Tax season is back, and it’s a good idea to get ahead of the game by filing your business tax returns. It’s more important to file your taxes accurately and securely than it is to finish them quickly. Tax software online can help you succeed on both counts.
There are many small business tax software options to suit different needs. This is because everyone’s tax burden is unique. This buying guide will help you navigate the selection process. We have reviewed the leading online tax software programs and created a review of the top ones. You can safely file your federal and state taxes online by paying attention to the software available and your needs.
What to look for when choosing online tax software
It may be overwhelming to choose online tax software, but it’s not that different than buying other business programs and equipment. You can use the following steps to find the right tax software and other products for your business.
Determine the size and organization of your business. Your tax software requirements will be influenced by your company’s size, organizational structure, and special tax situations.
Ask for referrals. Online review sites are often interesting but not always trustworthy. Ask other small-business owners which tax software they are using and how well it works. Get professional recommendations from your accounting or legal professionals if you have them on staff or contracted.
Browse the market. Use your information from steps 1 and 2 in order to narrow down your search and find vendors who meet your needs and have a solid reputation. Compare the features and prices of different plans for these programs.
If available, use a trial or demo period. Nothing can replace actually using the software. Test your top two options if possible. You can then see which one is the easiest to use and meets your requirements best. Contact the customer service of each vendor to assess their support.
Buy the software. By following the steps above, you should be able to find a superior solution. If you decide to buy the tax software of your choice, be sure that you get exactly what you want — a federal program, a state program, or software that can handle both.
Considerations to make when selecting online tax software
It is not enough to look at screenshots and choose the cheapest software. The key factors are accuracy, functionality, and ease of use. When selecting the best online tax software for your business, consider these factors.
Your specific needs determine the cost of online tax software. Each product has a different feature mix and price structure. If you need advanced features or assistance with state tax returns, then the more expensive software is usually required.
Some lower-tier or less expensive tax software solutions are lacking in essential features or cut corners. There are, however, some programs that can be used to file taxes very efficiently and at a relatively low cost. It’s not just about the price of software but also how much time you spend on tax preparation.
Easy of Use
It’s always a good idea to test out the software before buying. It’s not worth buying software that is difficult to use or confusing to do taxes.
Many companies that offer tax software demos are willing to provide them for free. Contact the company and request a demo if they don’t have one posted on their website. You can also read professional and user reviews to get a better idea of how the software is used.
The types of tax forms that a software program can submit are some of its most important features. Make sure the solution you choose supports all of the conditions that you require. The majority of leading tax software programs offer a wide range of conditions. You’re likely to find the format you need by selecting the correct pricing level.
State taxes are also important to consider. Is the software able to provide all of the forms that you need? Does the software charge a fee for state returns? How much is the additional cost? These questions will help you make a purchase decision.
Options for disbursement
It would be best if you also considered how you would receive your money in the event that you overpaid estimated taxes or withheld tax. This process is made easier by most software, which offers options such as direct deposit or PayPal. If you prefer, it’s possible to get a check via mail. Avoid programs that only support certain delivery methods, such as pre-filled debit cards or gift cards.
Deductions and Credits
All software companies include hundreds of tax credits and deductions in their systems. Any tax software should allow you to claim any deduction or credit that is applicable. One tax software may help you more than another in finding all possible deductions and credits. It’s important to check if it is easy to enter information and determine if you are eligible for certain tax benefits.
If you have a complex tax situation or an unusual tax event, you should read reviews about the software you are considering. Pay attention to the comments on whether the software helped users find tax benefits. Check out what tax deductions are available and which ones you cannot.
Most tax software is web-based or has mobile apps. You can, therefore, do your taxes from anywhere you have an internet connection. Some programs are not compatible with all platforms. Does the software only work on PCs or Macs? Does the mobile app that allows you to check your finances or file documents work on both Android phones and iOS? Flexible and compatible software is essential. Before you buy, make sure that it can be used on the platform of your choice.
Tax advice from professionals
Sometimes, you will need additional help, even with the most comprehensive software. If you ever need a tax professional, it’s a good idea to have one in your corner. Some of the leading companies provide professional tax advice as a part of their package or an optional extra. When researching different vendors, consider the value of such expertise.
Customer service and tech support
Both technical support and customer services must be of high quality. You’ll need to have a vendor representative who is responsive, friendly, and helpful if something goes wrong while you are filing your taxes. Before making a decision, familiarize yourself with the software company. Good tech support can transform a crisis into an inconvenience. Don’t compromise on value here.