Best Online Tax Filing Service For 2023: Top 5 Services Reviews

Bizreport - Bailey Schramm
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Reviewed by Randolph Vialva, MBA
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turbotax

Turbo Tax

Best Tax Software for Ease of Use

5.0 stars - votes

taxslayer

Tax Slayer

Most Affordable

4.3 stars - votes

cashapptax

Cash App Taxes

Best Value

4.0 stars - votes
Best-Online-Tax-Filing-Service

Every year, tax season is a stressful and confusing time for many people. Both individuals, self-employed people, and small business owners alike can understand how daunting it can be to prepare their own tax return, and navigating all the options for assistance can be overwhelming. You may wonder if you should consult with a certified public accountant, or utilize one of the tax software options available. 

The good news is that there are many tax software companies out there that help people with their federal taxes, state returns, and more in a qualified and straightforward manner. Continue reading through this review as we highlight the top tax software programs available, including free tax software options.

Top 5 Best Tax Software In February 2023

 What Do You Know About Online Tax Filings? 

If you’ve only ever consulted with a tax professional offline, you may be skeptical about the quality of tax preparation software online. The truth is, they can be just as thorough and helpful, if not more. Many offer a free package that gives you all the essentials or a paid version that gives you direct access to a tax expert for more sophisticated tax matters. Either way, most tax software has options to fit exactly what you need to file your tax returns, without overcharging or overwhelming you. 

Turbo Tax

  • Easy to Use
  • Access to a Tax Pro 
  • Free Version Available

Tax Slayer

  • Attractive Pricing Model 
  • Minimal Upselling
  • Simple Interface

Cash App Taxes

  • Budget Friendly
  • Free Audit Defense
  • Free Federal Tax Preparation
  • Good Value
  • Easy to Use
  • Tax Advice Available from Experts

Jackson Hewitt

  • Good Rates
  • Allows for In-Person Filing at a Branch
  • Great for Multi-State Filing

Top 5 Best Online Tax Filing Services In February 2023

Best-Online-Tax-Filing-Service-2

Turbo Tax

TurboTax is one of the best software for filing taxes online. For anyone who wants to prepare their own taxes and access assistance as needed, TurboTax is the right choice. With their easy-to-use interface and guided process, they are a great choice for many. 

  • An intuitive and easy-to-use platform for filing your tax return
  • Assistance from human tax pro available if needed
  • Easy to convert from other providers
  • There are more affordable options available
  • Free filing is not an option for all filers

TurboTax continues to be one of the top providers in its tax preparation process. Their free option can be used for straightforward filing including claiming for the earned income tax credit, reconciling advanced child tax credits, and deducting student loan interest. Even still, those looking to make itemized tax deductions or schedules 1, 2, or 3 will need to use the paid version. This is likely for anyone who wants to deduct mortgage interest, file for their freelance or business income, rental income, or report stock sales. However, their easy-to-use interface and direct access to qualified tax professionals give users the extra support they need, when they need it. So although TurboTax isn’t the cheapest option out there, they keep dominating the space as one of the top providers given the value of their service and great brand reputation.

TaxSlayer

If you’re selecting tax software for the coming year, TaxSlayer should be one of the top considerations. All of their packages offer the same capabilities, allowing you to pay up as necessary to receive the help and assistance you require. So, this could be the cheapest option for the filers who don’t need a lot of support and can opt for the cheapest package even with the most sophisticated tax situation. 

  • Simple to use
  • All packages have the same capabilities, just with different levels of support
  • A cheap option for those who require little support
  • When converting from another provider, they only transfer the Form 1040
  • No donation calculator for charitable donations

TaxSlayer shines with its pricing model that is based on the level of support people need to file taxes as opposed to the software capabilities. So, this means that even the most sophisticated tax matters can be accomplished by the most basic package, it will just include the least amount of support from experts. Because of this, users don’t have to face surprise upselling midway through their filing process–all packages can handle all types of forms and tax situations. Overall, their easy-to-use interface, personalized access to tax experts, and great value are all reasons why they are a top provider in the space. 

Cash App Taxes

Overall, Cash App Tax is preferred for its free option is truly free. They don’t charge for federal or state filing, making them a great budget-friendly solution for people. Some people may be uneasy about the switch from Credit Karma to Cash App Taxes, and the platform only offers certain forms, so there may be better providers for those with more sophisticated needs.

  • Free federal filing
  • They offer a maximum refund guarantee
  • Ongoing audit defense
  • Not available for those in Montana
  • There are better options available for those with more complicated tax situations
  • May not be as recognizable as Credit Karma

Cash App Tax may appear as a newer provider, though they are the latest rendition of Credit Karma’s tax program. They are truly a free federal tax filing service, not charging any additional fees for users–it’s actually free. This sets them apart from many other providers who charge at least some small fee to begin, or additional fees to access certain tax forms. Because of this, only certain forms are available for users, meaning those with more sophisticated needs or access to a tax professional may want to consider some of the alternatives on this list. 

H&R Block

The tax prep services offered by H&R Block are some of the most commonly used across the country. With their strong brand name, great expertise with tax laws, and physical presence, they continue to provide great tax assistance at a good value. 

  • Good value for the price and services provided
  • Straightforward interface
  • Available human assistance when needed
  • There are cheaper options available
  • Not all tax pros are CPAs

The free package offered by H&R Block is one of the best out there for filing federal tax returns. It lets you file Form 1040 and schedules 1 and 3, which many free versions don’t allow. So, users can deduct student loan interest, reconcile advanced child tax credits, report unemployment income, and request unclaimed stimulus checks, among others. Even still, users will need to pay for the more advanced package if they contributed to a health savings account, want to itemize deductions, report income from a rental property, freelance income, or owned a small business, and need to report business expenses.  

Jackson Hewitt

Jackson Hewitt is a quality name that comes with a lot of brand recognition, though they are newer to the online game. They offer good value, though those that qualify for free filing elsewhere or want a platform that supports streamlined data entry may want to consider some of the other options on this list. 

  • Allow users to drop off forms and documents in person at one of their branch offices
  • Simple and uncluttered platform
  • Great for filing returns in multiple states
  • Not great for free options
  • Don’t have the capabilities for quick data entry or document uploads

One of the best features of Jackson Hewitt’s online platform is the ability to file in multiple states without having to pay additional fees for each filing. Even still, they lack a free option that many other competitors offer, though their full-service offering is well-priced and offers good value. They offer an accuracy guarantee, protecting you from IRS penalties if they find errors in your returns. Plus, their document checklist makes sure you have all the relevant information prepared before you get started. They do not have the capability to quickly scan documents, which can make the process much more tedious and time-consuming compared to what other competitors offer. In addition, they offer limited support to business owners or those with more complex situations on the platform. 

How Does Online Tax Filing Service Work?

Tax filing online is a simple process through one of the providers above. Simply choose the software provider of your choice given your budget and needs, and follow the prompts they provide as they walk you through your past year and help you prepare your filing for a tax refund. You may need to upload certain forms or tax documents as you complete the process, and they will help you make the proper filings at the end to make sure the IRS has all the information they need. 

How Can You Choose The Best Online Tax Filing? 

As you can see, many tax filing software has different capabilities at different price points. So, you’ll need to select the provider that offers what you need at a price point that fits your budget. Some platforms can only support simpler tax situations, while others are more comprehensive but charge higher fees to complete them. So for simpler filing, you should be able to choose from most of the options here. But, you’ll want to pay special attention if you need to report self-employment income, rental property income, retirement income, dividend income, investment income, capital gains, student loan interest deduction, itemized deductions, business deductions, or any other sophisticated tax matter that may require you to have more direct support from experts or access to certain forms. 

Benefits Of Using Online Tax Filling Services

Using an online platform for filing your income tax return can be highly beneficial. With in-app support offered by many providers and easy-to-use interfaces, these platforms expertly guide you through the process on your own and are available for individuals and those who are self-employed. 

Ease Of Use

These providers offer easy-to-use interfaces that expertly guide you through the process to file your taxes on your own. They prompt you with simple to answer questions as needed and accurately calculate your refund or taxes owed so you don’t have to. 

Costs And Fees

The costs and fees will vary by provider. Some, like Cash App Taxes, are completely free, while others will charge more depending on the complexity of the filing and the support needs. So, users can find a budget-friendly option that still meets all their needs. 

Free Filings Options 

As we’ve discussed, there are options available for those who want to file for free. Most providers offer certain free packages, though you may need to pay more if you have more complex tax needs, like reporting business income. 

Customer Service 

The best online tax software providers offer great customer service throughout the filing process. These tax programs offer real-time support from experts, with some like Jackson Hewitt or H&R Block even having brick-and-mortar locations you can visit for even more in-depth support. 

Final Thoughts

If you want to complete tax returns online, choosing one of the above options is a great choice as you prepare for the coming tax preparation season. These tax apps offer great support from experts, while simply guiding you through the process with ease and at affordable rates.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use an online provider if I have complex tax returns?

Yes, you can, though you will need to search for the right provider and the right package that offers all the forms and support you’ll need for your specific situation. 

Are there free tax filing services?

Yes, most of the providers listed here have free packages with certain capabilities, though you may need to pay extra if your situation is more complex.

If I am self-employed can I use these providers?

Yes, many of these have capabilities to help guide those who are self-employed, though not all, like Cash App Taxes.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bizreport - Bailey Schramm
Bailey Schramm, BS
Finance Advisor
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Bailey Schramm is a writer based out of Jackson Hole, WY, primarily covering topics and trends in financial services, business, and the blockchain. With a background covering stock market developments for a major FinTech company, she now provides SEO and content strategy services to financial service companies and tech startups.

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

He is an organized and creative thinking sales management professional with experience in outside and inside sales in various markets. Working as freelancer in the Greater Boston Market, he moved to St. Louis and became an Account Executive, then a Sales Manager managing and coaching 12 sales reps covering a nationwide territory. He has developed his team with a combination of consultative selling and value before price coaching mindset which has won him a President’s Cup and many other financially rewarding awards at RICOH. His most recent role as a Continuous Improvement Manager provided insight into the importance of delivering a quality product in alignment with the value and reputation of his organization. It further enhances the aspect of selling on value as opposed to price.