Best tax software of 2018

Years ago, many people needed an accountant to do their taxes, with the overwhelming task of figuring out which tax forms to charge from the local public library, the need to calculate the tax burden on those dreaded tax tables, knowing what line to enter all those numbers, not to mention the difficulty of making a detailed list. Even with a simple tax return that requires a lot of work, it is not surprising that accountants thrive.

Nowadays, the right accounting software can turn even a novice taxpayer into a DIY counter. These programs ask a series of questions as part of an interview process, and then do the hard work to put all the correct numbers in the correct boxes and even transmit your statement electronically. Here are five great options to meet your tax needs …

1. TaxSlayer

Affordable Costs

Additional help for self-employed

Telephone and online support included

State reimbursement is an additional fee

TaxSlayer is positioned as a bargaining tax solution, offering prices that undermine competition through multiple levels.

The basic level of TaxSlayer for basic returns, known as SimplyFree, offers a federal and state return, including eFile, all for free, but only for 1040EZ forms. The most popular classic level includes all the major federal tax forms, and includes a W-2 import for $ 24, but state forms have an additional cost of $ 4.95, which should be fine for most users.

Offers are expanded to $ 47, and covers the specific needs of self-employed workers, including contractors and 1099, and also requires the additional rate for the return of the State. There is an online guide to help users choose the best version of the program for their needs.

Even at these affordable prices, a notable feature is the telephone and email support included (response from 24 to 48 hours) at lower levels, and live chat at higher levels.

2. TaxAct

The tax solution without complications

Guarantee of accuracy

Five levels to cover all situations

Missing email support

The state cost is higher than the competition

a simplified interface, TaxAct takes a simplistic approach to the task of doing taxes in the cloud, while undercutting the prices of the larger players.

TaxAct begins with a free tier, which is fine for filing a 1040EZ Federal return, although the State is $ 17 additionally. There are five levels in total, reaching the Premium level for $ 69.95 that covers all situations, although the state return to this level adds an additional $ 39.99.

TaxAct has all the basic aspects covered, including the importation of W-2, and the importation of returns from the previous year. There is also support for mobile apps to calculate returns on the fly, and you can even use your smartphone's camera to capture your W-2 entry form.

TaxAct avoids assistance by email, in favor of assistance by phone and chat. It also offers a $ 100,000 accuracy guarantee.

3. H & R Block TaxCut

A robust feature set, but still affordable


Attractive interface

Backed by brick and mortar retailers

No free level for basic returns

Previously Known as Kiplinger's TaxCut, H & R Block TaxCut has been around for many years, and is a tax solution with all the features. With four levels, it can handle almost any return.

Unlike other offers, TaxCut does not have a free tier, and the simplest returns start with the basic one that sells for $ 29.95. While it includes a Federal eFile, adding a state return adds $ 39.95, and for a state eFile it is an additional $ 19.95.

Unless you live in those few states without a state income tax, such as Florida, most users benefit better with the next higher level, Deluxe, which for $ 54.95 is of better value, since it includes both the federal return as the state, although the state eFile still adds $ 19.95 additional.

The outstanding feature of TaxCut is that there are approximately 12,000 H & R points of sale available to program users when something is needed from hand to hand to get the job done, for an additional cost. Online chat, like its competitors, is included without additional payment.

4. TurboTax

The venerable master of tax refund software

State for decades

Free federal level

Stores tax documents in the cloud

Add state return is expensive

Ask someone to name a tax preparation program, and they are likely to name TurboTax. It is not by chance, since this firm is a former professional in this area, which has its origin in the mid-1980s when TurboTax was created for the first time by the Chipsoft software company.

Online offers start with a free tier for federal taxes, and the state adds $ 29.95 reasonable; this is fine for a 1040EZ or 1040A return, but not a total of 1040. The complete 1040 requires a step to the Deluxe level, which goes for $ 59.99, and the state return adds $ 39.99 to the package.

TurboTax includes the & # 39; ItsDeductible & # 39; function, which can help calculate the value of donated items. You can also store your documents online for safek
eeping if they are needed later, such as for an audit.

5. FreeTaxUSA

Free federal tax software to bring a smile to a skinflint

You can file all federal taxes for free

Add the state tax is affordable

Guarantees guaranteed to be accurate

Deluxe Level for higher priority support

While death and taxes may be unavoidable in life, getting your taxes for free seems like an attractive offer.

Yes, the name indicates the truth, and federal taxes can be made free of charge, for all returns, including 1040 complete, and even more complicated tax situations, such as a Earned Income Credit, or a K- 1. Add a touch of state refund with an affordable rate of $ 12.95.

Compared with the competition, FreeTaxUSA does represent the negotiation here. A superior Deluxe level is offered, which adds Audit Assistance, Priority Support and can handle amended returns, but true to stingy origins, it only costs an additional $ 6.99.