Getting your taxes done used to be rather expensive. Not only did you have to set aside time and make an appointment with a tax preparer, you also had to pay them, sometimes an outrageous amount, for their services.
Thanks to technological advances, you can now fill out your taxes on your own from the comfort of your own home using tax preparer software.
But, which software should you use? In this article, you will learn the pros and cons for both TurboTax and TaxAct, both tax preparing software, and learn which one is the best for you.
TurboTax allows you to answer simple questions about yourself and your life while it crunches the numbers for you. Packages range from $0 to $129.99 with the most popular package, the Deluxe package, costing $59.99. You can file with TurboTax for free if you fit certain criteria.
The impressive features of TurboTax include the auto-fill feature, which allows you to snap a picture of your W-2 and let the program fill in the information for you; refund tracker; free filing; easy-to-use interface; guarantee that, if the IRS finds a problem in the filing, TurboTax will pay the penalties; and more.
However, the drawback is that you might not get the online help you need and filing state taxes, according to several customers, isn’t always free. The online help may keep you from finding out if you qualify for a deduction due to special circumstances.
Start your filing with TurboTax.
TaxAct’s website says it makes it easy for people filing their taxes to complete them and get the best possible result without paying a ton of money. The packages range from $0 to $59.95, with the most basic package costing $14.95.
Some of the great features you can get when using TaxAct products include accurate number crunching, maximum refunds, price lock, satisfaction and money-back guarantees, and much more.
The drawbacks of TaxAct is that you can’t import your W-2s easily and the state filing fees can also be high. Additionally, TaxAct customers report long customer service wait times, although you can request a callback instead of waiting on the phone.
Start your filing with TaxAct.
Each of these tax-preparing companies have their own perks, but it is plain to see that if convenience is your priority, TurboTax is the way to go. This is thanks to the ability to live chat and get an answer to your questions and the ability to easily import your W-2 forms.
However, if you are just looking to escape high prices, TaxAct is obviously the right choice. Their fees are significantly lower than what you would pay at TurboTax. For example, the TurboTax self-employed filing package costs $119.99 plus additional state filing costs. The TaxAct Freelancer package costs $44.95 plus state filing costs.
Additionally, you get free technical phone support, which you have to pay more for if you use TurboTax, and 7 years of access to your return, which also costs extra through TurboTax.
Use these facts to decide which of these companies is the right one for you!