The new year is in full swing and 2020 is quickly flying by; so fast in fact that we’re almost upon another ‘glorious’ tax season.
Thankfully, gone are the days of necessary meetings with men in drab, dark suits and less-than-exciting accountants. Filing your taxes online has never been easier, cheaper and quicker than it is today.
With a plethora of options, you can file with minimal stress and maximum returns. Here are your best online-options for tax season…and despite what Wesley Snipes may have told you, yes, you do need to file this year.
File for Free with TurboTax
Filing with an accountant or in-person service means sharing a portion of your return with “the man”, and if you owe, you still have to pay for their services.
Easily avoid this extra charge (or keep all that is owed to you) by filing online for free with sites like Turbo Tax.
In recent years online tax features have seen rapid improvements making the process far easier than you may initially think. Not only are you able to file simple returns for free, there’s plenty of added ways to make the process go smoothly.
For example, by simply taking a photo of your W-2 with your phone or tablet, the TurboTax software securely enters the information into the correct forms on your behalf, cutting out a lot of the back-and-forth time.
As well, every possible deduction and credit is automatically suggested to ensure the biggest refund possible. When e-filing (filing online), your return will be directly deposited into your bank account.
All of the above can be accomplished via web browser, or through Android or iPhone app, where you can also track the status of your return.
Other e-filing sites offer similar solutions and different filing packages: TaxAct.com provides four different filing options (including a free version) priding itself on over 65 million returns filed.
One of the older companies in the game, TaxAct boasts great reviews and provides a backlog of your filing history, eliminating some of the monotony of repeatedly entering personal data.
Tax Slayer however primarily focuses on providing exemplary customer service and tries to eliminate showing you unnecessary forms and asking you unneeded questions.
Tax Slayer bases your filing package on the types of forms and level of support you require. For students, they provide a free option that is unavailable from some of their competitors.
Liberty Tax may be the best option for entrepreneurs and small-business owners. Acting as an auto-insurance broker if necessary, Liberty Tax focuses on your business by integrating variables like mileage and liabilities, helping calculate key business deductions and W-4 liabilities, for example.
They also have over 3,000 locations should you rather have a sit-down than file online.
As you may gather from the name, FreeTaxUSA lets you file simple, basic or advanced federal returns for $0. Besides their very fair price, they are listed as the top-rated software in the market.
With over 235,000 reviews, FreeTaxUSA averages 4.8 out of 5 stars. For anyone who uses services or makes a purchase online, reviews are often the number one driving force behind the final decision.
If customer service and satisfaction are high on your list, FreeTaxUSA might be your preferred choice, with the added ability to import returns from other tax services into theirs.
If you’re unsure which service to use, try focusing on which features are most important to your return. Turbo Tax can help target industry-specific deductions or track expenses throughout the year.
Military members or students (whom may also have a part-time job) may want to focus on Tax Slayer for their free returns, while professionals or even farmers may want to take advantage of TaxAct’s premium packages.
No matter your choice, e-filing can save a lot of time (and money), finding you deductions you may have not otherwise known you were eligible for, while getting the money into your hands a lot quicker than traditional means.
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