We recommend filing taxes online for many reasons.
Taxes are confusing, but there are some online tax software out there to help – which ones are the best?
Using online tax software can be a big help as well as save you a lot of money if you have simple tax returns to complete.
Filing your tax return can be really simple to do, and not worth paying someone a lot of money for if you can do it yourself.
You still have the opportunity to go to a tax professional if you want to, but online tax prep can save you time and money.
Some of the online tax software is even free to use like H&R Block! We have looked at the best online tax software for business out there for you to look through in this article.
Top 8 Best Online Tax Software Options for 2021
There are lots of different options out there for 2021 tax software, and we are going to look through the ones that we think are the best.
- H&R Block
- Credit Karma
- Jackson Hewitt
1. H&R Block
H&R Block was founded in 1955 and operates in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
It is the best option if you have a basic tax return to file and want to do so for free. They are an easy to use service, with on-demand tax pro support available to you if you need it.
There are a few different prices based on your tax situation.
Free Online – If you are going down the DIY route, have a W-2, kids, and education costs. This is $0 with $0 per state filed. H&R Block supports more forms for free than TurboTax.
Deluxe Online – H&R Block Deluxe is for maximizing credits & deductions, plus HSA contributions. The cost is $29.99 plus $36.99 per state filed.
Premium Online – Best for investors and gig workers with expenses. The cost is $49.99 plus $36.99 per state filed.
Self-Employed Online – This is for people who are self-employed or who have small businesses. The cost is $84.99 plus $36.99 per state filed.
The services available on H&R Block include being able to file your tax return either as an individual or as a business.
There are also options of using one of their advisors, audit, and tax notice support.
If you have a simple tax return that you don’t want to spend any money on filing!
If you need some support when doing your tax return. We are so impressed with the assistance and information that is available on the site.
Even if your tax return is a little bit more complicated, there are so many ways to get help. Plus, your maximum refund is guaranteed, or they give you your money back.
TurboTax is one of the market leaders, along with H&R Block and TaxAct, but they are a bit more expensive.
They try to make it as easy as possible to file your taxes, as you can get a start from last year’s tax return either with them or from another company.
TurboTax software guarantees that you will get your maximum refund as well!
TurboTax also offers a few different price points for the various options that they offer:
Free Edition – $0 for Federal and $0 for State.
Deluxe Edition – $40 for Federal and $40 for State. They say that this is their most popular option.
Premier – $70 and $40 for State.
Self-Employed – $90 and $40 for State.
There are also additional fees if you want to have additional CPA support:
Free Edition – $50 for Federal and $40 for State.
Deluxe Edition – $90 for Federal and $50 for State.
Premier: $140 and $50 for State.
Self-Employed – $170 and $50 for State.
TurboTax has the usual online tax software options available, along with the option of speaking to a CPA if you need help.
They also offer free audit support if you need to have an audit, from a tax professional who will help you answer the questions posed to you.
TurboTax is best for when you need some expert help along with filing your tax return.
3. Credit Karma
Credit Karma was set up in 2007 as an American personal finance company. It is best known for helping you with your credit score.
In 2016 they started to offer free tax filing services for state and federal returns.
They cover all itemized deductions, profit or loss from business, capital gains, and losses, and self-employment tax – for free.
Credit Karma tax is free – and they say that it will always be 100% free to use. It is $0 to file both state and federal tax returns.
They also guarantee the accuracy of their calculations. If the IRS penalizes you then you will be reimbursed by Credit Karma.
Credit Karma is best known for providing free credit scores and reports. They also offer free online tax filing.
Most people should be able to file with Credit Karma Tax, but it’s worth noting that they don’t cover all tax forms and situations, so it’s best to check.
If you have a simple tax form that you need to process and would like to do so for free.
In order to use Credit Karma Tax, you must sign up for Credit Karma, which will also give you access to your credit scores and reports.
TaxAct software is another online tax software company where you can get free options to help you file your taxes.
They have DIY tax software that is designed to help you get the maximum refund that you are eligible for. They have helped to file over 80 million federal returns since 2000.
There are different types of plans available, and the price varies for each. They do offer a free plan.
Free – $0 for Federal and $0 for State
Deluxe+ – $35 for Federal and $39.95 for State
Premier+ – $50 for Federal and $39.95 for State
Self-Employed – $80 for State and $49.95 per State
TaxAct offers online tax filing, including a free option. They also offer free (and unlimited) support via phone, email, or online chat.
They also offer a maximum refund guarantee and a 100% accuracy guarantee with each plan.
This is one of the best free options out there and is good if you are someone who needs a bit of help when they are filing.
5. Jackson Hewitt
Jackson Hewitt is one of the large tax preparation organizations – it is the second largest in the United States, based in New Jersey.
They offer similar services to a lot of the other online tax software companies, but with an additional program called Tax Pro from Home, where you can get a tax professional to complete your tax return for you.
They offer a free option, along with some additional options. The free option is only available if your taxable income is under $100,000.
Jackson Hewitt offers free online tax filing for you. Their other options are for when you have a tax return which is a bit more complicated.
They also offer a Tax Pro from Home service, where you can upload your tax documents online and a tax professional will do the rest for you.
If the tax professional needs to check anything with you then they will do so over the phone or online, for your convenience.
Jackson Hewitt is a good choice if you are feeling nervous about doing your tax filing, as they have great support options available.
TaxSlayer is a financial company based in Georgia, which offers online tax preparation to allow you to electronically file your state or federal returns.
They say that they won’t stop until you get all of the money that you are due, and they guarantee this.
There is a free option along with some other additional tiers if you need to upgrade, but still at a low cost.
There are a few different plans that you can choose from at TaxSlayer:
Simply Free – $0 for Federal and $0 per State
Classic – $17 for Federal and $29 per State
Premium – $37 for Federal and $29 per State.
Self-Employed – $47 for Federal and $29 per State.
They say that their Classic plan is the best value and the most common option that is chosen.
If you upgrade to the Premium plan then you can get some extras such as IRS inquiry assistance for 3 years, priority support and live chat with unlimited assistance.
It’s worth noting that every customer receives unlimited phone and email help.
If you are on a tight budget, this could be the best option for you as their packages are all very affordable.
FreeTaxUSA is a company that was founded in 2001 and is a place where you can electronically file your taxes for free.
There are a few different options available for you to choose from depending on what you are looking for.
Free Edition – $0, then an additional $12.95 for a State tax return.
Deluxe Edition – $6.99, then an additional $12.95 for a State tax return.
If you have the Deluxe version that they offer, you can get Audit Assist for Federal returns. This is where you can speak to Audit specialists who will help you answer any questions you may have.
If you have a simple tax return to file, then FreeTaxUSA could be for you. They have limited support, so if you have something a bit more complicated you may want to choose one of the other options.
ezTaxReturn is another online service where you can file your taxes for free. They say that there are no gimmicks, tricks, or upsells.
They want things to be as easy as possible and provide step-by-step instructions to guide you along your way.
They guarantee that it will be 100% accurate calculations because they do all of the math and forms for you. You just need to enter the information on your tax documents.
With a simple tax return, filing your Federal tax return is free.
Federal return: $29.95
State return: $19.95
Federal + State return: $39.95
You can get some post-filing assistance such as Audit Defense Protection for $39.95.
ezTaxReturn is good for filing a simple tax return. If you have a more complicated tax return then you will want to look at the pricing at the other companies as well.
Best Online Tax Software FAQ
Now that we’ve covered a lot of the best online tax software, it’s time to see if there are any more questions that you’d like answered:
Is it free to file taxes online?
There are some free online tax software systems that you can use, but it depends on which company you choose and what type of tax return you will be filing.
It can be free to file your taxes online if you use the free option and are eligible for it.
More complicated tax filing will require a fee to be paid, and you may also want additional help from a tax professional.
When is filing taxes free and when does it have a cost?
To file your taxes for free you will firstly need to check that the company you are filing through offers a free option.
After that, it’s important to check whether your personal situation means if you are eligible for a free tax return or not.
A lot of the time it is free to file a Federal state return, but you typically need to pay extra for a State tax return.
Which online tax service is best?
Determining which online tax service is best depends on what kind of service you are looking for and what type of tax return you will be filing.
We personally like H&R Block, because they offer an excellent service for free, or for a low cost if you need to upgrade.
TaxSlayer is also a good option if you are on a tight budget as their plans are very low cost across the board.
Is free online tax software really free?
If you file your taxes through one of the companies that we have looked at in this article, using their free option then yes – it is free.
Make sure you check the different filing options as you may have to use one which is paid for.
When should I consider using a tax professional instead of filing myself online?
Whether or not you want to use a tax professional depends on how you feel about filing your taxes yourself, and if you have a more complicated tax return to do.
The last thing that you want to happen is to file your taxes incorrectly, and using a tax professional may help you with this.
Some of the companies offer advice from tax professionals as part of their packages.
Final Thoughts On The Best Online Tax Software
When it comes to filing your taxes, there are lots of options out there for online tax software, and we’ve looked at the best of those in this article.
We really like H&R Block, and advise that you take a look to see if it is a good fit for you. There are other options which you may prefer instead on this list.