The Best Tax Software for the 2021 Tax Season


The 2021 tax season is approaching quickly. Many people in the U.S. are choosing a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach this year by using tax software programs to prepare and file their taxes online. The best tax software for the 2021 tax season makes filing your taxes simple. It is also convenient to use tax software from the comfort of your own home. COVID-19 restrictions and a logical fear of contracting the virus also play roles in people’s decisions to use tax software instead of filing at traditional tax preparation or accounting firms.

 


How much do the best DIY tax software programs cost? Which tax software program for 2021 is the best option for you? Read ahead for a detailed guide about some of the best tax software for the 2021 tax season.

 


How Does Tax Software Work?

Tax software allows you to enter your income, expenses and all other relevant information for the applicable tax year and file it online. The primary purpose of a tax software program is to conveniently provide you with a way to prepare and file your taxes, usually from home, without the need to involve a 3rd-party tax preparation business or accountant. The majority of 2021 tax software programs do this in one of two common manners.

Interview-formatted tax software programs are the most common and convenient for consumers to use. There are almost no forms to fill out and no complicated instructions to follow regarding what numbers go in which spaces. Instead, the program asks you questions about your income/expenses. The answers you provide are automatically placed in the correct locations and calculated accordingly without you having to do additional work.

Form-formatted tax software programs replicate the way regular tax forms look as provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This format does require consumers to populate the spaces provided for information with the correct numbers and data. If you are less knowledgeable about filing taxes and how to fill in tax forms correctly, it might be best to choose an interview-formatted tax software program instead.

The Best DIY Tax Software Programs for 2021

Many top tax software programs exist on the market in 2021. It is challenging to know which ones are the best options for you at the most affordable prices. The best programs offer a combination of affordability, guaranteed satisfaction and simplicity. The best DIY tax software programs for 2021 are:

  1. TurboTax.
  2. Intuit.
  3. H&R Block Online.
  4. TaxAct.

1. TurboTax

TurboTax is the software program most widely used by U.S. taxpayers for online preparation and filing purposes. TurboTax is created by Intuit, which also makes other tax and financial-based software programs. There are four available versions of TurboTax. There is a Free Edition version. The three paid versions include the Deluxe, Premier and Self-Employed programs, which cost $60, $90 and $120 respectively. $50 in fees per state is also charged upon filing. Live help and full-service tax preparations services are also available for additional leveled charges per version. The best features of TurboTax include conveniently importable tax forms for filing simplicity and a 100% accuracy/maximum refund guarantee. TurboTax also offers a sixty-day money-back guarantee and guidance support through audits at no additional charge.

2. Intuit

Intuit is a large company, which makes numerous financial-based software programs including the popular TurboTax. Other popular programs created by Intuit include Quickbooks, eSignature and Quicken. ProConnect is major tax software program made by Intuit. ProConnect is available for individuals, while also having the features, power and flexibility to become a virtual office for businesses. The company states the program provides powerful productivity and cloud flexibility with top-notch security encryption features. There is a fully working free trial version available with no credit card required up front. Pricing is offered in many multiple ranges based on personal or business use and how many forms are filed. Contact the Intuit/ProConnect sales department for more information at 1-833-630-7536.

3. H&R Block Online

H&R Block is another commonly used tax software program and widely considered to be one of the best overall in 2021. Used by approximately twenty million people, H&R Block Online covers the majority of possible tax scenario bases for its customers at affordable prices. There is a free version of this software. Similar to TurboTax there are also Deluxe, Premium and Self-Employed programs costing $49.99, $69.99 and $109.99 respectively. Fees charged per state upon filing are lower than those charged by TurboTax, set at $36.99 for the paid service programs. The free version charges $0.00 for federal and state filing. There are also Deluxe, Premium and Self-Employed Online Assist add-ons available in the paid versions for $109.99, $159.99 and $194.99 respectively. W-2 uploading/importing is a standard feature and H&R Block Online offers a 100% accuracy and maximum refund guarantee.

4. TaxAct

TaxAct is perfect for small businesses and personal taxes alike. The company provides the convenient TaxAct Express mobile app in addition to its desktop program. Business versions of TaxAct cost $109.95 plus $49.95 in fees per state when filing. The self-employed version is $64.95 plus $49.95 in fees per state when filing. TaxAct does not provide additional support for additional charges or support Apple products. While this might be a deal-breaker for people needing help filing their personal taxes, other excellent and helpful features are available. For example, TaxAct uniquely allows your S-Corporation w/Form 1120S to be filed entirely online. There is also a reasonably priced $200 bundle package, which combines business and personal tax preparation/filing options in a singular software program purchase. TaxAct is considered one of the best tax software programs for small businesses and self-employed taxpayers who have complicated Schedule-C information. Hot Tip: While designed for personal taxes, the less-expensive self-employed version of TaxAct is also potentially suitable for your business tax filings.