5 Best Ways to File Your Taxes Online

by | Apr 18, 2021

Filing your taxes does not have to be complicated. Today, there are dozens of ways to file taxes online. Infact, some of them are free.

We’ve done the research and found the best and most efficient ways to file your taxes. Continue reading to find the best one that suits your needs.

Top Options to File Taxes Online

As a business owner, you know the importance of time management. Furthermore, when it comes to filing taxes, you want an online service that will not only make filing taxes easy, but is also budget friendly.

You want a tax filing system that fits your business needs. 

If you are an independent contractor or a small business or even middle size business, we’ve detailed some options you will find valuable.

1. H&R Block

H&R Block has in-person options and online.  What we love about their online option, is that the process is easy and personable. 

Even though you are technically filling out a form, it does not feel that way. And as you answer one question, the tool knows what to ask next.

As you work through the online system, it calculates in real-time. Showing you what you may or may not owe.

And as you have questions or are not be sure what is being asked, you can ask for help.

Key Features and Offerings:

Free Online:

  • Federal and State
  • Great for students
  • Best with Form 1040
  • W-2 income, dependents, student loan

Deluxe:

  • $49.99 federal and $36.99 per state
  • Itemization
  • Technical support
  • Best for Independent contractor/self-employed
  • HSA Contributions
  • Store tax returns up to six years

Premier:

  • $69.99 federal and $36.99 per state
  • Adds Schedule D, E, and F
  • And self-employed deductions
  • For rental income
  • For investments

Self-employed:

  • Small business
  • Self-employed
  • Adds Schedule C
  • Additional guidance for Self-employed

To check out H&R Block, start here.

2. Credit Karma Tax

Credit Karma is known for helping you manage your credit score. They recently created Credit Karma Tax to help you file taxes online for free.

Like most online filing, Credit Karma Tax takes care of helping you fill out the online forms. What we love about this company is the cost and other features like connecting to your Square Cash App.

As a business owner, you understand the difficulty of having too many tools to run your business. Being able to have your Square Cash App link to your taxes is a huge feature. 

Key Features and Offerings:

  • Links to your Square Cash App
  • 128-bit or higher encryption to protect transmission of data 
  • Free for Federal and State filers
  • Supports Schedule C, A, 8812, EIC
  • Supports 1099
  • Easy user interface

Not supported are multiple state returns and non residential state returns.

Learn more about Credit Karma Tax here.

3. FreeTaxUsa

FreeTaxUsa is a great leader in the free filing arena. Taxes are complicated to do and it is nice to have a few companies that support filing Federal taxes for free. State returns start at $12.99.

The Deluxe option is $6.00 which includes priority access and live chats for help, audit assistance, and unlimited amended returns. 

The online tool is very intuitive much like other online services, asking the right questions about your home, marital status, children and more to help you get the best tax return.

Additionally, if you have never used FreeTaxUsa before and are switching over, you can easily import a PDF of your previous tax returns.

Key Features and Offerings:

  • Free options and State return $12.99
  • Deluxe options $6.00
  • Two-factor authentication security
  • Mobile friendly 
  • Supports all major forms and Schedules
  • Onsite help library
  • No income (AGI) restrictions for filing

Learn more about FreeTaxUSA here.

4. TurboTax

One of the most well-known tax companies is TurboTax. This 25 year plus company is known for their robust detail. Like other companies, they offer a free plan for those that need to file their Form 1040 and Form 1040 unemployment income.

Prices include the Free editions, Deluxe starting at $60, Premier at $90, and Self-Employed at $120.

Key Features and Offerings:

  • Dependent credits
  • Works with Quickbooks
  • Tax preparation guides
  • TurboTax Live Feature
  • Military discount
  • $50 per additional state return
  • Expense estimator
  • Upload photo of W-2

5. TaxSlayer

One of the newer and upcoming online tax companies is TaxSlayer. We chose to review this option due to their affordability and ease of use. 

If you have simple taxes (Form 1040), this may be a viable option. Their Simple Free plan allows for one free Federal and one free State return.

With a TrustPilot score of 4.4,, there are few minor complaints about compilations with Form 1099.  Remember with any tax filing system, make sure your information is correct and consistent on all forms. Any minor change can slow down the process.

Key Features and Offerings:

  • Unlimited customer support
  • Best for Form 1040 users
  • Imports competitor returns
  • All major IRS forms and schedules
  • Classic $24.99
  • Premium $44.95
  • Self-employed $54.95
  • Maximize expenses Form 1099 and Schedule C

Pre-Filing Tips

Before there were online tools to enter your spending, most used a notebook to write down mileage and a shoe box to store our receipts. Today, there is an app for everything. In fact, there are payroll services that can help you track your spending as well.

Here are some tips to stay prepared throughout the year so tax time does not seem too overwhelming.

  • Create file folders for major categories
  • Check to see if your payroll service imports
  • Label your receipts 
  • Have a secure place to store your tax paperwork
  • Track work mileage if self-employed
  • Once a month organize file folders and receipts

FAQ

Can I file taxes online for free?

Yes and no. There are many tax filing companies to choose from. Some offer free options if you have simple 1040 taxes to file. Make sure to check with the company you choose the right product that fits your needs.

What if I haven’t received all of my W-2 forms from my employer?

We recommend you contact your employer and ask them for a copy of your W-2. Companies are required to send their employees W-2 by January 31.

How do I know if I have to file a tax return?

Your gross income will determine if you have to file. Check out IRS Publication 501 that will provide more information. The amount can change from year to year. In 2020, the filing threshold for single people younger than 64 was $12,400.

What filing status should I choose?

This is based on your household status. The IRS provides an interactive tool to help taxpayers choose a filing status.

What are dependents?

Dependents are considered children or others in your household you support. We recommend you check out the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant Tool to help you determine how to file dependents. Additionally, most tax software will ask you pertinent questions.

Summary

Getting a business up and running is daunting. Doing your business taxes can be more overwhelming. Today there are amazing online companies that can help you with your taxes. 

We hope our brief overview of our top picks can help you save time, money and a few headaches.

And if in doubt, always refer to the IRS site. Especially, in these past years, since they have extended the filing date

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