Tax season is never a fun time. Aside from the obvious monotony of digging up old receipts and files, there’s also that trivial detail of potentially owing the government even more money. The process can be both arduous and tiresome. After filling out forms — and the organizing of the said forms — an appointment then must be made in order to get the taxes done with an accountant. The actual act of traveling to get the taxes completed can be an inconvenience — particularly with a busy work schedule. On top of that, the fees tend to be rather pricey (and in some instances exorbitant).
There are a number of tax software programs aimed to make the tax filing process both expedited and more affordable. Five programs to keep in mind include eSmartTax, TaxSlayer, H&R Block, TaxAct, and TurboTax.
TurboTax is generally considered the top option for all tax software. One’s personal information is imported instantly with a simple upload of the W-2 form. A new facet of TurboTax is TurboTax Live. Similar to other sites, this feature enables the customer to live chat directly with a certified public accountant. This supportive measure is virtually unparalleled when compared to other tax software. Additionally, a measure entitled Expense Finder analyzes every single transaction from one’s past year. It’ll then help to determine which transaction may or may not qualify as a possible deductible. TurboTax is an excellent choice for someone inexperienced in filing their own taxes.
H&R Block is a bit different. There are over 12,000 locations littered throughout the country. As such, the company prides itself on personal interaction. The software is also less expensive ($75-$160) when compared to Turbo Tax Live’s starting point of $150. H&R Block remains as a fixture within the industry.
TaxACT is a very affordable option. Depending on the specific qualification for the interested party, forms will cost less through TaxACT when compared to its competitors. Tiers include ‘Plus’ ($67), ‘Freelancer’ ($82), and ‘Premium ($97). While it doesn’t possess the aesthetics or customer service of the aforementioned duo, TaxACT is quite effective in its simplistic way.
TaxSlayer offers guided tools for the user. The usability of the software is quite good — as is the access to files from past years. ESmartTax also allows for the user to experience a seamless process. If one desires in-person help, eSmartTax offers multiple office locations across the country.
When searching for the perfect software, there are a few things to keep in mind. For one, possessing accuracy is imperative. The consumer could be privy to a reimbursement in the event of a calculation error. Additionally, the preferred software choice should allow for flexibility as it pertains to the distribution of refunds (checks, bonds, direct deposits, etc.). Lastly, one should always strive for a service deeply rooted in customer support. Though it’s nice to independently take care of the tax filing process, it’s always comforting to have ancillary help if need be.
As detailed above, there are many reasons for why using tax software is superior to filing taxes the old-fashioned way. While in-person interaction can be nice, one can completely knock out the arduous task of filing taxes from the comforts of their own home. With modern advancements in customer service, acts of interpersonal dialogue can still take place without having to travel anywhere. The ever-changing development of online tax filing has truly become quick, effective, efficient, and rather easy.
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