There are a lot of ways to file your taxes online that can substantially simplify the process though. Here are some of the programs we’ve found that will help you get your taxes filed quickly this year, broken up by the types of forms that need filing.
Basic W-2 forms (1040, 1040A or 1040EZ):
H&R Block Online: H&R Block is a trusted name in tax preparation that’s been around for decades. Its web-based tax filing program is also well put together as a result. One of the main things that stands out for this web app is its detailed documentation that’s easy to turn to if you run into any troubles filling out your return. The information is thorough and sure to set you back on course in short order.
TaxACT Online: If reading through help documentation isn’t your thing, consider trying out TaxACT online. Instead of written documentation, this web app provides video documentation, narrated clearly and informatively, which is available whenever something gets confusing during the filing process.
TurboTax: TurboTax is also a well-known name in online tax filing tools. What makes this service really stand out is the personalized experience the company boasts that it provides. TurboTax has a list of links to frequently asked tax questions that changes the further you progress through the filing process. There’s no need to waste a lot of time wading through irrelevant FAQs with this web app; the answers are literally just one click away.
TaxACT: Afraid your browser might crash and you’ll lose your progress if you choose to file with a web app? The free desktop version of TaxACT’s filing software might be more appropriate for you. It includes video answers and tutorials to the most common tax filing issues, just like the company’s web app version, but it comes to you entirely from your desktop.
Note: Even though each of the tax programs above is technically free to use, be aware that there may be an added cost to actually e-file your taxes. Both the federal IRS and the state in which you reside may charge an additional fee to actually submit your tax forms. Be sure to read the fine print at each website in order to make the best choice for your own personal circumstances.
For 1099 contract work and other less common tax forms:
H&R Block At Home Deluxe: While not free, H&R Block’s desktop program for PCs is the next step up in tax filing software. It’s incredibly simple to use and walks you through every step of the process. By asking leading questions, the program will make sure to go through all relevant forms you need to fill out to ensure you are able to take advantage of every conceivable deduction possible. Once you’re done, the program double checks your work and points out potential errors before ultimately letting you submit to both the federal and state IRS through separate processes.
Schedule C guidance and other advanced features:
H&R Block At Home Premium: If you need Schedule C guidance, or are just someone who wants more information on tax laws and planning resources, the available of an advanced tax calculator, or rental assistance, the Premium edition of H&R Block’s desktop program might be the best way to go. It’s about as thorough as tax filing tools come, and even offers 24 hour live help support.