Online Tax Preparation and Filing

Updated 12-11-2014

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 Reviews & Ratings


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

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Online Tax
Preparation
& Filing
Overview

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.
View all tax preparation and filing services.


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.
View all tax preparation and filing services.


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Advertiser Disclosure: NextAdvisor.com is a consumer information site that offers free, independent reviews and ratings of online services. We receive advertising revenue from most but not all of the companies whose products and services we review. For credit cards, we review cards from all of the top 10 US issuers by purchase volume (according to Issue 1035 of The Nilson Report, Feb 2014) excluding issuers that require additional accounts to be a cardholder and private label issuers. We may also review cards from other issuers in select cases. We do not review all products in a given category. We are independently owned and operated and all opinions expressed on this site are our own.