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Best Online Tax Preparation Services: Turbo Tax vs. H&R Block vs. Tax Act

Turbo Tax vs H&R Block vs Tax Act

Budgeting

Best Online Tax Preparation Services: Turbo Tax vs. H&R Block vs. Tax Act

Do you visit the local tax preparer in town because you are not sure if you can complete your taxes online by yourself? If you have a complex tax return, like owning your own business or having several rental properties, it can still a good idea to see a tax professional. However, most people can prepare their taxes online themselves and save hundreds of dollars in additional fees and get the same refund results. This article will cover some of the best online tax preparation services that are easy to use and reliable.

Below are several recommendations for the best tax prep software. They all feature free filing for basic federal tax returns that only use the 1040EZ form to enter W-2 information and interest earned from bank accounts and investments. If you can itemize (Schedule A),  are self-employed (1099 employee/Schedule C), sold a stock (Schedule D), or have rental property income (Schedule E), you will need to pay a filing fee.

While it is possible to file your federal income tax return for free, these services will charge an extra fee if you have a state income tax return to file.

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TurboTax

Intuit TurboTax is probably the most popular and easiest to use platform. It was one of the first online tax prep services and they have kept a loyal following. While they have the most user-friendly platform, they are also one of the most expensive if you cannot file the 1040EZ for free.

How Much Does TurboTax Cost?

TurboTax has four different plans depending on your filing needs. You can start with the free version and if you need to file additional Schedules during the walkthrough, you will be prompted about the additional charges before proceeding.

  • Federal Free Edition (1040EZ): $0 Federal & $29.99 State
  • Deluxe: $54.99 Federal & $39.99 State
    • Must use to file Schedule A if you itemize
  • Premier: $79.99 Federal & 39.99 State
    • Files Schedule D (Investment Income) & Schedule E (Rental Property Income)
  • Self-Employed: $114.99 Federal & $39.99 State
    • Files Schedule C (Self-Employment 1099 Income)

Pros

  • Easiest to use platform
  • Very reputable company

Cons

  • Most expensive if you cannot file for free

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