Tax software is designed to enable you to cheaply and easily prepare and file your tax returns. You are able to use a highly rated and proven program to file your business and personal taxes yourself without having to contract the services of an accountant or other tax expert. Go for an online tax software yearly update or edition which will enable you to receive automatic updates, as well as enjoy unfettered online access to your taxes. Below are some of the benefits of using tax software.
- Maximize Your Tax Deductions – Updated tax software programs enable you to avoid missing out on all the latest deductions, thus reducing what you owe and earning you a larger refund. This way, you get to keep up with all changes in state and federal taxation laws, and avoid owing taxes that arise from these changes.
- File Returns from Your Computer – Tax software enables you to e-file your tax returns which is much faster and more convenient than having to mail them. You therefore enjoy more time to pay your tax liability, receive your refund faster and also get to avoid having to go to the post office or wait in line for your check.
- Avoid Audits – Tax software reduces the risk of your being audited or getting penalized by the IRS. These programs are designed to check for errors before filing, while some offer a guarantee for any calculation errors. This way, you get paid for any penalties arising due to errors plus interest.
- Answers to Tax Related Questions – It is easier to get answers to your tax related questions using tax software than it would be say visiting the IRS site. Some programs will display typical questions and answers on every screen you are working on. You may also use the help feature or directly ask for answers from specialists on the program’s live community of experts.
- Store Taxes on Your Computer – Tax software is great for keeping records as it stores your taxes on your computer. Some programs even feature online versions that will store your tax records on protected servers. This enables you to access your tax records for any year at any time and any place.
- Save Time – Tax software allows for the conversion of tax records from your federal return to your state return which is impossible to do when filling a paper return as you would have to type out or write this information twice. Tax programs therefore save you the time taken by this double work while also getting rid of any common errors that typically occur when copying out such information.
For tax preparation and filing, there are so many options to choose from now that sometimes you just don’t know where to begin. Once upon a time, H&R Block and the other retail franchises dominated the tax prep market. But with the wide acceptance of the internet and online tax software, more people are making the choice to prepare and file their returns themselves. Add to these options the free online tools available through the IRS website and you truly have a boatload of choices for filing your taxes. But, how do you choose the right choice? Glad you asked.
Retail Tax Franchises
We as humans are creatures of habit and once we find a routine we like, then it’s pretty hard to convince us to do anything else. Kind of like your favorite fast food place. Retail tax franchises like H&R Block, Liberty Tax, and Jackson Hewitt all enjoy committed and long-term tax clients. For those taxpayers with simple returns (usually people with one or at the most two jobs), this option is the best for several reasons. Speed and pricing are the primary reasons people continue to use this option. Often the tax preparers that provide prep and filing services are more than qualified to handle the various nuisances of individual taxpayers with one to two jobs, a house, and a child or two. Also, you can’t overlook the familiarity and low risk hassle with these franchises that people have come to expect and rather enjoy. From year to year, there are no big changes in terms of preparer turnover or pricing adjustments.
Online Tax Software
The rise in people using online tax software has exploded in recent years. For some, the aspect of going to a retail tax franchise has either lost its appeal or the tax return has become more complex due to more income, different types of income, or dealing in different types of property (personal, investment, and business). Even the IRS has encouraged those with simple returns to utilize free online software tools. Like the retail tax franchises, you can expect some cost savings depending on the type of return being prepared and filed. Also, this option gives you control and confidence in preparing your own return. Even though these online tax software packages provide a useful user experience through the use of online help options and even having available tax experts to help with hard to understand tax code sections, unless you have a firm grasp of the tax code, you shouldn’t rely totally on what the software recommends. This is where having a knowledgeable and competent tax consultant comes in handy.
Unlike these two options, a tax consultant that provides tax prep, filing, and consulting services specializes in understanding the tax code in-depth along with being available all year. Similar to having an insurance agent to call when you have a car accident or home burglary or even a personal banker when you have either a need for a home or car loan, a tax consultant is a trusted advisor that helps to provide peace of mind for you in areas of personal or business tax at a reasonable and affordable price.