Top Ten Review: Tax Software

Top Ten Reviews’ Jessica Foust highlights the best software for doing your taxes at home.

Tax software will help maximize your tax return and put your concerns at ease. Quality tax preparation programs can free you of the stress and mess of old-fashioned filing.

But before you buy it’s important to look at their tools and features because many tax services reach far beyond just basic tax preparation and reach towards tax strategy and financial planning. The tax preparation software you choose should let you file online. Online filing is more convenient and believe it or not more secure than sending your return through the postal service.

When you are preparing your return, the tax software you use should be able to import your information form old accounting programs. If you have used other tax software in the past, most of your information is still probably somewhere in your computer. Importing that info into your new software is essential to get all your info up to date.

You will need to file at least two tax forms wherever you live. Every state in the union has its own laws and individual tax forms. The program you choose needs to have the forms from all 50 states.

TopTenREVIEWS has tested and rated the current tax preparation software products based on criteria such as intuitive navigation, ease of sign up, novice friendliness as well as strong feature sets. After reviewing the software, TopTenREVIEWS recommends these top three products as the best Tax Preparation software:

1. TurboTax Deluxe:

TurboTax is the best tax preparation software solution we reviewed. Whether you are a last minute filer, a first time filer, an avid investor or are filing after a major life change, TurboTax Deluxe can help you file quickly and obtain the most deductions possible.

TurboTax Deluxe offers almost every feature we looked for in tax software. Turbo tax makes it easy to manage your data. It can retrieve data from previous years if you filed through TurboTax and load that data from your Federal to your State from. You can also import information from Quicken. You can get W-2s and 1099 forms from over one hundred thousand participating employers and financial institutions.

TurboTax has several versions to choose from, a free edition for those with simple filing needs. Additional versions include Premier, Home & Business, and Business version for those with more complex tax needs. So matter what your situation if you have significant medical expenses, pay tuition or any other itemized deduction, Turbo Tax has you covered.

2. H&R Block At Home:

H&R Block At Home boasts a clean and efficient interface allowing easy navigation and user friendliness. We were especially impressed with the strait-forwardness of the interview process. It leaves no room for error and takes the headache out of tax time. A unique feature that H&R Block offers is a free session with a professional tax advisor. This provides ease of mind and can save you money in the end.

It offers a comprehensive feature set that includes at-your-fingertips tax advice. The program also has the ability to import tax or financial data from its sister programs and TurboTax Software. H&R Block At Home provides an extensive explanation of tax regulations and tax law to help you. A really useful tool is the online video they provide explaining tax law changes. The service also has many features for future planning, including a Retirement Savings Enhancer and Tax Planning reports.

3. TaxACT

This service supports federal and 43 state electronic filings. Federal and State preparation and E-filing is free with the purchase of their Ultimate Bundle. You can print and mail as many copies as you want. Investors can import capital gains transactions from GainsKeeper©. This feature can determine the future tax impact of life events such as marriage, adding children to your family, income adjustments, divorce and more.

The Ultimate Package includes most of the commonly used IRS tax forms. They guarantee their calculations. They will pay your penalties and interest if the software makes a calculation error. State filing is available for every income-taxing state. Electronic filing is available in 43 states. You can print your returns using Adobe Acrobat Reader. They offer part-year and non-resident forms for 32 states. Once your federal 1040 is completed, the state return only takes a matter of minutes to complete.

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