A TurboTax display
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Confused by Taxes? This Tax Preparation Software Can Help

Jennifer Farrington - Author
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Jan. 14 2022, Published 2:20 a.m. ET

With the IRS kicking off the 2022 tax filing season on Jan. 24, 2022, people have started looking for software that can help them file their taxes correctly. With so many choices out there, it's difficult know which tax preparation software is going to cater to all of your needs and help you save on filing fees.

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To help you make an informed decision, we’ve narrowed down a few of the best tax preparation software available.

This software is the best for filing taxes

best tax software
Source: Getty Images

Whether you're filing your taxes as a single person with little assets or you're married and filing jointly, you’re probably wanting help with getting your taxes filed right. The last thing you need is for the IRS to reject your return, delaying your refund. Here's some of the best software available for filing taxes, reviewed.

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TurboTax

TurboTax guides you step-by-step in filling out your return, and searches over 350 tax deductions to ensure you get all the tax breaks you’re entitled to. Additionally, if you filed with TurboTax the year prior, it can import certain information from that year to ease the process.

Pricing:

When filing on your own tax without expert advice:

  • $119 for the deluxe software, which allows you to maximize deductions and credits.
  • $169 for the premier software, which is best for those with investments and rental properties.
  • $199 for the self-employed.
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If you want a tax expert to do your taxes for you:

  • $249 for the deluxe software.
  • $359 for the premier software.
  • $389 for the self-employed,

Incentives:

TurboTax offers its customers the ability to apply for a refund advance of up to $4,000, though this is contingent on when the IRS accepts their return.

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Reviews:

  • “Very easy to use”
  • “Very easy to use and guided very well.”
  • “This is the 4th year we have used TurboTax and we are very much satisfied with the service they provide.”

More reviews of TurboTax can be read here.

Free software?

Yes. If you’re only filing Form 1040 and submit it by Feb. 15, 2022, you won’t incur a fee. As an added bonus, TurboTax is also allowing you to take advantage of expert help, free of charge.

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Limitations:

If any of the following situations apply, you won’t be able to use TurboTax Free Edition, TurboTax Live Basic, or TurboTax Live Full Service Basic:

  • Itemized deductions.
  • Unemployment income reported on a 1099-G.
  • Business or 1099-NEC income.
  • Stock sales.
  • Rental property income.
  • Credits, deductions, and income reported on schedules 1–3.

For these tax situations, you'll need to use a different TurboTax software, which will likely increase your filing fee.

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Source: Twitter

H&R Block

H&R Block has been around since 1955, helping people prepare and file their tax returns, no matter how diversified their financial situation might be. The company offers competitive pricing for its tax services and, in 2021, was used by roughly 30 million taxpayers.

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Pricing:

  • Starting at $29.99, H&R Block’s deluxe software caters to HSA contributors, those who are claiming child and dependent care deductions, and anyone looking to itemize deductions. The deluxe software increases to $69.99 if you’d like expert help.
  • H&R Block’s premium software is good for filers with rental income, investments, and cryptocurrency sales. The filing services start at $49.00 and increase to $109.99 if you want help from a tax expert.
  • If you’re self-employed, H&R Block charges $84.99 and up for services.

*All of the tax software listed above may be subject to an additional $36.99 charge per state filed.

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Incentives:

Beginning Jan. 4, 2022, H&R Block is allowing individuals to apply for a refund advance loan up to $3,500. If approved, you’ll be given access to the funds the same day you file.

Reviews:

  • “I’ve used H&R Block many times over the years. No problems.”
  • “I love the fact that even the free version of the software doesn’t let a mistake get by.”

You can see what others had to say about H&R Block’s tax filing software here.

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Free software?

Yes, for simple returns, students, unemployment income, W-2 employees, and CTCs (child tax credits).

Limitations:

The free version of the software carries many limitations. Therefore, if your tax situation is a bit more complicated, you'll likely incur a fee.

Source: Twitter
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TaxSlayer

TaxSlayer is another company that offers tax preparation services. It’s been around for more than 50 years and is used by millions of people each year.

Pricing:

  • The classic package starts at $17.95 and includes all forms, deductions, and credits.
  • The premium package starts at $37.95 and includes the option to speak with a tax professional.
  • The self-employed package starts at $47.95

*All of the tax software listed above may be subject to an additional $36.95 charge for state tax returns.

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Reviews:

  • “I have been using TaxSlayer for over 10 years and I am very pleased with the service.”
  • “Very pleased.”
  • “I recommend this.”

More reviews of TaxSlayer can be viewed here.

Incentives:

TaxSlayer allows all active-duty military to file their federal tax return for $0. This covers all tax situations with no restrictions, according to the company.

Free software? Yes, only if you’ll be filing form 1040.

Limitations: The free tax software offered generally only covers the following situations:

  • For those with an AGI above $72,000, the software covers W-2 income, unemployment income, tuition and fees deductions, and student loan interest deductions.
  • For those with an AGI below $72,000, the software covers everything.
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Additionally, Business Insider reports that if you use the “simply free” filing service, you can't import your W-2 digitally.

Source: Twitter

When filing your taxes, always be sure the source you use is trustworthy and reputable. After all, you're handing over personal information that should only be handled by companies that prioritize your protection and safety.

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