We've rated the best online tax software in our reviews, but there are a few others you may discover while looking for tax preparation software online. Some of these are spinoffs of services already in our lineup; others are independent companies that offer basic services for homeowners or solopreneurs. One, TaxPoint, lets military personnel prepare and file their taxes online for free.
Liberty Tax's eSmart and Taxbrain: While you can find these two online tax software services under their separate name, they are now both owned by Liberty Tax, which remains in our Top Ten lineup.
The free version of eSmart can manage simple things like child and dependent care credit. Basic filing status, by eSmart's definition, is for those who have dependents or itemized deductions. The premium plans can manage business, real estate and investment income. The free and family versions come with free chat support, while the higher-priced versions offer expert tax support. We especially liked its Add Reminder feature, which lets you flag an uncompleted section to remind yourself to come back to it later.
Taxbrain can handle all basic returns, including 1040EZs, 1040s with itemized deductions, small business and rental 1040s, and state returns. All packages include e-filing, and you can configure taxes for multiple-state earnings. It can import information from prior years as well as federal information into your state return, and it can file prior-year returns back to 2006. It also has a questionnaire at the beginning to determine which forms you need to file. The questionnaire covers information about your household, wages, investment income, retirement income, possible credits and deductions, business income, and rental property.
ezTaxReturn provides online tax e-filing services for submitting simple 1040EZs and 1040s, including 1040s with self-employment income. Using this service, customers are charged a flat rate for federal and state returns, regardless of which forms are required. Overall, we found it to be quite similar to other mid-range products. In previous tests, we had issues with it not allowing us to easily skip sections and return later, so if you choose ezTaxReturn, make sure you have all of your information gathered first.
OnePrice Taxes uses software similar to that used by Jackson Hewitt. This tax preparation service provides a few timesaving features such as importing data from returns stored by OnePrice or TurboTax. This service can also import data from Shoeboxed, Outright and Etsy. It can help you decide whether standard or itemized deductions are more beneficial for you, and it includes a refund/owe meter so you can watch your progress as you create your return. OnePrice Taxes provides free chat support, and you can contact the company by email.
TaxPoint is simple to use and with a little tax knowledge, you should be able to create an accurate return. It has returns suitable for homeowners or self-employed businesspeople, and it offers online tax preparation software for military personnel, making it worth considering if you are active duty. It offers support if you should get audited and guarantees the accuracy of its program.