Top 5 Web Apps to File Taxes Online

It’s tax season again, at least in the States, and if you haven’t filed your taxes already then you probably will soon. Every year, more and more people file their taxes online. Not only are online tax applications making taxes easier than ever to file, they’re also making it easier than ever to ensure there are no mistakes—not to mention you’ll get your return much faster when filing online.

We’ve rounded up the top five web apps for filing taxes online and ensuring they’re being done right for an easier and more accurate return.

1. TurboTax

TurboTax

TurboTax

TurboTax is one of the most well known online tax preparation and filing apps, and arguably the best. They offer more features and flexibility than any other online service to meet the needs of just about anyone from 1040EZ returns to corporations and LLCs. If you used TurboTax last year, all your information is already available and will be automatically entered for this year. That saves quite a bit of time.

TurboTax also offers audit protection in the event you’re audited. They also offer several levels of support to get your questions answered, along with many other great features. So far, from past experience, reviews and responses via Twitter—TurboTax is a top notch choice.

  • Federal Filing Price: Free-$129.95 (Business)
  • State Filing Price: $27.95
  • Audit Defense: Yes
  • Desktop Software: No
  • Tax Consultation Available: Yes

2. H&R Block

H&R Block

H&R Block

H&R Block (formerly TaxCut) offers a range of options similar to TurboTax, priced from free (for basic taxes) to $99.95 for those who need the experience of a professional. Not only does H&R Block offer online taxes but they have offices located all around the country (U.S.) if you would prefer to speak with someone in person.

If you need an offline version, they have that to. Their software is available for Windows and Mac ranging from $19.95-$59.95 depending on the plan you choose (Basic-Premium). H&R Block has lots of support but reviews report poor tech. support.

  • Federal Filing Price: Free-$99.95 (Professional)
  • State Filing Price: $29.95
  • Audit Defense: Yes
  • Desktop Software: Yes – Mac/Win
  • Tax Consultation Available: Yes

3. TaxACT

TaxACT

TaxACT

TaxACT, like TurboTax and H&R Block, provides several package options; however, they are much more limited and more focused on those with simpler tax returns. Depending on the level of features or support you need, TaxACT may be a little cheaper.

TaxACT also offers a desktop version which, depending on the version you purchase, can extend into Home & Business which isn’t offered in their online service. Reviews report that TaxACT has helpful tech support and tax support on par with H&R Block.

  • Federal Filing Price: Free-$17.95 (Ultimate)
  • State Filing Price: $8-$14.95
  • Audit Defense: No
  • Desktop Software: Yes – Windows Only
  • Tax Consultation Available: Yes

4. CompleteTax

CompleteTax

CompleteTax

CompleteTax has pricing options similar to TurboTax but slightly more limited. They do offer a plan for those who are self-employed at $49.95, which is cheaper than TurboTax. The web app isn’t as intuitive or well designed as TurboTax or H&R Block, lacking some of the comforting features novices would like.

Help, documentation and search aren’t quite as good as some of the other services, so CompleteTax might be a little more appropriate for those a little more familiar with filing taxes. They don’t offer a desktop version so if that’s what you need, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

  • Federal Filing Price: Free-$49.99 (Premium)
  • State Filing Price: $29.95
  • Audit Defense: No
  • Desktop Software: No
  • Tax Consultation Available: No

5. OnePriceTaxes

OnePriceTaxes

OnePriceTaxes

OnePriceTaxes is the cheapest option of the bunch. If you’re able to file a free federal return through one of the other sites, this will be $7.95 more expensive, otherwise it may be the lowest price you’ll find. Help, documentation and search are relatively limited though so if you’re in need of information then this may not be the service for you.

The interface is less intuitive than the leaders in this group but it’s still not a bad choice with a decent selection of options. While desktop software is available, audit protection and tax planning isn’t. If you might need tax consultation, you’ll want to select another option.

  • Federal Filing Price: $7.95
  • State Filing Price: $7.95
  • Audit Defense: No
  • Desktop Software: Yes – Mac/Win
  • Tax Consultation Available: No

Final Thoughts

While online tax services, such as these, can make tax season a less painful ordeal, there’s really no replacement for hiring a skilled and certified tax professional. With that being said, I’ve done my taxes online every year without a problem. For most people filing basic returns, online apps like TurboTax will do a fantastic job. For those of you who may be self-employed, such as freelancers, you might consider hiring someone to make sure everything is done correctly and you’re getting all the benefits available to you.

If you have experience with any of these tax web apps, share your thoughts with a comment below. Thanks!

If you’re wondering when you’ll get your return, check the 2010 IRS e-file refund cycle chart.


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