How do I Choose the Best Professional Tax Preparation Software?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2019
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When you want to choose the best professional tax preparation software, one way to compare programs is by taking advantage of free trials. Free trials allow you to determine whether a program will work for you based on experience. Likewise, free trials may help you determine whether a particular program has the features you want in tax preparation software. You may also find it beneficial to ask for recommendations from others and even read software reviews online before you choose. Additionally, if electronic filing is available in your area, you may also compare programs based on whether or not they allow this method of filing.

One way to choose the best professional tax preparation software involves taking advantage of free trials. In most cases, free trials will not allow you to go through with filing a tax return, but you may use most of the program's other features. This way, you can get a feel for the software and determine whether it is user-friendly. A free trial will also allow you to examine the software to determine whether you will be able to use it to prepare the types of tax returns you need. For example, you may prefer tax preparation software that is designed for use in preparing business tax returns in addition to returns for individuals.


You may also find is easier to choose the best professional tax preparation software if you seek out the opinions of those who have already used the software you are considering. For example, you may ask friends, family members, and business associates for recommendations of good tax preparation programs. You may also search online for reviews of professional tax preparation software. In fact, some online review sites list multiple reviews from different people. This can allow you to obtain the opinions of many people at one time, without spending hours searching.

In addition to free trials and recommendations, you may also compare professional tax preparation software based on whether or not it has all of the features you want. For example, you may want software that prompts you to update it periodically. Likewise, you may want advanced features, such as the ability to sync with accounting or budget software. Such a feature may prevent you from having to re-type figures stored in these programs. Additionally, you may prefer tax preparation software that allows you to print a hard copy of your tax return for traditional filing as well as the ability to file online.


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Post 1

Make sure to check out the fees of any tax prep software you want to buy. A low entry price is often a way to conceal expensive fees for everything from filing a federal return to generating a state one. If your tax prep software slaps you with a higher fee than you would have gotten had you headed down to H&R Block, then have you really gained anything?

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