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HideIMPORTANT NEWS: The IRS has officially pushed out this year’s tax filing and payment deadlines from April 15 to July 15, 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Learn more on how this will affect your tax return.

2020 Tax Software Choices

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The IRS will start accepting our tax returns soon and here is a summary of what’s available this year from the leaders in online tax filing: TurboTax and H&R Block.

Note: There actually seem to be too many products available making it difficult to make a decision, which one to select. The most important question should be whether you need help preparing taxes or not. Then, by answering a few questions about your life situation, you get directed to a proper version.

 

TurboTax

Over the past few years, the product offering from TurboTax has expended to meet a growing demand for help reviewing taxes for accuracy and maximum refund. The line of online products with the help of a CPA are called Live. Currently, TurboTax offers the following products:

Online products

Prepare taxes on your own

  • Free Edition – most suitable for simple tax returns; it mainly covers taxpayers receiving a W-2 and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and child tax credits; there are no filing costs or fees for Federal or state returns
  • Deluxe – covers W-2, 1099-MISC, EITCs, mortgage and property tax deductions, charitable donations, student loans and educations expenses
  • Premier – most suitable for investments and rental property owners – stocks, bonds, EPSS, and cryptocurrencies transactions, rental income and deductions for refinancing expenditures; includes all features of Deluxe
  • Self-Employed – best for personal and business income and expenditures; the new features include import of 1099-MISC and constant access to the tax estimator after filing

 

Live – Prepare taxes on your own with a help of a CPA or Enrolled Agent (EA); they will also review your return for accuracy before filing

  • Basic – covers simple tax returns, typically for taxpayers who receive W-2s, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and child tax credits
  • Deluxe – allows to maximize deductions and credits; include the features of Basic
  • Premier – most suitable for investments and rental property owners – stocks, bonds, EPSS, and cryptocurrencies transactions, rental income and deductions for refinancing expenditures
  • Self-Employed – for personal and business income and expenditures

 

CD/download products

  • Basic – receive guidance throughout the entire process of preparing your returns
  • Deluxe – this version is recommended for maximizing deductions and credits, including mortgage interest, property taxes and energy-efficient improvements
  • Premier – for taxpayers with investments and rental properties
  • Home & Business – for reporting personal and self-employment income and expenditures

 

H&R Block

H&R Block continues to deliver flexibility in solutions. Whether you want to prepare and file on your own, walk into one the offices and speak to an agent, or upload your tax documents and have one of the agents prepare the taxes for you.

It splits the filing options the following way:

 

I’ll do my own taxes

Online

  • Free Online – for anyone receiving a W-2; or if you have children or education costs
  • Deluxe Online – for homeowners, individuals making donations or having Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
  • Premium Online – for freelancers, contractors and investors
  • Self-Employed Online – for self-employed and small business owners

 

Online Assist – the difference from the Online version is that you are entitled to on-demand help from an H&R Block tax expert or a CPA

  • Basic Online Assist – for anyone receiving a W-2, have kids and education costs
  • Deluxe Online Assist – for homeowners, individuals making donations or having Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
  • Premium Online Assist – for freelancers, contractors and investors
  • Self-Employed Online Assist – for self-employed and small business owners

 

Tax Software – download the software and prepare taxes at home

  • Basic Tax Software – suitable for simple tax situations including Earned Income credit, medical expenses, retirement income, donations, personal property tax
  • Deluxe + State Tax Software – for homeowners and investors
  • Premium Tax Software – for self-employed or rental property owners; additionally, report Estate or Trust income, depreciation, inheritance cost basis
  • Premium & Business Tax Software – for small business owners who have at least 10 itemized expenditures; C-Corp and S-Corp returns, Partnership, LLCs, and Nonprofits

 

Do my taxes for me

Tax Pro Go – upload your tax documents using your phone or computer and have a tax pro do all the work for you; main benefits are the transparent pricing and year-long support in case you have any questions

  • Simple – this is for taxpayers who receive social security income or file taxes using a W-2 form
  • Student/Retired – for current or past students paying tuition or paying off student loans; also suitable for individuals receiving retirement income
  • Family/Investor – have dependents or investment income
  • Business Owner – self-employed, business owners or receiving rental income

 

Drop-off – stop by the office, with or without the appointment; gather or all the necessary documents and complete the drop off form; the tax pro will complete your taxes and let you know when they are ready for your approval

 

Office – meet one-on-one with the tax pro at one of the H&R Block offices; you can make an appointment online and they will even review your prior year return for accuracy; making an appointment is very convenient – just enter your zip code and you will see the list of offices near you, dates and times available for your visit

 

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