Many people find the exercise of preparing their Tax Returns laborious and time-consuming. With the ubiquity of the internet and availability of electronic filing, online tax preparation is a much faster and better option than the traditional way of filling out tons of papers. Following is some compiled data on the top-four online vendors, although this list is by no means exhaustive and you can find other companies that provide excellent tax-preparation services.
When shopping online for a good company to do your tax returns, always start by checking whether the company is listed on IRS’s Free File Alliance provider list. The IRS provides rigid standards that a company has to meet before qualifying for their list, so this is a good way to check.
In alphabetical order we have:
CCH Complete Tax
This company offers free basic returns plus 3 price levels ranging from $19.95-$ 49.95.State returns are charged $19.95.They provide a tax hotline service that gives unlimited answers for all their customers for a 90-day period for just $19.95. 90 days are usually more than enough to cover the entire tax season.
This company has some nice perks too. For people who were unemployed in the previous year, or have an outstanding balance on their tax return, or people who switch from either TaxAct, TurboTax or H&R Block, filing is done free of charge. Audit protection is charged at $19.95 per year or $29.95 for 3 years. Many tax professionals rely on CCH Complete for their tax information. A good example is TaxMama who have used their tax material for many years now.
H & R Block at Home
This company offers free basic returns and charges $27.95 for state. For more complex returns, their prices range from $19.95 -$79.95, depending on the level of complexity. Complex state returns are charged an additional $34.95. Their website contains plenty of customized guidance for rental property owners, various occupations and investors.
One of their favorite online tools is DeductionPro. This free-to-use tool helps you leverage your charitable contributions. Results can be directly imported to your tax returns. People with complex returns can use their Best of Both edition. This comes with unlimited help from their tax professionals, who review your returns, sign them and e-file them for you. The site has a new Android and iPhone TaxCentral application. These can be used to estimate taxes, locate your nearest H&R block and get your questions answered.
TaxAct does basic federal returns for free. More complex returns are charged about $10. Depending on the particular product, state returns are charged $15. They also have an $18 Ultimate bundle package that combines complex federal returns and a single state return.
You can easily import your previous year’s returns, regardless of which tax vendor software you used. Their Deluxe Software can be purchased in a box for just $7.95 and used to print unlimited returns. TaxAct also has a federal student-aid tax worksheet designed to help with FAFSA applications.
TurboTax offers free basic tax returns and charges $27.95 for state returns. More complex returns are charged $29.95-$74.94, depending on the level of complexity. Complex state returns are charged an additional $36.95. Business returns are charged 129.95 for 5 returns and 5 e-files. The site has some really nifty visuals complete with a completion bar as well as running totals for state and federal refunds.
Free audit support is provided by giving the user downloadable letters for responding to IRS issues. Full audit support is available for $39.95.
With these tax-filing companies, your tax returns should no longer give you sleepless nights. These companies have online tax-filing tools with many excellent features at very affordable prices, so be sure to take advantage of them.
Kara Fielder is a working mom with two kids. She enjoys sharing her tips and tricks on how to save money by blogging regularly for a variety of websites. Click for money-saving tips from CheapSally.com.