TurboTax vs H&R Block vs TaxAct
Which online tax software is the best option for you?
Tax season isn't fun. In fact, if it's your first time doing it for your business, it can be downright scary. Your first question is probably, "Should I be doing taxes on my own?" The answer is simple – Yes, you can!
Today's tax software options offer editions designed for business owners, making the process easy breezy. To start, the first thing to decide is whether you're going to go with desktop software or online software. We recommend online software as it gives you more flexibility on where you do your taxes and provides the latest up-to-date version.
Below, we've compared three of the best online tax software options to help you pick the right one for you and your business:
- TurboTax: The top choice for first timers to seasoned business owners. This software offers a number of reporting options, automatic W-2 importing, and accurate calculations.
- H&R Block: Great option if you're an established small business owner looking for a seamless, tax filing experience. This software delivers an intuitive interface and variety of features for a moderate price.
- TaxAct: The best – and most cost-efficient – choice for professionals who know how to do their taxes.
The right online tax software for your business depends on the features you need. To narrow down what features you need, think about your general knowledge of doing your taxes. Is it your first time doing taxes for your business? Or are you a seasoned expert?
If you're a business tax newbie, features you should look for include:
- Easy-to-use interface and navigation
- Easy access to tax forms
- Ability to file both your state and federal taxes
- Accuracy guarantee
If you're well-versed in doing your business taxes, you're most likely looking for a seamless experience with a quick return. A few features to keep on your radar (in addition to the ones above) include:
- Upload W-2 directly into the program
- Ability to import data from other finance software you might have used in the past
- Advanced filing options
- Quick return summary
TurboTax, H&R Block, and TaxAct have an easy-to-use interface, are mobile friendly and offer e-filing options, making for an organized process. H&R Block provides an accuracy review which is helpful for first-timers. TurboTax offers a lot of reporting options, and TaxAct provides a variety of helpful resources, including access to tax deductions and credits.
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Pricing and Support
When it comes to online tax software pricing, be aware of additional costs for state returns. Some software includes state returns, while others add it as an additional fee. Both TaxAct and TurboTax provide free state and federal returns, but H&R Block does not.
All three options, however, provide free e-filing; H&R Block even allows up to six years of tax return storage for Basic and up editions.
Having a strong support center is important for doing your business taxes. All three options offer great support – dependent on the edition you select. The most important thing to keep in mind is to look for support options that offer access to tax experts.
TurboTax provides limited support for the free edition but once you upgrade, you'll receive online support 24/7 through the entire tax season, which includes access to tax experts. H&R Block offers free in-person audit support in addition to free access to a tax expert.
TaxAct offers the most support for your buck, starting with email support for the free edition. Upgrade just one more tier and you gain access to their answer center.
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The best online tax software is the one with an easy-to-use interface, simplistic language, and offers explanations along the way on tax deductions and credits you could qualify for.
TurboTax is extremely simple to use and offers the largest variety of features and support. It's a great option for first-timers or experienced business owners, as long as you're willing to pay.
H&R Block offers an intuitive interface but also avoids complex financial language. What really sets the brand apart is that you have the option to actually visit an office should you need assistance. H&R Block is a great option if you run an established small business but if you're just starting out, this software is probably more than you need.
TaxAct is the best option for seasoned business owners. It's cheap, easy to use, and offers all the features you need. However, there's a lot more upfront preparation required which might be overwhelming if it's your first time doing your business taxes.
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|Best for||First-timers or experienced tax filers||Small businesses||Experienced tax filers|
What are customers saying?
"I am a repeat customer and plan to continue. But, at the end, I needed assistance in fixing 'issues.' Given that, Block provided excellent help in a phone conversation with their step-by-step resolution." – H&R Block website review
"TurboTax walked me through everything. It was really easy to understand & fill out. It's accurate & secure. My taxes were a bit more complicated so it took quite a while to do but at least I know they were done right & I didn't forget anything." – Tina, business owner, TurboTax website review
"I have a somewhat complex tax situation as I have a 'day job' as well as a side-business and my wife is self-employed with a business of her own. In the past I've paid a professional on the order of $1,000 to prepare my taxes for me. The amount of preparation work (gathering and organizing records) was slightly more bothersome with TaxACT than with the professional, because the professional has a well-organized list for me to work from. But the savings with TaxACT more than makes up for the slight extra bother." – Joseph, side-business owner, Amazon.com review
- Offers four online tax software editions at a reasonable price
- Simple interface
- Retail office locations that offer tax refund advanced loans
- Supports IRS forms and schedules
- Simple navigation
- Easy to use interface and navigation
- Good support options, including email and chat
- Retail office locations