best tax software and services
Sources of Income

Best Tax Software & Services for your 2020 Returns

We talk a lot about income sources on site so it makes sense that taxes is going to be involved in any revenue that we make.

And It’s that time a year again. The dreaded Tax Season! But Don’t worry, I compiled a list of Tax Software and services that you can use to help you choose best service that’s right for you and make your tax filing a little less of a hassle. So you can get the most refund back as possible.

Obviously you can do it the old fashion way of directly going to the IRS and e-filing or using snail mail but it mostly manual and less intuitive than the filing from the ones on this list but it is an option.

Disclosure:

Links on this site may be affiliate links, that are Free to use and will cost you nothing to use them. If you decide to make a purchase, we do receive compensation that really helps support the content so Thanks in Advance.

TURBOTAX

TurboTax needs no introduction but it has a vast variety of products ranging from Online Services and Software retail packages.

Below is a list of products from the least expensive and least features to the Most expensive with the most features.

Each service has different features to provide tax services to the type of taxes that you need to file. The goal is to pick the best product that fits your situation.

ItemDistributionWhere to Buy?
Free EditionOnlineTurboTax
BasicSoftwareAmazon | Walmart
DeluxeBothAmazon | Walmart | TurboTax
PremierBothAmazon | Walmart | TurboTax
Self-EmployedOnlineTurboTax
Home & BusinessSoftwareAmazon | Walmart
BusinessSoftwareAmazon | Walmart
tax turbotax online prices

Which Service is right for you?

TurboTax’s Software versions can handle reporting investments such as stocks compared to it’s online counterpart but it will depend on how much guidance you need with reporting them will depend on the service that you need.

CLICK HERE to see all the forms included in the CD/Software versions.

  • Free Edition (online)
    • Very simple W-2 income or unemployment income. You can also claim a very limited interest and dividend income but it’s very limited for any other type of investments.
  • Basic (Software)
    • If all you have is a W2 or a simple tax situation but also have children or dependents that need to claim. Use this if you need to claim credits like Child Care Credit, Earned Income Credit, and child tax credit.
  • Deluxe (Online)
    • If you have school loans, mortgages and some deductions to claim then you’ll need the Deluxe version.
  • Deluxe (Software)
    • Everything that the Deluxe online version has but also allows for importing investment and mortgage information so for the most part, stocks investments can be filed using the Deluxe software but not the online version.
  • Premier
    • If you have investments like Rental property, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and cryptocurrency then you will need the Premier version or higher tiers.
  • Self-Employed or Home & Business
    • If you are self employed, a sole proprietor or own a small business then you can either use the Self-Employed or Home & Business versions both are essential the same product but are named differently for Online and Retail purposes.
  • Business (Software)
    • If you have Partnerships, S Corps, C Corps, Multi-Member LLCs and Trust or Estate Returns then you need the Business version.

Filing State taxes will cost you an additional $29.99 for the Free version and $39.99 for each state return for the other versions above the Free version.

By far TurboTax’s most popular service is the Deluxe version. It covers most situations for the average household but lately I’ve started to see more and more people use the Premier version as well.

Some of the products include State Taxes but doesn’t mean that it’s free to E-File. It just means that the service will help you gather your information together to file for your state. You can choose to download the file and sent it to your local state tax office which IS free. But if you want to E-File then you would have to pay a fee when it comes to file your State taxes if you live or operate in a state that requires you to file.

There is only one product/service on this list that offers free Federal and State tax Filings, That’s the Free Edition. Alternatively the IRS’s Free File Program, which is also brought to you by TurboTax, allows for filing Federal and State taxes for FREE.

In order to be eligible to use these product you have to qualify. If you answer ‘Yes’ to any of these questions then you may be qualified.

  1. Is your adjusted gross income (AGI) $39,000 or less?
  2. Were you active duty military in 2020 with an AGI of $72,000 or less?
  3. Do you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC)?

One thing I will say about TurboTax, everything IS a fee. So unless you pick the right service you might be paying more if you choose a plan that doesn’t fit your situation.

H&R BLOCK

Unlike TurboTax, H&R has online services and physical locations that you can go to, to do your taxes.

Just because they have both options doesn’t mean they are lacking in any area of services. Their online services are just as robust. Here is a breakdown of their products.

ItemDistributionWhere to Buy?
FreeOnlineH&R Block
BasicSoftwareAmazon | Walmart
DeluxeBothAmazon | Walmart | H&R Block
PremiumBothAmazon | Walmart | H&R Block
Premium & BusinessSoftwareAmazon | Walmart
Self-EmployedOnlineH&R Block
tax h&r block online prices

H&R Block has a very similar product scheme as TurboTax but here is what service you should choose for your tax purposes.

  • Free
    • For simple W2 tax returns, students, unemployment income
  • Basic
    • has everything in the Free version except you can claim dependents
  • Deluxe
    • For people who have claim deductions, investments and stocks
  • Premium
    • Have rental property or self-employed income (1099 Work)
  • Premium & Business
    • For self-employed and/or own a small business
  • Self-Employed
    • For self-employed and/or own a small business

Once again H&R Block may have state included in some of their versions does not mean it’s free to E-File. Here is a breakdown of the cost.

h&r state tax fees

H&R’s transparency is great, at least when it comes to state fees, which is much appreciated.

Even for H&R Block the Deluxe version is most widely used for the majority of people and the second most used is the Basic version.

TAXACT

TaxAct prices are usually 30% less than the competitors above but depending on your situation, using TaxACT may be extremely cost efficient or just about the same as the others.

ItemDistributionWhere to Buy?
FreeOnlineTaxACT
DeluxeOnlineTaxACT
PremierOnlineTaxACT
Self-EmployedOnlineTaxACT

Here’s which service you should pick:

  • Free
    • Simple filers with dependents, college expenses and retirement income.
  • Deluxe
    • Homeowners, deductions, credits and adjustments.
  • Premier
    • Investments, sale of home and rental property.
  • Self-Employed
    • Freelancers, contractors and small business owners.

Unlike H&R Block, TaxAct is not as transparent with their State Filing prices and Filing Fees. if you want to see the fees you would start your taxes. The reason for doing this allows them to adjust the prices of their fees at anytime.

At the very least there should be a accurate estimation somewhere on their site. This will help with transparency and trust.

To view the fees associated with a TaxACT Online account, you may visit this page for instructions: Viewing Your TaxACT Online Charges

Aside for their FREE version which cost $4.95 to file your state return, it’s State fees for everything else are $44.95 which is about the same as their competitors.

TaxACT also offers product downloads. These downloads are sold in bulk of 5 Federal returns, all of them include 1 state return except for the Basic version which does not have state returns included. This is a nice savings if you plan on doing taxes for the entire household.

With the Desktop Version of TaxACT, there is a $9.99 e-filing fee for all state returns (except New York).

TAXSLAYER

TaxSlayer is by far the most cost effective on this list. Their services are still robust enough for most situations and frankly with all my investments and multiple sources of income, I did not find the services lacking at all. Especially for the price.

ItemDistributionWhere to Buy?
Simply FreeOnlineTaxSlayer
ClassicOnlineTaxSlayer
PremiumOnlineTaxSlayer
Self-EmployedOnlineTaxSlayer

Here’s who each service is for:

  • Simply Free
    • For those with a simple taxes for students loan, unemployment. Includes one free state return.
  • Classic
    • Everything Simply Free has but includes Earned and Child tax credits. Claim deductions, stocks and investments
  • Premium
    • You get everything in Classic except you get the added benefit of extra support for tax issues and questions. Feels more like a support add-on
  • Self-Employed
    • Best for contractors. 1099ers, side hustlers, self-employed and Rental Property income

Cost to file your state taxes is $32 although the price may be subject to change.

JACKSON HEWITT

Jackson Hewitt also has physical locations for you to walk in and talk to a person, face to face. While stand-alone locations are few in some cities, you can find a stand in many of your local Walmart locations.

Got to say, Jackson Hewitt’s tax solution is refreshing to see.

tax jackson hewitt online price
  • It’s $49 USD for your Federal taxes with Unlimited State returns.
  • If you only need your Federal Taxes done then you only pay $25 USD.

So whether you have simple taxes all the way to investments, rental property or self-employed, it’s either $25 for just your Federal or $49 for both Federal and State Taxes. However they do offer FREE Federal and State if you qualify.

Needless to say you if live in one of the states that has no states taxes like:

  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Nevada
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

Then paying for a product that includes state filing for an additional fee would not benefit you but be aware that if you have a business that operates in states that require it then you are liable to claim your state taxes for that specific state.

See VIDEO for Price Comparison.

Disclosure:

Links on this site may be affiliate links, that are Free to use and will cost you nothing to use them. If you decide to make a purchase, we do receive compensation that really helps support the content so Thanks in Advance.

There are no Financial or Tax advice on this site. If you have an concerns regarding your finances or taxes, please reach out to an expert on the subject matter. Financial or tax related content is for reference purposes only.

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