With tax season quickly approaching, it is time to start collecting those official documents and getting organized. Once you have gathered your W-2’s and health insurance information, the real struggle begins. Choosing the right tax software can feel like the most challenging task in the world.
This difficult decision can make your IRS 226j letter extension and Schedule C forms feel like a breeze. Just because TurboTax and H&R Block are household names in the tax world, is filing with one of them the best option? When it comes to choosing the right tax software in the 2018 tax year, here are a few questions you should be asking yourself.
What is my tax situation?
Considering your tax situation is the first step in deciding on a tax software. Will your return be fairly simple, or are you running a small business? If you are filing a simple return, you can choose an online tax program that makes the process quick and painless.
If your tax situation is more complex, like for small business owners, you should consider hiring a professional preparer. These returns can become complicated quickly and errors can become costly, so using an expert is essential.
Is filing for free an option?
There are a few tax programs out there that allow you to file for free, depending on your tax situation. To qualify for free tax filings, you often have to make an annual income of $66,000 or more. About 70% of Americans qualify for free federal filing, so check into this before utilizing a specific tax software.
What about the state return?
This all depends on the state you reside in and the software you are using, but sometimes you can even file your state income for free as well. You’ll have to visit your state’s website to see if you qualify for a free state return. Many people do not take into account their state returns when choosing a tax software, so be sure to consider this.
Which online services are user friendly?
Try not to pay money for the first online tax program you come across. Do your research first to find out which ones are the most user-friendly. There is nothing worse than paying $169 to realize that the service is difficult to use and confusing. You should not only look into which ones are the most cost effective, but also the easiest to use. Filing your taxes does not need to be difficult.
So which online services are the best?
Obviously TurboTax and H&R Block are viable options, but they are not the only ones out there. There are lots of services that offer free filing depending on the package you choose. There are even online programs that offer additional expert assistance for an added cost.
Look into filing your taxes with 1040Now Corp., EZTaxReturn, Intuit, Liberty Tax, TaxHawk, or TaxSlayer. But it all depends on the nature of your return and the state you reside.