5 Free Best Online Tax Filing 2017 Options and Software Comparison

With a highly progressive, unique taxation system set at both state and federal level, US presently taxes citizens, residents, as well as non-residents. State and local taxes can be anywhere between 0% and 13% of the registered income, based on jurisdiction. At federal level, taxes are calculated based on taxable income and can be anywhere between 10% and 39.6%. Other taxes are payroll taxes (Social Security contributions), property taxes (calculated based on the property market value), sale taxes (widely varying from 0% to 16% of the value of certain taxed goods and services), as well as estate and gift taxes. We have compared online tax filing software for your convenience.

According to statistics provided by the World Bank, the tax revenue collected in 2013 amounted to 10.6% of the GDP.

Here are a few tips on how to best navigate the intricate maze of taxation:

The taxation system requires all tax payers to understand and estimate their income as well as timely file tax returns. The trick to a more serene before-during-and-after tax life is to understand taxable income, what your exact tax rate is, and whether or not you are subject to any form of tax exemptions. Next step is deciding on standard or itemized deduction. This can become a particularly devious and unnerving task when dealing with multiple sources of income. The more one knows about tax deductions, legislation loopholes, exclusions, and exemptions the better. Here is the 2016 federal tax calendar including all IRS tax deadlines. The IRS website is a valuable resource. It is a wealth of knowledge designed to help people navigate through taxation related situations. Use software and applications for tax filing. There are genius tax filing options out there!

Best Tax Filing Options out there Today

The below listed software programs are some of the best made tax software solutions out there today. All of these free tax software solutions are approved by the IRS. They offer invaluable tax preparation help and guidance to help users get through the tax season in a happy, healthy state of mind. These ingenious software solutions are designed to be the best, cheapest and most reliable, stress free tax filing options out there. Here is our best filing option list containing detailed information on all the best features, pros, and cons of each of these tax filing software.

  • TurboTax Federal Free Edition
  • H&R Block Free Edition
  • eSmart Tax
  • TaxSlayer Free Federal Edition
  • Free-File Tax Preparation software

1. TurboTax Federal Free Edition

Turbo Tax is presently the number one in the tax filing options. It is considered to be the software that reinvented the filing option system. Based on a highly intuitive and user -friendly system, this tax filing software offers simple step-by-step instructions sprinkled with key questions to help identify any life changes that might potentially affect your taxes. Brilliant and easy to use, Turbo tax also offers access to tax expert help via chat.

Best features of TurboTax Federal Free Edition are:

  • Highly customized system that uses simple questions to personalize the users’ experience
  • It is automatically updated to reflect all new changes in tax law
  • Great error-check system that reviews your work
  • 1040A or 1040EZ returns at zero cost for both federal and state tax returns
  • W-2 Snap.Done option which allows users to upload a picture of their W-2
  • Shows you who qualifies as your dependent
  • Analyses your data to find possibilities of accessing government benefits
  • Finds and alerts you of the tax-saving deductions you are eligible for
  • Offers help from tax experts via live chat

Pros: It is the most intuitive, comprehensive, and easy to use tax filing option out there. Anyone can use it. It obtains some of the best results on the market. With audit detection and provided assistance, this filing option has all the best tools one needs to do their taxes free of charge.

Cons: Anything more complicated than the 1040EZ, 1040A, and 1040 forms, will require the paid version of this software.

2. H&R Block Free Edition

Provided by one of the most renowned accounting companies out there, the H&R Block Free edition is one of the elite tax filing options on the market. Clear, direct, smart, and user friendly and with great data security protocols set in place, H&R Free Edition is a great software standing by its company name. In addition to a maximum refund and a 100% accuracy guarantee, it brings something new to the market by offering those who buy their services free audit support. They help their clients prepare for the audits and send a professional to represent them.

The features and benefits of their free edition include:

  • Step by step guidance
  • Personal data security
  • Import your W-2
  • The possibility of E-Filing your Federal Return for free
  • Free filing for self-employment tax forms
  • An accuracy review system that verifies your work
  • The possibility of accessing Expert Tax Advice by chat (free of charge)

Pros: It’s a free, user-friendly software with a smart step-by-step guidance system. It has good data security protocols set in place, as well as an accuracy review system that verifies all completed work. A nice touch is free of charge access to the chat Expert Tax Advice service they offer. The customer-service is exemplary and is best suited for those that are courageously attempting to prepare and file their taxes for the first time.

Cons: In this case less is not more. In order to benefit from the full elite package including options like the Free in-person audit support benefit, you would have to buy the software.

3. eSmart Tax

eSmart Tax is a simple and smart filing option for filing Federal and State tax. It is one of the few software solutions that find new ways to reinvent themselves and surprise their users every year. Even though its free version is available only for simple returns, for the ones that do choose it, the software will be a pleasure to work with. Offering free audit, free tech support and having great reviews all around, this tax software is known to be a great, customer support orientated solution to your tax troubles.

Some of the best features of eSmart Tax are:

  • e-file simple federal returns free of charge
  • guarantees maximum refund
  • it analyses your data to identify credits and deductions you are eligible to
  • users can import their previous returns free of charge (even from the competition)
  • offers in-person support at any of their 4000+ offices

Pros: Great customer service, free tech support, and free audit provided. Identifies any credits and deductions you can apply for.

Cons: Only simple, federal returns can be filed for free. Everything else requires the paid version of the software.

4. TaxSlayer Free federal Edition

TaxSlayer is a great filing option software. Using a humorous approach and a user-friendly, really easy to use, and self-explanatory system, TaxSlayer is a pleasure to do your taxes with. Like every other solid tax filing option out there, it offers step-by-step instructions, a maximum refund guarantee, as well as a 100% accuracy of the calculations. What is unique is that it offers users the option of deducting filing fees from their federal tax fund, making this a literally zero fee charge service. Their website offers an interesting online calculator to estimate federal refund (with no W-2 needed) as well as the option of doing taxes from any device of your choosing.

Tax Slayer's best features are:

  • users can file for free 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ tax returns
  • easy to navigate interface with a simple, clear, and step-by-step guidance
  • maximum refund guarantee
  • 100% calculation accuracy guarantee

Pros: It is a smart, easy, and well-structured tax filing option to use. Offers unique options to its users and is a solid alternative to TurboTax and H&R Block.

Cons: Does not provide audit detection chat options or live tax expert assistance.

5. Free-File Tax preparation software

As the last option on our list, we would like to present you the IRS online E-filing system and the Free-File preparation software. Provided by IRS in partnership with the private sector software development companies, Free File is one of the most reliable free tax filing options out there. With 100% accuracy and maximum refund guarantee, this smart option provided by IRS offers an easy tax data import from previous year, free forms, and free tax preparation software. These option are addressed to all those with a registered annual Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of under $60.000. For those who have an AGI of more than $60.000, Free-File offers free fillable forms and electronic forms equipped to handle all the complicated math calculation implied by tax preparation. These fillable forms can then be filed directly with IRS.

The strong points of Free File are:

  • It is free and a great option for doing federal taxes
  • almost 70% of Americans are eligible to use this free software
  • enables you to obtain money faster by combining the e-file with the direct deposit option
  • allows you to track your refund on the IRS website

Pros: It is free. Provided by IRS, it gives users unique options like the tracking of their refunds on the IRS website.

Cons: It is a basic software which implies that the user has basic knowledge on how to do their taxes. The fillable forms cannot be filed electronically.

Top 8 Things to Know about Personal Deductions

  • Tax residence functions as a flat rate, standard deduction
  • Children and other dependents supported by the taxpayer allow a personal exemption (special deduction)
  • Property paid interest and taxes are deductible (for primary and secondary homes only)
  • Student loan interest is deductible
  • Local and State income taxes are deductible and so is the local sales tax
  • Charity contributions are deductible (to a max 50% of the gross income)
  • Medical bills are deductible (if they represent more than 10% of the gross income)
  • Casualty losses that were uninsured are deductible
  • If you decide to hire a professional to prepare your taxes, the costs may be deductible

Preparing and filing your taxes can be hard and unnerving work. The responsibility and pressure of getting it right can be overwhelming. That is why online tax filing is the way to go. Tax filing options have already revolutionized the way America does its taxes. They have cut corners, designed interactive and super-friendly systems with step-by step guides that take away the stress induced by tax season. With paperwork almost inexistent, calculation software, accuracy checks, and even tax expert offered support, using an online tax filing option is simply the best and most effortless way to go.

Published : Jan 29 2016