Updated 11-20-2015

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 due to Free Federal Return, good support and audit protection; 15% discount on all plans
TurboTax Rating: stars
Easiest to use service with best online deduction finder tools and excellent support
TaxACT Rating: stars
Great value for online tax preparation and filing but lacks audit protection
eSmart Tax Rating: stars
Standard service with a few cool extras, including a Maximum Refund Guarantee
TaxBrain Rating: stars
Solid, streamlined service but interface and pricing are a bit confusing
FreeTaxUSA Rating: stars
Unbeatable price covers everything from free to complex returns, but limited support options and audit protection requires an upgrade
TaxSimple Rating: stars
Very limited support and spotty service availability; not recommended

NextAdvisor Online Tax Preparation and Filing Blog Headlines

Filed a Tax Extension? 4 Tips for Meeting the October Deadline
We’re already almost midway into October, which means that the season for extended tax filing is ending soon. If you requested an extension on your 2014 taxes, the six-month period will end on Oct. 15. Although the tax extension deadline is nearly here, you still have time to file, and to help you meet your […]

Post-Tax Season Scams to Look Out for
Earlier in August, the IRS revealed that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has been informed of nearly 4,000 instances of tax scamming this year, which added up to over $20 million in losses. Tax season may be over, but for scammers it’s always the season to swindle taxpayers out of their hard-earned […]

It’s Your Last Chance to File Taxes: 4 Things You Need to Know
With less than one month until tax day, your time to file your taxes is quickly running out. Just as all the fun began back in January, it’s coming to a close April 15 – the day your federal and state taxes are due. If you haven’t filed yet, you still have time, but don’t […]

State Tax Fraud Spikes: What to Do if You Fall Victim
Fraudulent state tax returns are spiking this year, but the amount of damage being done is still being tallied. Phony state tax returns are up an astonishing 3700% from last year, according to cybersecurity blogger Brian Krebs. The reason? The rise in state fraud is in connection with the decline in federal tax fraud, according […]

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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