Select the best TurboTax Alternative based on this review of the top alternatives to TurboTax with features and comparison:
TurboTax is no doubt the best tax software available today. It offers the features that everyone wants in tax software.
With TurboTax, you can just hand over your taxes to an expert or do it yourself with the help of an expert. It also gives tips on how to maximize tax deductions and provides some very beneficial educational videos and articles.
But all of this comes up with a cost. TurboTax is a bit more expensive than other tax preparation software. But the features offered are worth your money.
Then why do people look for an alternative to TurboTax? That’s probably because they want the same set of features at a comparatively lower cost.
What You Will Learn:
Alternatives to TurboTax
Here in this article, we will give you details about the best TurboTax alternatives, will tell you the reason why that software can be a good alternative, and will compare the listed alternatives to give you a clear idea of the software that matches your needs the most.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q #1) Is TurboTax cheaper than a CPA?
Answer: If we compare TurboTax vs CPA (Certified Public Accountant), we will find that a CPA can cost you much higher than the expert-assisted filing with TurboTax. According to Investopedia, the average cost of getting an itemized form 1040 and a state tax return through a CPA is $273.
On the other hand, with TurboTax, you can file with the help of a tax expert at prices ranging from $80 to $200. Thus, TurboTax seems to be the winner in the battle of TurboTax vs accountant.
Q #2) Where can I do my taxes for free?
Answer: There are tax software out there that offer free filing for federal as well as state taxes. Some of them are TurboTax, FreeTaxUSA, H&R Block, TaxAct, TaxSlayer, Credit Karma Tax, and the official website of the IRS.
Some of these, (like TurboTax) offer only simple tax filing while others give some options for deductions too.
Q #3) Is FreeTaxUSA actually free?
Answer: Filing for federal returns is free with FreeTaxUSA. Pay $14.99 per state return filed. Plus, there is a Deluxe plan priced at $6.99, that offers you priority support, unlimited amendments after submitting returns, and audit assistance.
Q #4) Can I use tax software to complete my income tax returns?
Answer: Yes, in fact, tax software can be extremely helpful in completing your income tax returns. Most of the tax software offers free tax filing for simple taxes.
Apart from this, with the help of tax software, like H&R Block, TaxAct, and many more, you can take help from a tax expert for filing the taxes, or even hand over your taxes to an expert at TurboTax.
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Q #5) Can I write off the cost of tax software?
Answer: Yes, the cost of tax software can be deducted through the miscellaneous itemized deductions. You should keep that in mind that the total of all deductions should be more than 2% of your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income).
Q #6) Are accountants worth it?
Answer: An accountant can minimize much of your tax-related worries and can even give you helpful tips through which you can maximize your tax deductions.
But there are many software out there today that offer expert advice, while filing for taxes, at costs that are much lower than the cost of hiring an accountant.
List Of The Best TurboTax Alternatives
Here are some notable TurboTax Alternatives:
- H&R Block
- Credit Karma Tax
- Liberty Tax
Comparison Of Some Top Alternatives To TurboTax
|Tool Name||Best for||Price||Why is it a good TurboTax alternative|
|FreeTaxUSA||Brings up a nice range of features at minimal or no charges at all.||$0 for federal returns, $14.99 for state return||Offers more features in the free version|
|H&R Block||Free features plus expert help.||Price plans start from $0 to $109.99||Free version has more features than TurboTax.|
|TaxAct||Comparatively lower prices||Price plans start from $0 to $94.95||20% cheaper than TurboTax|
|TaxSlayer||Expert assistance with the premium and the higher price plans||Price plans start from $24.95 to $54.95 (additional fees for state taxes).||One free state and one free federal filing|
|Credit Karma Tax||100% free||Free||Nice features at absolutely no cost|
|Liberty Tax||Tax preparation training and easy to use tax filing features.||$0 to $89.95 (plus additional fees for state tax filing).||Tax preparation training and in-person assistance features.|
|IRS||Provides all tax related information.||Free||The most trustworthy (free from frauds) tax filing option.|
Detailed reviews about the alternatives to TurboTax:
Best for bringing up a nice range of features at minimal or no charges at all.
Both TurboTax and FreeTaxUSA offer a free version.
The TurboTax free edition lets you file for your federal and state taxes at $0 costs, with easy and quick steps. But that’s only possible if you have to file a simple tax return. Stock sales, rental property income, and many more situations are not covered in the free version.
If we look at FreeTaxUSA, it lets you file for your federal taxes at absolutely no cost, while you have to pay $14.99 for a state return. FreeTaxUSA supports 350+ deductions and credits and even gives audit assistance at minimal costs.
- Import your returns from another software, easily and free.
- Federal tax filing is free.
- You can file for joint returns.
- Supports 350+ deductions and credits.
Verdict: FreeTaxUSA offers more features than the free version of TurboTax. But there is no expert help available. You can get live chat support with the add-on Deluxe plan, though.
Price: Price structure is:
- Federal Returns: $0
- Filing Form 4868: $0
- State Return: $14.99
- Deluxe Plan: $6.99
- Mailed Printed Return: $7.99
#2) H&R Block
Best for free features plus expert help.
H&R Block is the tax software that gives you more free features than TurboTax.
With H&R Block, you can file for the state as well as federal taxes for free. Plus, if you want help from a tax pro, you can opt for it with the Premium plan, priced at $69.99.
- Simply upload a snap of your W-2 and start filing.
- Gives you free EIC (Earned Income Credits).
- Gives you real-time updates on your refund.
- Free audit support.
- Up to $10,000 compensation if any error occurs because of the software.
Verdict: You can not claim small business expenses or rental income & deductions from the free plan. But it gives you free federal and state filing options and paid expert help.
- Free: $0
- Deluxe: Starts at $49.99
- Premium: Starts at $69.99
- Self Employed: Starts at $109.99
Website: H&R Block
Best for comparatively lower prices.
All the plans offered by TaxAct are cheaper than TurboTax, but TurboTax wins when we look at the ease of use offered for preparing the returns. The free plan of TaxAct offers more options than the free plan of TurboTax.
- A free version offers free federal filing.
- Options for dependents, unemployment, and retirement with the free plan.
- Gives you pro-tips on how to get the best possible outcome from filing taxes.
- You can easily switch to TaxAct by simply uploading the PDF of your returns of the previous year.
Verdict: TaxAct has almost all the features offered by TurboTax, that too at 20% lower prices. But TurboTax is easier to use. If you have some knowledge about tax preparation, then TaxAct can be a good option for you.
- Free: $0 for federal filing and $39.95 for state filing
- Deluxe: $47.95
- Premier: $71.95
- Self Employed: $94.95
*additional $54.95 per state filed, for Deluxe, Premier and Self Employed plans.
Best for expert assistance with the premium and the higher price plans.
TaxSlayer can be a beneficial TurboTax alternative. The classic plan covers all tax situations at an affordable price.
The premium plan, which is a lot cheaper than the Premier plan of TurboTax, offers help from a Tax Pro. With TurboTax, purchase another plan for at least $80, for expert assistance.
- The free version offers one free federal as well as one free state return.
- Get unlimited guidance from an expert while filing your taxes.
- Saves your time by filling your return using the info of the last year.
- Personalized tax tips.
- Reminds you about tax payments.
Verdict: TaxSlayer offers a nice price structure and a good range of features. The product is highly recommended.
- Simply Free: One free federal as well as one free state return.
- Classic: $24.95 + Each state tax return is $39.95.
- Premium: $44.95 + Each state tax return is $39.95.
- Self employed: $54.95 + Each state tax return is $39.95.
#5) Credit Karma Tax
Best for being 100% free.
Credit Karma Tax is a 100% free tax software, with some exciting features like free audit assistance, easy upload of the information, and much more.
- Get audit assistance for free.
- 100% free tax filing.
- Simply upload a photo of your W-2 information if you are a simple filer.
- Import the last year’s return from other tax software, with much ease.
Verdict: Credit Karma Tax can be recommended for simple filers. There is no expert guidance, but you can get help with an audit.
Website: Credit Karma Tax
#6) Liberty Tax
Best for tax preparation training and easy-to-use tax filing features.
Liberty Tax, which has over 30,000 users around 3000+ locations, is an easy-to-use tax preparation software, which even offers you training for tax preparation, based on the latest laws.
- Offers online as well as in-classroom tax preparer training.
- Easy to use and time-saving software.
- Get audit assistance.
- Get in-person help if you get stuck anywhere, anyhow, while filing for your taxes.
Verdict: With Liberty Tax, you can get in-person help, audit assistance, and tax preparation training, all in one place.
- Basic: $44.95 for state only.
- Deluxe: $64.95 + $44.95 for state.
- Premium: $89.95 + $44.95 for state.
Website: Liberty Tax
Best for providing all tax-related information.
IRS is a US government-owned agency that collects taxes and makes tax laws. It was established in the year 1862 by president Abraham Lincoln.
The IRS has a website for free federal tax filing. IRS partners with some leading free tax preparation software of the industry so that you can e-file for your federal taxes for free. It is a source of all information regarding the tax structure in the United States. You can also find any updates on the tax reforms from this website.
- Pick free e-filing options based on your income.
- If your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is less than or equal to $72,000, you qualify for any IRS free file offers
- There are 9 options available to choose from, for filing free federal taxes for income groups less than or equal to $72,000.
- If your AGI is more than $72,000, you can file for free federal taxes. You should know how to prepare taxes.
- No state filing is available if your income is greater than $72,000.
Verdict: IRS is a government-owned website, which can be extremely helpful in getting information about taxes and the recent reforms and other information.
It is the most trusted website for filing your taxes. You do not need to worry about any fraud if you file with the IRS itself.
TurboTax is the most popular tax filing software. The ease of use and the features that it offers to its users are applaudable. But if the price structure of TurboTax is looked upon, many tax filers look for alternatives to TurboTax, to save their money.
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The best TurboTax alternative is FreeTaxUSA. It offers tax filing at zero or minimal charges. Plus, it gives many options for tax deductions that most of the software offered at much higher prices.
Other alternatives include H&R Block, TaxAct, TaxSlayer, Credit Karma Tax, Liberty Tax, and IRS. Each of these has some specialty in it, which makes it a good option for filing taxes.
- Time taken to research this article: We spent 10 hours researching and writing this article so you can get a useful summarized list of tools with a comparison of each for your quick review.
- Total tools researched online: 15
- Top tools shortlisted for review: 07