the rest of us.

The good news is there are multiple programs out there that take the headache out of tax preparation and streamline the process, turning even the most novice employee into a tax professional with the press of a few buttons. Have you been working from home for the past year? Tap or click here for answers to all your WFH tax questions.

We’ve sifted through the most popular tax software options out there to find the best one for every situation. Keep reading to find the best option for you.

Best Free Option: H&R Block

Cost: $0 – $84.99

Compared to other free options online, H&R Block gives you more than others on the market. The free option includes a host of options for users, and the program has a simple interface that is easy for anyone to use.

If you qualify, you can file both your federal and state return for free. H&R Block allows users on its free platform to file 1040 and schedules 1 and 3, an option not often included with other free platforms.

It boasts several guarantees, including a max refund, audit support for free if the IRS finds errors in your tax return and accuracy guarantees with penalty protection up to $10,000.

Note: Filers with an HSA account, those needing to deduct real estate taxes or mortgage interest, or with investments will not be able to use the free option.

H&R Block options:

  • Free Federal and State Filing for 1040 plus Schedules 1 and 3
  • Basic online assist with access to a tax professional $39.99
  • Deluxe Starts at $39.99
  • Premium $49.99
  • Self-Employed $84.99

Premium options outside of H&R Block’s free online filing platform will require an additional $36.99 fee to file state returns.

The free option is best for: Students, those with standard W2’s. It’s not ideal for: Freelancers, landlords and those with small businesses.

Easiest to Use: TurboTax

Cost: $0 – $120

TurboTax is well known throughout the country as one of the top tax software options. It also runs the IRS free file program, in addition to offering its own tax software. You’ll need to choose the right TurboTax software based on your specific tax situation.

While TurboTax’s software is a bit pricier than other options in its category, it’s well known as the simplest software to use, fulfilling all your tax needs with simple prompts and questions to do the hard work for you.

TurboTax’s free edition does not include schedules 1 and 3 but does include free federal and state filing. Its deluxe option is suitable to most tax filers offering up more than 350 tax deductions and credits and including those who need to claim mortgage interest and make property tax deductions.

The Premier option is best for those owning multiple properties. It offers an import feature to save you time if you filed your taxes with TurboTax the previous year, as well as including online and phone support while you complete your taxes.

TurboTax’s self-employed software is costlier than others but includes some handy features searching through your industry’s available tax credits to maximize your refund.

TurboTax options:

  • Free Federal and State Filing for 1040
  • Deluxe $60.00
  • Premier $90.00
  • Self-Employed $120.00

Best for: Those who need online support and struggle with technology.

Not ideal for: Simple tax situations that include schedules 1 and 3 because you’ll be charged to file this with TurboTax. Freelancers can also find less expensive software options.

Best Affordable Deluxe Software: H&R Block Tax Deluxe Software

Cost: Starting at $39.99

The most exciting part of H&R Block’s Deluxe Software option is the Amazon gift card bonus that comes as an added extra. Choose to put your refund on an Amazon Gift Card and get an additional 3.5%. The average refund for Americans is between $2,500 and $3,000, which means the average filer can add nearly $100 to their refund.

You also get amazing benefits with the deluxe options without overpaying. Those with investments and multiple properties will find the best value by choosing H&R Block’s Deluxe Software.

Best for: The majority of Americans who own property.

Not ideal for: Those who have a simple W2 and lack investments or property should stick to free filing options.

Best Pay Versus Support Option: TaxSlayer

Cost: $0 – $54.95

As far as cost and customer support goes, TaxSlayer hits it right out of the park. Its self-employed software option comes in at only $54.95, nearly half the cost of the same software offered by TurboTax. Homeowners and those with investments can file using the classic option, which costs a reasonable $24.95!

TaxSlayer Classic is best for price-conscious users who have self-employment business income forms and deductions to file. The ideal users should feel comfortable filing their own taxes using online tax software.

TaxSlayer options:

  • Free Federal and State Filing for 1040
  • Deluxe $60.00
  • Premier $90.00
  • Self-Employed $120.00

Best For: Easily the best option for those who are self-employed, especially gig-workers in regards to cost.

Not Ideal for: Simple tax situations that include schedules 1 and 3 because you’ll be charged to file this with TurboTax. Freelancers can also find less expensive software options.

By clicking our links, you’re supporting our research. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. Recommendations are not part of any business incentives.

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