Filing taxes can be an intimidating feat, but it doesn’t have to be. For those of us who’ve filed an extension with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Oct. 15 deadline is soon approaching, which means it’s time to obtain all necessary income tax-related documents concerning income, and all necessary deductions and exemptions. Luckily, these top e-filing services make tax preparation as simple as plugging in a few numbers—no accountant appointments necessary.
Like the name suggests, this tax-filing software is an affordable way for more experienced taxpayers to file a simple tax return, which includes reported income and expenses from common sources. Simply input your taxpayer information, salary, interest, business income, capital gains, retirement savings contributions and other tax-related information relevant to your filing. You then have the option of upgrading to their Deluxe edition, which offers auditing assistance (should the IRS be knocking at your door) and priority live-chat for the cost of a cup of coffee.
Get it here: Freetaxusa.com
TurboTax is one of the most common tax preparation services for a reason: its interface is super easy to use, whether your tax returns are simple or a little more complicated to prepare. After filling in your basic information, you’ll simply input your income, employer ID and company (all available on your W-2), with the option of tacking on extra income from interest and dividends, self-employment, unemployment benefits, and the like. The program will then prompt you to enter any other financial information earned from less common scenarios, like extra income from investments (which you have the ability to import directly from many financial institutions instead of typing in manually, which can help with accuracy, completeness and time-management). Finally, the “fun part,” as TurboTax calls it, is your ability to claim tax breaks and deductions as the software walks you through the scenarios. With live certified public accountants available to walk you through the process as well, TurboTax is a fail- and fool-proof tax-preparing option.
Get it here: Turbotax
Jackson Hewitt is so intuitive to use that even first-time taxpayers can feel at ease. You can easily toggle back and forth between menu options within a user-friendly drop-down menu, prompting you to enter basic information, life events, and state and federal taxes. Their newest feature even allows you to import any investment information directly from major brokerage companies. The drop-down menu features “guidance” and “tips” buttons, where the software relays what they already know about you, and what else you need—in jargon-free terms—to complete your file. Repeat customers have the added benefit of ultimately saving time by not having to manually input repeat information from the prior year .Jackson Hewitt is also particularly freelance-friendly, as they make it easier than ever to claim business expenses under their Self-Employment+ option (hey, every dollar counts!).
Get it here: Jackson Hewitt