Doing your own taxes is usually a headache, but it doesn’t have to be. With the best tax software, you can easily spot deductions, figure out what forms you need to file, and automate complex tax worksheets. Tax software can even help you file your taxes online so you can get your refund sooner.
We reviewed dozens of platforms to bring you the top 10 tax software available in 2023.
Check out the following table to see our top picks and find out which tax software is right for you.
|Compare the Best Tax Software|
Choosing between self-filing and professional guidance
Clients with both simple and complex tax filing needs
People who might need in-person support with filing taxes
Soloprenuers, gig workers, and the self-employed
Individuals, property owners, and small businesses looking for a seamless tax filing experience
Individuals looking for expert assistance with their taxes
Self-employed users looking for a bargain on their tax return, but not looking to work with a professional accountant
Choosing between online and in-person support
Free (for simple returns only, not all taxpayers qualify)
$0, $29.99, $49.99, or $84.99
$14 per month
$24.95, $44.95, or $64.95
Free (Federal), $21 (State)
Online self-filing: $25. Walmart locations: from $59. Other methods dependent on your circumstances.
No, but offers a 7-day free trial
Key forms supported
1040; Schedules 1,2, and 3; Schedules A, B, C, D, and E; Schedule EIC Schedule SE
Form 1040; schedules supported depend on plan purchased
1040, 8853, 4562, 8829, 4136, 8839, 4684, 4835
1099, 1040, W-2
Schedule C of Form 1040 (for an $89 filing fee per year)
Form 1040; schedules supported depend on plan
Form 1040; schedules supported depend on plan
1040, 1099, W-2
W-2, 1040, 1040-1099-SSA, 1116-6781, 8857, Foreign Tax Credit, and more
Yes (iOS and Android)
Yes, on both iOS and Android
Yes (iOS and Android)
Video chat. Live chat. Phone. Advisors available.
Yes, phone and in-person; live chat for paying customers
Yes (in-person and virtual)
Yes: unlimited CPA advice; designated CPA with premium version; AI identifies tax deductions
Yes, “Ask An Accountant” feature
Yes (via live chat, phone, and email)
Yes, in-office or online
A Closer Look at the Top 10 Best Tax Software
- Audit guarantee service availableRead TurboTax Review
- Best forChoosing between self-filing and professional guidance
- Base priceFree (for simple returns only, not all taxpayers qualify)
- Key forms supported1040; Schedules 1,2, and 3; Schedules A, B, C, D, and E; Schedule EIC Schedule SE
If you’re nervous about completing your tax return, TurboTax’s flexible services could help put your mind at rest, as well as saving you significant time and effort. With 4 plans, the platform allows you to complete your taxes yourself or receive guidance from its advisors. While TurboTax has a poor rating on Trustpilot, it does offer an impressive audit guarantee service, which will provide you with free support should your return trigger further scrutiny from the IRS. Likewise, the company promises to pay any penalties you face as a result of a mistake on its part, plus interest.
But is it really worth the money? Although it wouldn’t hurt to try out the free (for simple tax returns only, not all taxpayers qualify) version of its software, you should be aware that there are less expensive alternatives to its paid plans. Whether TurboTax is a worthwhile investment for you will probably come down to your level of confidence in filing your tax returns or the complexity of your affairs.Pros
- Full service available
- Multi-factor/biometric authentication
- Audit guarantee service
- Cheaper alternatives to paid plans
- Poor reviews on Trustpilot
- Online tax software, including a free versionRead H&R Block Online Review
- Best forClients with both simple and complex tax filing needs
- Base price$0, $29.99, $49.99, or $84.99
- Key forms supportedForm 1040; schedules supported depend on plan purchased
H&R Block is a large tax preparation company offering both free and paid tax filing software. The software is highly rated, earning a 4.4-star average review among 350,000 past customers, and is priced competitively against other offerings.
Its 4 plans include a $0 version for students and W-2 employees with uncomplicated tax returns, a $29.99 offering for those who want to itemize their deductions (to claim HSA contributions and dependent care deductions), a $49.99 option for investors and landlords to report investment and rental income, and an $84.99 plan for solopreneurs, gig workers, freelancers, and the self-employed. For state filings, the company charges $0 for the free plan and $36.99 per state on all paid plans. Clients who want extra help can also purchase live tax help for $39.99.
H&R Block also features two mobile apps—a year-round version for on-demand tax advice and a tax prep app for tax season. Clients who want to engage in longer-term tax planning can also pay for personalized, 1-1 services with a tax professional, who can ensure clients make tax-optimal decisions throughout the year.Pros
- Robust and feature-rich free version available
- Tax filing software is intuitive and user-friendly
- Offers unlimited live, on-demand help for a nominal fee
- Blog and tax help resources somewhat difficult to find
- Add-on state tax return filings are expensive
- Connect with a virtual tax proRead Liberty Tax Review
- Best forPeople who might need in-person support with filing taxes
- Base price$44.95
- Key forms supported1040, 8853, 4562, 8829, 4136, 8839, 4684, 4835
Liberty Tax offers both in-person and online tax filing services. To complete your return online, you can choose from 3 packages depending on the complexity of your tax situation. For extra help, you can get support from a virtual tax pro, or go in-branch for more help. Plus, you can use the Liberty Tax app to upload and manage your return.
Although you should be aware of some negative customer feedback, Liberty Tax’s apps are highly rated and should help you file your taxes without hassle. Plus, Liberty Tax’s professionals will check your return before filing is completed. If you’re looking for a hybrid solution with both online and in-person solutions for getting your taxes done, Liberty Tax could be worth consideration.Pros
- Use the app to make online filing easier
- Connect with a virtual tax pro or go in-store for help
- Useful calculators and tools
- Poorly rated by some customers
- More expensive than some competitors
- Use AI so you don’t miss any deductiblesRead FlyFin Review
- Best forFreelancers
- Base price$84/year
- Key forms supported1099, 1040, W-2
FlyFin is one of the only tax software apps specifically geared toward freelancers and solopreneurs. It allows you to take care of all of your bookkeeping needs, and you can connect with a CPA for answers to your tax questions at any time. Those who opt for the premium version of the app will also have access to a designated CPA who can help with filing from start to finish. FlyFin’s AI capabilities make it a great tool for freelancers and solopreneurs looking to file their taxes online.Pros
- AI-powered tax deductible finder
- Quarterly tax reports available
- Export taxes so you can self-file
- Need to pay if you want help filing through app
- No monthly subscription plans available
- A tax and bookkeeping app for solopreneursRead Keeper Tax Review
- Best forSoloprenuers, gig workers, and the self-employed
- Base price$14 per month
- Key forms supportedSchedule C of Form 1040 (for an $89 filing fee per year)
Keeper Tax helps 1099 contractors keep track of their business expenses so they can maximize their deductions and minimize their tax bill.
Solopreneurs using Keeper Tax simply link their bank accounts and payment cards with the app, and the platform will automatically categorize past and future transactions, identifying business-related expenses and keeping a record of them. From this point onwards, the app will do the heavy lifting. Users can simply run it in the background, and Keeper Tax will capture and make note of business expenses autonomously.
When it comes time to file taxes, users can claim and deduct every business-related cost recorded by the app, deductions they might otherwise have missed. Existing clients can even pay an $89 add-on fee to have Keeper Tax automatically file their taxes for them.
While it’s not for multi-employee companies or rapidly scaling firms, Keeper Tax stands as a robust, decently affordable option for the self-employed, elegantly and painlessly taking away the stressors and headaches of bookkeeping and taxes.Pros
- Simple, automatic expense tracking and bookkeeping
- Hands-off, hassle-free experience once it’s set up
- Simple pricing structure means fewer surprises
- Single offering means features don’t scale with your business
- Unappealing to those already separating out their business finances
- Connect with tax experts for freeRead TaxAct Review
- Best forIndividuals, property owners, and small businesses looking for a seamless tax filing experience
- Base price$0
- Key forms supportedForm 1040; schedules supported depend on plan
TaxAct offers online tax filing services via desktop or mobile app. With 4 filing options and free expert tax help at all plan levels, TaxAct is a great choice for a variety of filers. While TaxAct may not be as fancy or offer as many features as some other products, it offers competitive prices and a streamlined, simple process for completing your taxes.
TaxAct goes above and beyond with its Xpert Advice service, which gives customers of all levels free access to a tax expert who can answer questions and review their filings. The Xpert Full Service is another unique feature offered by TaxAct, and while it isn’t free, it’s a great option for those who don’t want to deal with the stress of doing their own taxes.
While TaxAct does have some negative reviews from TrustPilot and BBB, its $100k accuracy and maximum refund guarantee should give you peace of mind.Pros
- Offers step-by-step structure that makes filing taxes easy
- Free expert tax help
- More affordable than similar products
- Fewer tools and features than other tax software
- Doesn’t offer an advance on your refund
- User-friendly tax prep and free tax helpRead eSmart Tax Review
- Best forIndividuals looking for expert assistance with their taxes
- Base price$24.95, $44.95, or $64.95
- Key forms supportedForm 1040; schedules supported depend on plan
Backed by well-known tax preparation company Liberty Tax, eSmart Tax offers 3 do-it-yourself tax preparation and filing software packages. Its Basic package costs $24.95 and is aimed at individuals with straightforward tax situations—like single filers with no dependents. The company’s Deluxe package comes at $44.95 and is for taxpayers who need to claim a wider array of tax deductions and credits. At $64.95, eSmart Tax’s Premium package is for taxpayers with even more complex tax situations. This plan is designed for solopreneurs, gig workers, contractors, and the self-employed—those who have many business deductions in addition to personal deductions to claim.
As is typical among tax software, eSmart Tax charges an additional fee of $36.95 per state filing. However, live support is free and can be reached on a variety of channels. This makes the company a compelling option for those who want additional guidance as they file their taxes.Pros
- Simple 3-tier pricing structure
- Expert tax assistance included with purchase
- Offers “100% accuracy” and “biggest refund” guarantees
- No free version available
- No solutions for entrepreneurs or SMEs
- Self-guided tax return software on a budgetRead E-file.com Review
- Best forSelf-employed users looking for a bargain on their tax return, but not looking to work with a professional accountant
- Base priceFree (Federal), $21 (State)
- Key forms supported1040, 1099, W-2
E-file.com is self-guided tax return software. It’s great if you feel comfortable completing a complex tax return and want to save money on a paid tax software. It comes with three pricing levels, Free, Deluxe, and Premium. The Free version lacks some common features like deductions for dependents, and income under the free version is capped at $100,000. It is also worth noting that only Federal tax returns fall under the pricing tiers. State tax returns with E-file have a flat fee of $21, regardless of the price you paid for the federal return.
On the other hand, E-file charges much less than competing brands for its paid tiers, which unlock features like business income, credit schedules and itemized deductions. One feature that E-file lacks entirely is review by an accountant. This means that it is best suited for users that are comfortable doing their own taxes without outside help. If you are self-employed or have lots of complex deductions, and are comfortable doing your own taxes, give E-file a try.Pros
- Deluxe and Premium tiers are cheaper than comparable competitor products
- Free federal return available
- A+ BBB rating
- No assistance from an accountant
- No free state return
- Lifetime accuracy guaranteeRead Jackson Hewitt Review
- Best forChoosing between online and in-person support
- Base priceOnline self-filing: $25. Walmart locations: from $59. Other methods dependent on your circumstances.
- Key forms supportedW-2, 1040, 1040-1099-SSA, 1116-6781, 8857, Foreign Tax Credit, and more
If you’d like the flexibility of filing your federal and state tax returns online or in person, Jackson Hewitt could be an attractive option. With 3 filing options, it will provide you with a lifetime accuracy guarantee and offers you $100 if you’re able to obtain a larger refund on your federal taxes through another provider.
In addition to filing services, the company offers a tax-resolution service, which can provide you with guidance and support if you’re having issues with the IRS.
While the flat fee of $25 for those who file their taxes themselves with guidance from Jackson Hewitt is competitive, Jackson Hewitt doesn’t publish its other pricing. When you receive help from a tax professional, the amount you pay will depend on the complexity of your affairs and your tax profile.
Perhaps the most significant drawback we encountered is that the company doesn't currently have an app. However, it’s worth remembering that you can organize all your tax affairs through your online account, which means this may not be a major issue for many taxpayers.Pros
- $100 payment if you find a larger refund on federal taxes
- Lifetime accuracy guarantee
- Online and in-person support
- 24/7 customer service not available
- Mobile app not available
What is a tax software?
Tax software is software that’s designed to walk you through the process of calculating and filing your taxes. It can do many different things, including:
- Determining what forms you need to file
- Helping you find deductions
- Automatically entering itemized receipts
- Calculating your tax owed
- Filing your local and state taxes
While tax software isn’t a replacement for a professional accountant, it simplifies the process of figuring out your taxes on your own. Also, using tax software is typically much cheaper than going to an accountant.
Notably, most modern tax software is sold on a subscription or annual basis. You’ll pay a small amount to use the software this tax season and then pay again next year. This works well because tax software has to stay up to date as state and federal tax laws change. Every year, the software will have updated tax tables, mileage rates, and other factors that can impact your return.
How to choose the right tax software for your needs?
Picking which tax software is right for you comes down to several different factors.
Complexity of your return
The first thing to consider is how complex your tax return is. If you work at a company and don’t have a side business, your return will likely be relatively easy. But if you have multiple income streams or own a business, your return will be much more involved. It’s crucial to ensure that the tax software that you choose can support all the calculations and forms that you need.
Another thing to consider is how experienced you are at doing your own taxes. Certain tax software is designed to be beginner-friendly and will guide you through every step of the filing process. For example, you might be presented with questionnaires rather than blank forms to fill out.
However, more advanced tax software might assume that you’re already familiar with common tax forms. You’ll need to be comfortable figuring out what forms you need and how the different tax worksheets fit together.
Whether you can get support from a professional accountant when you need it is also an essential factor to think about. Some tax software platforms offer free advice, while others have accountants standing by for an additional fee. Popular software packages may also have online forums where you can get help from other users.
The point of using tax software as opposed to an accountant is to save money. So, cost matters when comparing tax software. Be sure to check whether there are additional fees for filing with your state or the federal government and whether there’s a money-back guarantee if you can’t make the software work for you. Many tax software platforms will let you calculate your taxes for free, and you only pay when it’s time to file.
How does tax software work?
Tax software works by taking the tax forms from the IRS and transforming them into a format that makes sense to everyday people, not just tax professionals. Most tax software use a series of questionnaires to understand your financial situation, income streams, and potential deductions. Based on your responses, the software will determine what tax forms you need to submit and help you fill them out.
Depending on what software you use, you may never even see the tax forms that are submitted to the IRS. Instead, you’ll simply be asked to answer basic questions and provide numbers for your income and expenses. Once you’re finished, the software will display a user-friendly summary of your income, deductions, and tax liabilities.
Finally, tax software can file your taxes electronically on your behalf. Most software can file both federal and state taxes. You can make a payment directly through the software if you owe money, as well as enter your payment details if you’re eligible for a refund.
Tax Form Glossary
Let’s take a closer look at a few of the most common forms that individuals will file with their taxes.
Form 1040 is the individual income tax return form. In essence, it’s the master form that every individual in the US needs to submit to the IRS. This form will have your name and address, your income, the sum of all your deductions, the total tax that you owe, and the total that you’ve already paid through quarterly taxes and withholdings. At the end of Form 1040, you will include your payment details to pay your tax bill or the details for how to receive your refund.
Form W-2 is provided by your employer. It lists your wages and any other compensation that you’ve received over the past year, including tips. It also lists your federal and state withholdings, which is money that you’ve already paid out of your salary toward your tax bill. If you don’t have Form W-2, contact your employer—you should get one W-2 from each employer that you’ve had over the past year.
Form 1099-INT is where you report interest income. This is typically used to report interest on money that you have in the bank.
Form 1099-DIV is where you report dividend income. This is typically used to report dividend payouts from stocks.
Form 1098-E is where you report interest that you paid on a qualified student loan so you can deduct this interest from your taxes. This form is provided by your loan servicer if you paid more than $600 in interest over the past year.
Form 1098-T is where you report qualified educational expenses, such as tuition, enrollment fees, and course materials. These expenses are eligible to be used as deductions. Form 1098-T is provided by your college or other educational institutions.
Form 1040 Schedule A is used for itemized deductions if you decide not to take the standard deduction. It includes categories for medical expenses, taxes, interest payments, charitable gifts, losses due to theft, work expenses, and miscellaneous expenses.
Form 1040 Schedule C is used to report your profit or loss from your business if you are self-employed and have a sole proprietorship. Most people who file Schedule C also need to file Schedule SE, which is used to calculate self-employment taxes.
Should I use tax software or hire a CPA?
Whether you should use tax software or hire a tax professional comes down to whether you want to do your own taxes or have someone else take care of them for you. Tax software makes doing your own taxes easier, but it still requires effort on your part.
What day are taxes due in 2023?
The deadline for filing your 2021 taxes is April 18, 2023.
What happens if I miss the tax deadline?
If you miss the deadline to file your taxes and haven’t filed for an extension, the IRS can charge you a penalty. The penalty is 5% of the taxes that you owe for each month that your return is late, up to a maximum penalty of 25%.