Alert the presses! Tax season is upon us. Yes, you may shed a little tear before we begin. OK, now that that’s over and done with, let’s make our lives a little easier before we shed dollars from our pockets. Tax preparation may be a burden, but it doesn’t have to be. Before you get frazzled about what data to put where, understand that there are more choices than just Turbo Tax during the tax season. The electronic tax prep software field has widened and that’s always beneficial to the one stuck with the painful task. These ETax software competitors are giving Turbo Tax a run for its money. Let us discuss three other e-tax prep options and how they’ll ease your tax woes for 2016.
Your first ETax prep option is Tax Act. This tax software company was founded in 1998. According to their website they offer “affordable digital and download tax preparation solutions for individuals, business owners and tax professionals. “ So far so good! Those solutions include:
- Free package, ideal for a simple tax return.
- Basic package that imports the prior year’s data and provides unlimited phone support.
- Plus package that is suited for itemized returns, homeowners and investors.
- Premium option for the self-employed, contractors and freelancers.
Right off the bat, Tax Act is nice because of the price. The most expensive option is $19.99. The other benefits of the Tax Act software include its ease of use, an abundance of helpful resources, and understandable tutorials. Cha-ching!
Ever since I was a youngster I knew about H&R Block. All the parents in the neighborhood would head to their local franchise and hire some poor tax preparer to save them loads of cash. These days it’s a much easier to file with H&R block. The company was founded in 1955 by two brothers, Henry W. Block and Richard Block. What started out as simple bookkeeping business that’s expanded to 11,000 retail tax offices in the US and 1,700 international. Not too shabby! Their website offers online tax preparations and electronic filing. One of the standout features of using H&R block is that they have a full mobile site. Their downloadable products all include a maximum refund guarantee, 5 free federal e-files, free unlimited advice from a tax expert, data security and 100% accuracy. Similar to Tax Act there is a Basic plan, Deluxe plan, and Premium plan, except there is an additional Premium & Business option that is specific to small business owners. The H&R block software is ideal if you require some Internet hand holding to assist with your tax prep. If you use the mobile site you can stop and return to your file at anytime regardless of the device you are using. If all else fails, you are always free to go to the nearest H&R brick and mortar office and get the personal advice you crave. Let’s get you rolling in dough!
Last on our ETax options list we have Jackson Hewitt. Like H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt grew from a brick and mortar installation. They’ve been going strong since 1982. A fellow by the name of John Hewitt got together with a bunch of investors to purchase Mel Jackson’s Tax Service and the new combined name is what you’re familiar with today. Jackson Hewitt offers:
- Free edition that’s for federal and state returns, specifically 1040EX/A returns.
- Basic edition includes student loan interest and the Earned Income Credit (EIC), sans dependents.
- Premium edition is good for more complex returns.
If you use any of the paid editions you are also eligible for a $20 Walmart eGift Card (which makes sense since a majority of their facilities exist within Walmart stores). Overall these software packages address basic taxpayer needs, offer an eye-pleasing user interface, and include ample coverage of common tax topics, PLUS there are chat and email options. Money! Money! Money!
Now you know you don’t just have to stick with one ETax filing option your whole life. Broaden your horizons and save some of that green! And while you’re saving those dollars check out our Facebook page for more tips.