With all the jargon and legalities associated with filing taxes, it’s not surprising that we end up paying more than we are supposed to. Aside from having to read through a lot of fine print and incomprehensible numbers, learning how to pay just the right amount of tax can be extremely difficult especially if we are experiencing major life changes.
Instead of having to undergo the stress of checking and rechecking your taxes, an easier way would be to take advantage of tax filing software. Tax Filing Software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block can offer step-by-step guidance to help you find tax deductions that are applicable to you. They also guarantee 100% accurate calculations to make your tax filing process worry-free.
This provider offers five different plans each with its own features. You can choose between each plan depending on your tax filing needs. Their five plans include the basic, deluxe, premier, home; business, and business plan. Below are the features included for the Turbo Tax Deluxe Account:
- Finding tax deductions – The software will ask you to input information about your income, family situation, and changes in credit and tax affairs. Based on your answers, the software will search for over 350 kinds of deductions and credits that is suitable to your situation to gain you a huge tax refund. Aside from that, it also looks for deduction opportunities you haven’t taken and it handles major life changes as well. Plus, if you’ve had medical bills, the software will tell you if you qualify for a deduction of your medical expenses.
- Reduces Audit Risk – Included in the package is an Audit Risk Meter which checks your tax return for common audit triggers. It tells you whether your audit risk is high or low, while providing advice to help reduce the chances of audit. Aside from that, it also gives in depth guidance on what you need to know if the IRS contacts you, plus it provides full-service representation from a trained tax professional. Meaning, you don’t have to meet with the IRS unless you want to.
- Does All The Hard Work – The software fills in your tax return, transfers your last year’s tax info, fills in your W-2 and 1099 info, imports a pdf of your last year tax return plus financial data and it also flags areas in your tax return so you can get back to them easily.
- Provides Advice – Turbo tax experts and other users in their live community can help provide useful answers to your tax questions. It also offers technical support for the software, an explanation of your tax return, and a guide if you’re unsure about a tax question.
- Finds Errors and Clears Them – Turbo Tax also has a Smart Check feature that scans for mistakes. It can double check your return for errors to ensure correctness of filing. Should the IRS or state impose a penalty or interest due to a Turbo Tax calculation error, they will pay for both the penalty and interest.
- Gets The Refund Faster – Included in the software is a Federal Efile where you can watch your refund add up as you complete your return. You can also get your refund in as little as 8 days with efile and direct deposit.
Other types of accounts available as mentioned above offers different features depending on your needs. For example, the Premier account handles investment and rental property taxes while the business account is for corporations, partnerships and LLCs.
The Basic package is available for $29.95, deluxe for $59.95, Premier for $89.95, Home & Business for $99.95 and Business for $129.95.
Turbo Tax Customer Review
Many consumers who used Turbo Tax offered a 4-5 star rating for the efficiency of the software. Good points included the easy to follow guides, pulling of the previous year’s information, ease of use, and its ultimate function which helped the consumer save money. Points for improvement included some issues on installation and updates, lack in Mac support and state guides, several error messages, and non specific tax assistance. Each user had different areas to praise about the software, and also varied complaints.
Similar to Turbo Tax, H&R Block also offers different types of accounts that suits your needs. They have a basic account, deluxe, premier, and premium & business. Below are the features for the Deluxe account:
- Provides Accurate Calculations – If the software conducted an arithmetic error that resulted in penalties from the IRS or state, H&R Block guarantees reimbursement at a maximum of $10,000.
- Audit Support – Should the IRS or State initiate an audit with you, an H&R Block Enrolled Agent will help manage the process by not only outlining what you can expect and by helping in preparation, but by also representing you before the IRS upon your request.
- Maximum Refund Guarantee – Should you be dissatisfied with the software for any reason, H&R Block will give you a refund of the full purchase price. A notification of the H&R Block staff within sixty days following initial purchase should be done.
- Regular Features – Some of its regular features include personalized tax guidance depending on your tax needs, maximizing mortgage interest and charity deductions, double checking for errors, import of W-2, 1099 and last year’s information, and five free federal e-files.
Other accounts include Premium for self-employed and rental property owners, and Premium & Business for small business owners.
The Basic package charges at $19.95, Deluxe for $44.95, Premium for $64.95, and Premium & Business for $79.95
H&R Block Customer Reviews
Consumer reviews showed both 5 star and 1 star ratings. Good reviews commended the company for finding additional write offs that the consumer didn’t know existed, ease of tax filing and refund, and efficiency. Critical reviews mostly talk about the high cost for simple tax returns, and disorganized customer service.
Tax filing software and services can certainly be useful for those who are unfamiliar about tax filing and for those who have just undergone life changes such as getting married, having a baby, buying a home and changing jobs. It is also very useful for those who have businesses and investments where keeping up to date with taxes and finding areas to save money is of the utmost importance. Despite the extra cost of making use of the software, it is possible to cover the cost with the refunds you can potentially get.
Leave a comment sharing: 1. How do you file your taxes? 2. Would you use any of the aforementioned tax software?