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Top 5 Tax Software Reviews

The Best Software for Making Income Tax Preparation Easier

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Each year, I review the best tax software. This list puts all my reviews together so you can easily compare and decide which tax software is best for your needs.

All of these tax software choices guarantee the greatest possible refund, accuracy, and use an interview to walk you through completing your taxes. Many offer tax apps for iPhone, Android tax apps and iPad apps. Online versions have multiple security measures in place to protect your data. If you use desktop tax software, be sure to back up your data and create a password in the software to prevent anyone viewing or accessing your data.

If you're not sure how to determine which tax software is best for your return, see my 10 Tips for Choosing Tax Software.

TurboTax

TurboTax helps you determine which tax software version you need.
Intuit
TurboTax is probably the most well-known tax software due to a big advertising budget, and this is very solid software. While the tax interview in just about any tax software is adequate and will help you get your taxes filed, the interview in TurboTax runs exceptionally smooth.

TurboTax includes ItsDeductible Online to help with finding the value of tax deductible charitable contributions, and this year, all versions include the ability to have tax questions answered by tax professionals at no additional cost. TurboTax has a free federal online version, but is otherwise typically the most expensive tax software available. The additional cost may be worth it to experienced tax software users since TurboTax lets you move ahead in the tax interview and flag areas you need to return to later to add more information.

TurboTax Military Edition is new this year, and is free for junior enlisted military members with a discount for those in higher ranks.

TaxACT

Tax summary in TaxACT tax software.
TaxACT 2011 Tax Summary
2nd Story Software. Inc.
TaxACT offers both online and Windows desktop tax software designed by 2nd Story Software with CPAs, tax accountants and software developers. TaxACT's mission is to provide high quality, affordable tax software and the company sticks to those principles. Just about anyone can file their return with TaxACT Free Federal Edition, and the Deluxe version retails for $9.95, or $17.95 for a federal and state return.

TaxACT Online is available all year-round and releases annual free preview versions in October to allow people to get a head start on their taxes or to do some year end tax planning. Full versions release in January and information entered in the preview version transfers over.

H&R Block At Home

Get started with H & R Block At Home at the main menu.
H&R Block At Home Main Menu
HRB Digital, LLC
H&R Block At Home has online, Windows and Mac desktop versions with one feature that sets it apart from all the rest: Worry-Free Audit Support. Free mobile tax apps are available for iPhone, Android and iPad.

The audit support feature provides a trained H&R Block agent to advise and help with correspondence from the IRS, audit preparation and representation during audit proceedings. This feature and the Best of Both package make H&R Block At Home an excellent value for the price. H&R Block DeductionPro is included for help with tax deductible donations to charity.

TaxSlayer

Use the Life Events Wizard in TaxSlayer to be sure you get all the deductions you have coming.
TaxSlayer.com Life Events Wizard
TaxSlayer LLC
Helping people prepare their tax return since 1998, TaxSlayer.com is strictly an online tax software app, and an affordable one at that. While the TaxSlayer interview is not quite as tailored to individual tax scenarios as some other options, it is very simple to use and covers all the tax topics needed to file a tax return. There are numerous ways to find help if you need it and this year, there's a free Military Edition to all active duty service members.

eSmart Tax / CompleteTax

eSmartTax Basic 2012 tax interview.
eSmart Tax Interview Set Up
Liberty Tax
eSmart Tax and CompleteTax have combined into one online tax software for tax year 2012. The look and navigation aspects of the software are very close or identical to last year's CompleteTax, which is good news since it's a stronger online tax app than eSmart Tax was. The prices are more like eSmart Tax, which is also good news since it cost significantly less to file a return with it compared to last year's CompleteTax.

CharityDeductions tax deduction tracking software is included with eSmart Tax / CompleteTax Premium.

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