Tax Software Reviews
Take the intimidation out of filing taxes with the latest tax software. There are many companies and many different levels of tax software available when it comes it filing taxes each year. Yet it is important to purchase tax software that you have confidence in. We have selected software that will make the correct calculations, provide all the necessary forms regardless of how complicated the return, have the technical support needed for any questions along the way and help you maximize your deductions. We have selected software companies that have strong industry reputations and provide comprehensive software. This ensures a safe an accurate return that you can have confidence in.
Tax Software Buying Guide
9 Things To Look For in Buying a Tax Software
Doing your taxes can be a very ‘taxing’ job, so to speak. Thankfully, there are numerous tax software products available to aid you so you can just breeze through the tax season. These tax software products have been competing in the market for almost 25 years. This healthy competition is good for the consumers as this ensured high quality and innovative tax software products and provides constant improvement in the future. So which of these tax preparation software products is right for you? Below are the things that you have keep in mind in finding the tax preparation software that will fully cater to your needs.
1. The Tax Software Should Be Fit for Your Tax Situation
Tax situations vary from simple to complex and as such, there can never be a one size fits all solution that will apply for all people. The key here is to find the tax software that will fully anticipate and accommodate all your needs. The thing is, besides the huge selection of tax software products, these software products also have different versions ranging from the basic free version to the paid deluxe and premium versions.
Generally, if your tax situation is relatively simple (you have one regular job, your tax is the same as last year or you are just starting your financial life) then the free basic tax preparation software versions will suffice. It will not only save time but also money as you can directly file your taxes online without consulting and paying for a CPA (certified public accountant). Deluxe and premium versions usually are more applicable for people who have multiple jobs like freelancers and those with lots of properties and investments as well as those who have bonds and business partnerships. DO NOT be too complacent though, as people with complicated tax situations may have tax deductions that may be overlooked by tax software so it would be best to consult with a CPA especially when in doubt. Unlike software, CPAs can make judgment calls on “grey areas” based on their experience potentially decreasing the chance for audits and identifying complicated tax deductions. CPAs can also give advice and strategies in case you learn you owe the IRS some amount. There are some people who occasionally switch between CPAs and tax software depending on the complexity of their finances that year. Oh and most CPAs these days do not do taxes by hand. They actually have more sophisticated tax software of their own.
2. A Tax Software Company Should Have a Reputation and History of Reliability
Just because everybody is using the same tax software does not necessarily mean you have to use that software too. What we mean here is that you should ask: Who runs these companies? Who developed the tax software? These people should at least be knowledgeable to tax laws to keep their software up to date and relevant. A CPA can actually represent you in case of possible audits by the IRS. Does the company have any guarantees for that? Can these companies provide for professional help and support? A good reputation also means that it is less likely that you will be “orphaned” with the sudden loss of the tax software company of your choice.
3. Tax Software Should Have an Intuitive Interface
This actually applies for all the software products that you use but is especially true for tax software as people have a tendency to fret during tax time. If it takes more than an hour to learn to use a tax software effectively, then shifting to another software might be a better choice.
4. Using Tax Software Should Be Time-Efficient
On the average, assuming that you have all the needed documents right in front you, inputting relevant information up to upload should only take 30 minutes to two hours. (Of course you should be familiar with your software first!) Tax software that saves personal information will greatly speed up filling in forms. It is even much better if your tax software saves your last year’s tax data.
5. Tax Software Should Be Compatible with Your Operating System
This seems logical but there are reports where a particular software does not work well with some operating systems. If you have an operating system other than Windows, you should make sure the tax software of your choice does not have any problems running on your OS. If you are a fan of multi-tasking, then a mobile version would be your best friend.
6. Tax Software Should Be Up to Date with The Tax Laws
Not all people know their way around tax laws, so a tax software should be always be up to date with tax laws. You can end up losing dollars of potential tax deductions if the deduction tools are not parallel with the tax laws.
7. Tax Software Should Have a Decent Support System
There will be occasional bugs and admit it, not all of you are computer savvy so it is very important that a support system is there to provide you with the needed information when you need it. Free live advice (preferably from CPAs) and in-person support are always preferable. Always ask for the address of the office of the developers. Online forums, video tutorials and FAQs should also be at least present.
8. Tax Software Should Have a Universal Import Capability
Your tax software should be able to import virtually all of the needed data for filing. PDF files are the most common way of digitalizing information from papers such as receipt slips and even log books for miles driven. Pictures are used for documenting donations.
9. Tax Software Should Be Able to at Least Identify Possible Risks of IRS Audit and Make Recommendations
This may be too much to ask for tax software, but features like this actually exist. This is not surprising since, as previously mentioned, there is a quarter of a century for the evolution of tax software products. Identification of risks will allow the user to decide to seek the expertise of a CPA.