Are you in need of tax software to ease the stress and challenge of filing taxes this year? With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one.
To make sure you get the most for your money and successfully complete your taxes without any headaches, we’ve compiled some helpful tips on what features to look out for when selecting tax software. Keep reading and equip yourself with the knowledge necessary to pick the right program!
Differences between tax software packages
As tax season rolls around, you want to understand the differences between tax software packages. But that also depends on the taxes you need to file. For instance, W-2 vs. C2C paperwork have notable differences and should be filed accordingly in the right software. Some tax software may not support certain forms or schedules while others have features that cater specifically to self-employed individuals or small business owners.
The most popular tax software programs offer a wide range of packages that cater to different tax scenarios. Some may include self-employment income, rental property income, or investment income while others may only support W-2 income. Before making your choice, you need to carefully review the features and limitations of each package.
Consider your budget
Like any purchase, the most crucial part of buying the right tax software is the budget. Some programs are free, while others may cost hundreds of dollars. The level of support and features offered will also vary depending on the price point.
If you have a simple tax situation, a free or basic version may be sufficient. However, if you have a more complex return with self-employment income or investment income, it may be worth investing in a more robust program. It’s important to weigh the cost against the potential savings and convenience of using tax software versus hiring a professional tax preparer.
Figure out what features are most important to you
Different people have different priorities when it comes to filing taxes. Although most tax software programs offer similar basic features like step-by-step guidance, error checks, and e-filing capabilities, some may excel in certain areas. For example, if you have a significant amount of investment income, you may want to choose a program with advanced investment reporting tools.
Similarly, if you’re self-employed and need to track expenses and deductions, look for software that has specific features for business owners. Alternatively, if you’re a first-time filer or have a simple return, you may not need all the bells and whistles and can opt for a more budget-friendly option. The goal is to find a program that fits your specific needs rather than paying for features you won’t use.
Research different providers and their pricing models
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of must-have features, it’s time to research different providers and their pricing models. Maybe you’re looking for a program with a one-time fee or prefer a subscription-based model. Some programs may offer discounts for early filers or students, so be sure to keep an eye out for any promotions that may apply to you.
Additionally, consider the customer support options offered by each provider. If you’re new to filing taxes or have a particularly complex return, having access to knowledgeable and helpful support can make all the difference. But if you are already a tax expert and don’t need much assistance, you may be comfortable with a program that offers limited support or none at all in exchange for a lower price.
Understand the applicable laws of your state or country
Whether you are filing your own taxes or preparing returns for others, you need to understand the various laws and regulations that apply to tax software in your particular state or country. These laws are constantly changing, and it can be difficult to keep up with the latest updates. For this reason, you want to read up on the latest developments and consult with knowledgeable professionals.
Armed with the right knowledge and tools, you can ensure that your tax returns are accurate and compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. Especially if you are a beginner, it’s important to choose a tax software program that provides clear and easy-to-understand explanations of the various rules and regulations, so you can confidently file your taxes without any errors or delays.
Compare customer service options
Having reliable customer service is a must. Maybe you have a question about filing your taxes or perhaps you encounter some technical issues with the software — whatever the case may be, having prompt and efficient support can make the process much smoother and less stressful.
Be sure to research the customer service options provided by each tax software provider. Do they offer phone, email, or live chat support? Is their support team available during extended hours or only on certain days of the week? You want to choose a program that offers convenient and responsive support options, so you can get the help you need when you need it.
Utilize online resources and reviews
In addition to researching the features, pricing, and customer service options of different tax software programs, be sure to also take advantage of online resources and reviews. Many websites offer side-by-side comparisons of popular tax software programs, allowing you to easily see their differences in terms of price, features, and customer support.
You can also read reviews from real users to get a better idea of how satisfied people are with the software and its various features. Pay attention to any recurring issues or complaints mentioned in the reviews, as this can give you valuable insight into potential problems or limitations of the program.
Selecting the right tax software comes down to understanding your individual needs and the offerings of each software package. Price, features, support, and user reviews are all essential factors to take into consideration.
Take the time to thoroughly research your options and compare different programs, so you can find the one that best fits your budget and tax filing needs. With the right tax software, you can streamline the filing process and ensure that everything is accurate and compliant with laws and regulations. Don’t let the stress of taxes hold you back — make the smart choice and choose the right tax software for your needs!