FreeTaxUSA has been in business since 2001, giving them over 15 years of experience in the tax prep industry. The company states they have helped file over 9,000,000 free tax returns with the IRS. FreeTaxUSA specializes in simple free federal returns, but they also have other great options for more complex tax situations.
The software and website known as TurboTax is actually part of the larger Intuit company. This is a software firm that emphasizes financial, accounting, small business, and tax-related programs. It is built around small business and individual software needs and is currently one of the S&P 500.
TurboTax began in the 1980s when two software designers in the Silicon Valley area of California began to look at ways of creating computer software that could eliminate the drudgery of "pen and paper" accounting practices. This led to the birth of "Quicken" bookkeeping software and a rapid expansion of other small business and tax-related products. By the late 1990s, the company was a major force in software and was able to offer QuickBooks, TurboTax, and web-based components. Today, the company is worth more than $4 billion and is considered one of the finest software producers in the world.
H&R Block has been a professional tax service since 1955, giving them over 60 years of experience. They have served over 550 million clients and have offices within five miles of most American households. They offer a wide variety of pricing options and resources to clients and help clients prepare taxes in one of their many offices or online.
In this era of constant corporate buy-outs, it isn't surprising to learn that TaxAct software is the by-product of one of those corporate sales. It began as a program known as Personal Tax Edge (which was a Parsons Technology product), but when Intuit bought out the company in the 1990s, some of the employees formerly with Parsons decided to create their own unique software.
In 1998, they released TaxAct, and it is one of the most commonly used tax preparation softwares. Today, it is also available on iOS and Android apps as well as online. Interestingly enough, H&R Block attempted to buy the firm in 2010, but this fell through. A year later, the company was purchased by Blucora, and in 2012 it was acquired by Infospace. It is also a part of the Free File Alliance partnered with the IRS for online tax submission.
E-File.com was founded in 2013 and provides affordable tax software that is reportedly up to 50 percent less expensive than some other online preparers. E-File.com provides software to help individuals electronically file both federal and state taxes in a quick and easy way. The company offer three different options for tax filing, including a free service. E-File.com does not sell any of its customer information to third parties, as opposed to many other software providers; its goal is to provide an affordable product without sacrificing a customer's privacy.
ezTaxReturn started business in 2000 and is one of the most premiere online tax services in the industry. Their product is simple, intuitive, and very easy to use.
1040.com has been in business since 1977 under Drake Software, the parent company that builds tax software and business solutions for several companies in the industry. 1040.com makes it easy to file your taxes and get your tax return, as it was built by tax professionals. The website boasts that 175 people helped build the 1040.com online platform, and more than 21,000,000 tax returns were filed through the website in the last tax season. Drake Software and 1040.com claims to be tax geeks; many of the company’s employees are CPAs and tax lawyers, making it easy for a customer to file their 1040 form online. Dealing with the IRS can get complicated. No matter the tax situation, the 1040.com software will provide step-by-step instructions to help get you the correct tax forms, check for accuracy, and get you the fastest tax refund possible on your state and federal tax return.
After H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt is the second largest tax preparing company in the United States. It claims to handle around 2.2 million returns (federal and state) on an annual basis. Based in New Jersey, Jackson Hewitt has almost seven thousand franchise offices spread throughout the United States, but it has also worked to establish itself as an online tax prep service as well. The company was actually acquired outright by the Cendant Corp in 1998, and a revised Jackson Hewitt Tax Service was spun out of this massive merger of several related firms. One of the facets to come from this re-emerging unit was the online tax service option.
Tax season can be a stressful time for anyone who finds themselves filing a return. efile.com is made up of a group of tax professionals and software vendors that provide online tax filing software for individuals to file their state and federal returns for the tax year. The website makes tax preparation easy for state and federal income taxes and offers tax professional help. There are several different tax deduction tools that result in savings for taxpayers online. The e-file software will select the correct, legally required, least expensive tax form based on the user's tax information. Customers using a 1040EZ form may use the free e-file option.
In 1965, Aubrey Rhodes Sr. founded Rhodes-Murphy & Co., which has since evolved into the innovative company TaxSlayer. TaxSlayer is a tax filing platform that provides personalized tax filing to help customers receive their returns quickly and easily. Their easy-to-use tools and comprehensive deduction finder provide maximum refunds, but with low tax preparation fees. TaxSlayer prices its product based on service levels, not the forms users receive.
Filing taxes is often the most important task that demands your attention at the beginning of each year. You want to make sure you are getting the best tax service possible in order to guarantee the best tax experience as well as the best possible refund. So, before you decide on what company best fits your needs, here are a few things you need to consider before choosing a tax prep company:
Depending on your situation, you may need outside assistance in order to file your taxes. For example, many people who own their own business take their taxes to someone for outside assistance rather than do it themselves through online services. However, if you have a simpler situation such as being single and having one simple W-2, the better route may be to do your taxes through an online provider. Whatever your situation, make sure you identify the resources that will make your tax prep and filing as easy as possible.
Humans are creatures of habit, and if filing taxes a certain way works once, they most likely want to stick to it again the next year. However, life is constantly changing, so deciding how to do your taxes should be something you research and think about every year. Starting a business, having children, getting married, and getting divorced are life events that can dramatically change the way you file your taxes. Make sure you find the best tax filing option every year; just because filing taxes one way worked perfectly last year, that doesn’t mean that it is the best option this year and every year after. And taking time to figure out your personal situation and what tax filing option works best will also help you narrow down your search in finding the best tax prep company for your needs.
Whatever tax prep company you choose, customer assistance is one of the most important things to take into consideration. You want to make sure that you have the help you need when you have pressing questions that need immediate answers before you can proceed with your taxes. If you use an online service rather than outside assistance, live chat and easy access to customer service is going to be essential. When considering tax prep companies, make sure their customer assistance is compatible with your needs.