Updated 05-10-2017

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

Everything You Need to Know About Tax Liens
It’s that time of year again — another tax season is coming to a close. Whether you’re waiting until the last minute to get your return in, you’ve already filed your taxes and are waiting on your tax refund or you’re filing for a tax extension, it never hurts to brush up on your tax […]

How Do You File a Tax Extension?
It’s already that time of year when early-bird tax filers have likely cashed in their refunds, and last-minute tax filers are kicking things into overdrive. With Tax Day upon us and tax season coming to a close, we thought it best to talk about how you can file a tax extension. Keep reading to learn […]

IRS to Start Using Private Debt Collectors for Past Due Taxes This Month
Early last year, we reported on a story detailing a transportation bill, called the FAST Act, which contained provisions allowing the IRS to rely on private contractors to assist with the collection of back owed taxes. This month, those provisions are set to go into effect and the IRS is preparing to hand over hundreds […]

Do Students Need to File Taxes?
Although college students might see filing tax returns as something squarely in the realm of “adulting,” the truth is that many students may have to file taxes well before entering the adult world. Other students might not technically have to file, but will benefit nonetheless because they can receive a refund for the credits for […]

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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