No one likes to do their taxes. However, it’s something you can’t avoid if you don’t want trouble from the taxmen. That said, you don’t have to deal with it the “manual” way. There are a number of reliable and useful tax software that you can use to file your taxes correctly and quickly.
If you don’t know which tax software is best for your requirements, then it’s best to take your time reading the reviews on websites like www.bestonlinereviews.com to make the right decision. You can also ask yourself the following questions to narrow down your options:
Do I need a desktop software or an online service?
There is a good variety of both online and offline tax software available in the market. However, the former has many advantages over the latter, such as:
- Affordability: Online tax software are based on the SaaS (Software as a Service) model in which you don’t actually own the software, but use it as a service with a license. However. This means it’s cheaper than buying an actual tax software for your PC.
- Convenience: An online service doesn’t require you to install any software on your system. It can also be accessed from any computer (or smartphone) that has an Internet connection.
- Security: The majority of online tax software make use of the cloud architecture which is highly reliable and safe. Since the service is managed by a large corporation, they take utmost care to ensure that the data stored on their servers is secure.
- Updates: When you install a software on your PC, it’s your responsibility to update it from time to time to use the new features that the provider launches. However, an online service is updated in the back-end automatically i.e. without your input.
Do I need to file a state tax return?
If you have to file state tax return, then look into what a software will cost you for it. This is because some software charge you separately for a state tax return. In addition to that, you also have to calculate the correct amount.
For instance, if you moved to a new state in the same financial year, then you may have to file two separate state tax returns. So, if your tax software offers a state return, then you may have to pay for the second one. However, if it doesn’t offer it at all, then you may have to file for both state tax returns.
What kind of support do I need?
When you have an experienced accountant in your firm, then they can deal with all kinds of technicalities and processes of tax filing. However, when you are using a tax software, then it can become tricky, especially when you have never filed your taxes before. Thus, you must ensure that the software you pick has an excellent customer support.
Look into the types of communication channels the software provider is offering- live chat, email, phone, etc. Also do some research online to see how responsive they are to the customers’ queries. You would want them to be there for you when you have a specific question regarding the tax filing process or the software itself.
Should I use the free tax software?
For basic tax return requirements, you can surely use any of the decent free tax software available on the Internet. However, there is a catch- you will be constantly pushed to upgrade to their paid versions which can be annoying.
If you have some basic understanding of taxes, then you can also look into the free file tax service that’s offered by the IRS to the U.S. taxpayers. However, it’s offered by multiple providers each of which has a certain income limit. So, if your revenue falls within the limit of a particular provider, then you can qualify for the service. If not, then you may have to look into other options.
Filing taxes is easy if you have the right software for it. So, don’t pick the first software you find. Instead, take your time and research to find the one that’s apt for your particular requirements. Since you are going to use it for a long time, investing time into it is totally worth it.