Online Tax Preparation and Filing FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Online Tax Preparation and Filing

    I'm self-employed. Will an online tax preparation service be adequate for my tax needs?

    If your financial situation is very complex, you may benefit from the assistance of an accountant. But most online tax preparation services do provide additional tools to help the self-employed ensure that they are filing their taxes correctly, as well as providing information about allowable business deductions. H&R Block's Premium package provides tax guidance for the self-employed, and their Home & Business package is designed for consumers who need to prepare corporate, S-corporation, partnership, LLC and payroll returns. TurboTax recommends their Home & Business software for consumers who are self-employed, who earn income from a side job, or who earn income from a non-incorporated home business. For small business owners who are incorporated, or who run a partnership or multiple-member LLC, TurboTax recommends TurboTax Business as opposed to Home & Business. TaxSimple also provides additional tools for self-employed consumers and small business owners, but we do not recommend these services.

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Top Tax Preparation Services

H&R Block

Bottom line: Best overall service provider due to Free Federal Return, good support and audit protection; 15% discount on all plans
TurboTax

Bottom line: Easiest to use service with best online deduction finder tools and excellent support
TaxACT

Bottom line: Great value for online tax preparation and filing but lacks audit protection
eSmart Tax

Bottom line: Standard service with a few cool extras, including a Maximum Refund Guarantee
TaxBrain

Bottom line: Solid, streamlined service but interface and pricing are a bit confusing
FreeTaxUSA

Bottom line: Unbeatable price covers everything from free to complex returns, but limited support options and audit protection requires an upgrade
TaxSimple

Bottom line: Very limited support and spotty service availability; not recommended

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