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Best online tax preparation software and services

Best online tax preparation software and services
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Well, it's that time of year again, tax season.

When it comes to filing your taxes, you have plenty of options. You could hire an accountant, or go to a tax preparation place. Some might decide to go it alone with a stack of IRS forms and their favorite pen.

However, there is a better way: file your taxes electronically with tax preparation software and services online. The IRS claims that nearly 80 percent of taxpayers file this way.

But how do you know which service is right for you? We can help.

We're going to tell you about some of the best online tax prep software and services available.

Note: Tax day typically falls on April 15, but this year it will be pushed back a few days. That's because April 15 is on Saturday and the District of Columbia will celebrate Emancipation Day on Monday, April 17. That means Tax Day is officially Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Basic tax needs

If your tax needs are very basic, we've got some good news for you. Both TaxACT and TurboTax have free options that, in addition to the standard free federal filing, offer free state filing as well. State filing usually costs anywhere from $10 to $35.

This is strictly if you're filing form 1040EZ/A, which means no help for fancy deductions, investments or anything else. They also won't import information from last year's tax returns, although they can pull your W-2 information to save you a bit of time.

Next page: Tax software for investments, small business and more
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