No matter if you’re the owner of a contracting business, a skilled subcontractor, or a laborer, everyone has to file state and federal income taxes each year. The easiest way to file your taxes is by using an online tax filing service, and many companies even offer free online versions for simple filings.
Here is list of some of the best online tax services:
1. H&R Block and TurboTax are the best overall services
Both offer free options for the most basic federal and state income tax filings. Both also offer deluxe, premium, and self-employment versions of their online programs that encompass more than just the standard deductions, 1040s, and W-2 form filings. No matter what your filing needs, these two tax giants can do it all.
Your W-2 forms on each service can easily be photographed and uploaded right from your smartphone. All you have to is upload a picture, and each service will automatically read the information on your document and enter it digitally into your online filing form.
H&R Block is a better value than TurboTax, but TurboTax offers live online CPA support via video chat. Both services also offer 100% accuracy guarantees for their services.
All prices listed below were the advertised costs as of June 24, 2020.
H&R Block Pricing:
- Free- Basic features including W-2, child dependents, and education costs
- Deluxe Edition ($37.49 federal + $44.99 per state)- This option includes all of the basic services plus credits and deductions, as well as Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions
- Premium Edition ($52.49 + $44.99 per state)- All features of the free and deluxe versions, plus freelance/contractor expenses less than $5,000, stock sales income, and rental property income
- Self-Employed Edition ($78.74 + $44.99 per state)- This version is great for small business expenses, such as depreciation and vehicle expenses
Turbo Tax Pricing:
- Free- Simple tax returns, such as W-2, earned income credits, and child tax credits
- Deluxe Edition ($60 federal + $50 per state)- All free version services plus homeowners tax breaks and charitable donations
- Premier Edition ($90 federal + $50 per state)- All free and deluxe features, plus stocks, bonds, rental income, investing and more, as well as one-on-one help from a tax specialist
- Self-Employed ($120 federal + $50 per state)- The version specializes in filings associated with personal and business income and expenses, such as home and office, vehicle mileage, and cell phone expenses. You also get one-on-one tax advice from a tax specialist.
2. TaxSlayer is reputable, affordable alternative
The tax company, like H&R Block and TurboTax, offers its own free filing option, but instead of charging up to $120 for anything more than most basic W-2 and 1099 filings, you can buy versions of TaxSlayer for as little as $17. The service, like its larger competitors, offers a 100% accuracy guarantee.
- Free- Simple personal tax filings such as 1040 Forms
- Classic Version ($17 Federal + $39 per state)- All deductions and credits, including dependents, homeowners, retirement income, interest, dividends, investments, and more
- Premium Version ($37 federal + $39 per state)- All of the features in the free and classic versions, plus priority support from live chat, email, and over-the-phone tax experts
- Self-Employed Version ($47 federal + $39 per state)-This option is best for self-employed people, such as contractors. It covers personal and business expenses associated with your company or self-employed status.
3. Credit Karma is 100% free
Credit Karma is known best as a credit score service, but it also features tax-filing software. Credit Karma is also the only major online tax-filing company to offer its services totally free of charge.
The site guarantees that you won't pay a penny for filing both your federal and state income tax returns. But how can it be free?
Credit Karma is also a credit score service. The company makes its money by selling customer credit data to banks, insurance companies, and other financial service companies.
Its tax-filing software includes a quick refund calculator, a max refund guarantee, and an audit accuracy guarantee with up to a $1,000 reimbursement. Credit Karma covers the general tax return services such as tax filing services for W-2s, 1040 forms, itemized deductions, business profits or losses, child tax credit claims, earned income credit claims, and more.
It does not offer the full spectrum that some other companies include, such as non-resident federal tax returns (1040NR), foreign tax credits (Form 1116), and foreign earned income (Form 2555), to name a few.