Looking for the best tax software to handle your small business taxes or personal taxes? Most years, I pay a couple hundred dollars and more of time aiming at gathering, reviewing and filing my tax returns on time. Is it worth to go through all the pain, headache, brain damage and frustration just to get the best price? Is there any tax software provides all in one package – business tax software, personal tax software and more?
Gone are the days you had to pay a team of people to manage your company’s finances. The best tax software for business makes doing your own taxes super easy. This nifty software program will generate all the taxes related forms that you will need and will ask simple questions so you don’t have to depend on any expert. This is particularly helpful for those that do not want to get in the hands of experts and pay them unnecessarily.
Who can use TurboTax: General partners, S-Corp owners, C-Corp owners, and LLC members with a Windows operating system.
- TurboTax Business desktop version: $159.99 for federal return; additional $49.99 per state return.
Pros: One of the big draws of TurboTax is QuickBooks integration. If you track income and expenses in QuickBooks, you can automatically import all that information onto your return. In general, TurboTax stands out among online tax services for its excellent user experience and reliable customer service.
Cons: You can’t file business taxes online with TurboTax and the desktop software is limited to Windows users only.
Established in 1955, H&R Block is one of the oldest and most well-known tax preparation services, with over 10,000 offices worldwide. We chose it as our runner-up because it offers most of the same online services and professional assistance as TurboTax with a less-intuitive interface but at a lower cost.
Although H&R Block offers a similar walkthrough with guidance as TurboTax, its interface is not quite as elegant, and some terms and steps are not as well explained. Users can still get started quickly by importing previous tax returns, uploading images of W-2 forms, and filing Schedule 1 through 3 Forms which let them report business income.
Like TurboTax, H&R Block also offers users the option to file taxes completely on their own or have their return reviewed by a tax expert, EA, or CPA for an extra fee. Users can also schedule an in-office appointment with a tax professional at one of H&R Block’s thousands of locations.
Like TurboTax, H&R Block splits its offering between the DIY File Online and Online Assist plans. All plans include on-demand chat, screen sharing, and an online help center. File Online Plans
Premium Online Plan
- $69.99 + $44.99 per state filed
- For freelancers, contractors, and investors
- Snap-a-pic W-2 import
- Self-help via a help center
- Earned Income Tax Credit
- Student loan interest
- Retirement plan income
- Social Security income
- Six years’ access to tax returns
- Technical support (by chat or phone)
- Health Savings Account (HSA)
- Real estate taxes
- Mortgage interest
- Cost basis calculation
- Freelance/Contractor income
- Stock sales income
- Rental property income
Self-Employed Online Plan
- $87.99 + $44.99 per state filed
- For self-employed and small business
- All Premium Online Plan features
- Expense import from popular expense tracking apps
- Import Uber driver tax information
- Small business expenses, including home office, depreciation, and vehicle expenses
Jackson Hewitt was founded in 1982 by American entrepreneur John Hewitt and more recently began offering online tax preparation and filing services. We chose it as best for additional support because it offers robust online help for true DIYers, with the option to hand over the process to a trained professional anytime.
Jackson Hewitt’s basic online filing services don’t offer anything more than its competitors. Upload their W-2 forms and use the software’s step-by-step guide combined with live online help during business hours to complete and file their returns.
Jackson Hewitt also offers hybrid versions that bridge the gap between doing it yourself and working with a professional. Its Tax Pro From Home plan lets users start their return on their own and upload it anytime to be finished by a tax professional. The company also gives users the option to drop their tax documents off or sit with a tax pro at a Jackson Hewitt office near them.
Those who want to do all their filing online themselves can access customer care support online, talk to a real person during business hours on live chat, and take advantage of the company’s 100% accuracy guarantee.
Pricing for its Tax Pro From Home plans is available by request.
Customers who want help with tax issues like back taxes or property liens or levies can utilize the Jackson Hewitt Tax Resolution Services. There are three options to choose from: a free consultation to get an understanding of your situation and the best way for the company to help; a $399 plan where a tax professional will look into your issue and present you with a plan of action; and a $1,000-$5,000+ plan, which involves a licensed tax professional working directly with the IRS on your behalf.
This service is available year-round to customers in all states except for Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, and North Dakota.
Who can use BlockAdvisors: General partners and S-Corp owners.
- File online with unlimited expert help: $145 and up for federal return; $36.99 per state return.
Pros: BlockAdvisors provides wraparound support for small business owners including tax prep, bookkeeping, and payroll services; this is an advantage if you’re looking for all-in-one financial help, though each service can be purchased individually, including tax prep.
Plenty of help is available if you need it: You have the option to hand off your taxes to an expert (costs will vary) or DIY your taxes online with unlimited help.
Cons: Total filing costs aren’t clear up front, and the starting price is higher than our top choice, TaxAct.
Who can use TaxAct: General partners, S-Corp owners, C-Corp owners, and LLC members.
- TaxAct Business online: $109.95 for federal return; $49.95 per state return.
- TaxAct Business desktop (Windows operating systems only): $109.95 for federal return; $49.95 per state return.
Pros: If you’ve filed business taxes before and feel confident navigating tax jargon, TaxAct is a cost-effective and straightforward option. Unlike industry heavyweight TurboTax, you can file your business tax return online with TaxAct. And there’s no upcharge if you prefer the downloadable desktop version (though it’s only available to Windows users).
Cons: In 2020, S-Corp owner and Insider contributor Eric Rosenberg reported running into an issue with his California tax ID number on TaxAct, which resulted in him having to print out and mail his state return rather than filing online.
ProSeries Professional is a good fit for accountants looking for desktop software with a forms-based interface that can import account balances from QuickBooks Desktop. ProSeries offers four pricing tiers with a great option for small firms that prepare less than 200 returns per year or firms that focus almost exclusively on individual returns. ProSeries pricing starts at $566 per year plus $90 per return, including charges for both federal and state returns.
- Offers multiple packages to fit your needs
- Choose to enter data through forms or quick-entry sheets
- Integrated billing clock
- Pay-per-return pricing charges extra for a state return
- No upfront pricing for some plans
- Multiuser access is an additional fee for most plans
ProSeries Professional Pricing
- Pay per Return: $566 per year doesn’t include any returns
- Each individual return (federal plus one state) is $90
- Each business return (federal plus one state) is $118
- Choice 200: Custom pricing
- Includes any combination of 200 individual and business returns
- Additional returns can be purchased for the pay per return rates
- 1040 Complete: $2,732 per year includes unlimited federal and state individual tax returns
- Business returns can be added for the pay per return rates
- Power Tax Library: Custom pricing
- Includes unlimited federal and state individual and business returns
ProSeries Professional provides several tools that will suit the needs of small to mid-sized businesses. With the exception of form 5500 returns, the software offers a variety of packages and access to a variety of helpful resources, including tax planning suggestions:
- Client tools: ProSeries Professional offers a variety of resources for your clients, including the ability to create checklists for the items clients need for each year’s tax return. Client-specific billing and editable invoice options are available as well, including flat rates, hourly fees, and charges per form.
- Electronic filing: You’re able to view, track the status of, and manage your clients’ e-filed returns. Missing client data is also filed and tracked, and data must be entered before the return is sent.
- Hosting and integration: The ProSeries software can be accessed anywhere on any device, and information is stored in the cloud, allowing for flexible workflow. ProSeries also allows for simple importing of financial data from QuickBooks and TXT.
- Tax planning: ProSeries Professional will generate a list of up to 73 tax planning suggestions that will assist your clients with lowering future taxes. The tax planner estimates income, expenses, withholdings, and tax payments for future tax years.
- Input guidance and forms: K-1 data imports transfer data to individual returns automatically. The Intuit link portal allows clients to upload their documents in a timely and organized manner.
Our Expert Opinion
ProSeries Professional is reliable tax preparation software from Intuit. It can process almost any tax return, including Forms 1040, 1120, 1120S, 1065, 1041, 990, 706, and 709. However, it cannot prepare Form 5500 returns. The price is very reasonable, especially if you specialize in individual returns and purchase the 1040 Complete package. It has all the features you’d expect from modern tax software, like e-file management, downloading tax forms from financial institutions, and K-1 data transfers between returns.
Because most ProSeries Professional plans charge an additional fee for multiuser access, it’s not ideal for firms that have more than one accountant managing their accounts. Also, ProSeries Professional cannot handle more complex returns, such as consolidated returns and oil and gas returns. For firms with more complex returns, Lacerte would be a better choice, as it can prepare even the most complicated tax returns.
I know that tax season is a huge pain. It’s no fun to sift through a pile of papers and receipts looking for everything you need. And then you need to start working on your return. Tax preparation can be expensive, especially if you go to an accountant. But did you know there are many different kinds of tax software? You already use money management software, so why not get the best tax preparation software out there?