Business & Real Estate

Tips to get the best deal on tax software

Photo By: courtesy of Brandpoint
Photo Courtesy Of Brandpoint

Taxpayers are encouraged to consider several factors when purchasing tax software, such as price and which type of program fits your tax-filing needs in 2013.

Finding the right tax software can be just as important to ensuring the best possible return as making sure you have all the necessary documents and information. When all the different tax software products available and the associated costs are factored in, finding the right program can be just as complicated as the process of filing taxes.

There are many variables to consider, and a few things can make the purchasing decision easier. Following are five tips to ensure that you get the best tax preparation software for your situation at a price you can live with.

• Determine what type of program you need. If you’re simply filing your personal income taxes and don’t have much in the way of additional enterprises, the basic version of a program will do. If you run a small business, or are self-employed, you’ll want to look for programs that have versions for single-owned LLCs, sole proprietors, consultants, contractors or whichever classification applies.

• Shop around for the best deals. In addition to identifying the program with the best price, look for special deals on certain programs. For example, there are seasonal discounts and cash-back rewards for top retailers like TaxACT, TurboTax and H&R Block at Browsing online resources can help you find the best tax software deals.

• Research out what others are saying. If you’re having a difficult time deciding on the best program, browsing online forums can help you make your decision. In addition to finding deals at, you can access forums on finance and the latest tax tips to help you make smarter, money-saving tax filing decisions.

• Know what you’re getting. If you’re using a free software program, you’ll want to make sure it covers both the federal and state versions of your returns. There’s nothing worse than being surprised by an unexpected fee once you’ve finished your filing and are ready to send off your returns. If your situation calls for a more expensive option, make sure your product delivers needed enhancements. Advanced packages should offer clarity of current tax laws, links to IRS publications and features that will explain the best way to complete the return.

• Complete your return online, if possible. Using an Internet-based program as opposed to a desktop program will help ensure access to the latest updates to tax codes. When you file using an online program, your records will also be stored online on a separate server, which can be important if something happens to your personal copy of your returns.

Unless your taxes are so complicated that they’re better left to a professional, you can save significant time and money by selecting the right tax preparation software.

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