Updated 01-27-2016

Online Tax Preparation and FilingOnline Tax Preparation and Filing

Preparing your taxes online is easy, secure, and can be much cheaper than using an accountant. Each service offers easy-to-use, web-based preparation tools that will walk you through each step of the tax process. But which service is the best for you? Our reviews can help you determine which online tax service is best suited to your individual needs, whether you have a complex return with many specialized deductions, or if you simply need a cheap and easy way to file your 1040EZ form.

Online Tax Preparation and Filing Reviews & Ratings

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Services: Our Ratings: Bottom Line:
H&R Block Rating: stars
Best overall service provider with its Free Federal Return, good support and audit protection; 15% discount on all plans
TurboTax Rating: stars
Fastest and easiest service around with the best online deduction finder tools and excellent customer support
TaxACT Rating: stars
Great value for filing your taxes online; email customer support for all plans and phone support for paid plans; pricey audit protection
eSmart Tax Rating: stars
Standard service with a few cool base features, including a Maximum Refund Guarantee; pricey extras can add up
FreeTaxUSA Rating: stars
Unbeatable price covers everything from free to complex returns; limited support options and simplistic interface
E-file.com Rating: stars
Limited support and simplistic interface make it less competitive; good option for simple filers and those who don't need audit support
Liberty Tax Service Rating: stars
Pricey option for both federal and state filing; thorough customer service and helpful FAQs

NextAdvisor Online Tax Preparation and Filing Blog Headlines

TaxSlayer, TaxAct Report Tax-Refund Fraud: What Does This Mean for You?
We’ve already warned you about the real dangers of tax-refund fraud, which is one of the leading causes behind a 47% spike in identity theft complaints to the FTC in the past year, and it seems like thieves are wasting no time hitting tax services this year and making these warnings justified. Two such services […]

Tax Fraud is Behind Recent 47% Spike in Identity Theft: What Can You Do?
Identity theft is on the rise, and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. According to the Federal Trade Commission, it saw an unbelievable 47% spike in identity theft complaints between 2014 and 2015. While a number of different types of crime contributed to this increase in complaints, the primary fuel behind the […]

Is E-filing My Taxes Safe?
Many taxpayers are no strangers to filing their taxes online (or e-filing). In fact, according to the IRS, the percentage of U.S. taxpayers who file online has increased from 52% in 2004 to 85% in 2014, and it’s likely to be even higher this year. E-filing by all means is the new normal, but in […]

IRS Enlists Help of Private Debt Collectors: What This Means for You
Thanks to a recently-enacted law, the IRS is going to intensely pursue owed back taxes with the help of private debt collectors. Dubbed the FAST Act, this law has the potential to cause a lot of confusion with regards to how the IRS operates and legitimacy of tax-related collection inquiries. What is the FAST Act? […]

Did you know?

Did you know that over 60 million American consumers file their taxes online every year? In fact, the IRS e-file program was launched back in 1986 to make the process of filing taxes easier and cheaper for consumers. Preparing your taxes online is secure, easy and much cheaper than using an accountant. You can e-file both your state and federal taxes with many online providers, but we have found a great deal of variance in the quality of service and features that different online tax preparation and e-file services provide.

Read our reviews to learn more about the best online tax preparation and filing services

How Does It Work?

Preparing your taxes online, also known as e-file, couldn't be easier. All of the providers we have reviewed have web based tax preparation tools that will walk you through each step of the tax preparation process. Most will help you identify deductions you are eligible for to help increase your tax return or decrease the size of your tax bill. No one likes paying taxes, but an online tax preparation and filing service will make the task much easier.
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Audit Protection

While nobody ever expects to get audited by the IRS, many people do each year. These tax audits can be stressful and costly. Several of the tax preparation and filing services we reviewed offer audit protection, which means they will provide guidance and support in the case that your tax return is audited. We strongly suggest that you consider audit protection when filing your taxes online.
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