Over the past decade or so there has been a big influx of tax software. A good portion of this is due to the proliferation of computers in the home. Easy access to computers have given people an advantage allowing them to circumvent many professionals once relied upon. Tax preparation is certainly one of those professions that, for many people, have become obsolete thanks to the home computer. With so many software options for tax preparation it is important to figure out the best software to file taxes. It should be a simple answer but the best software depends on your specific needs.
Several factors go into determining your needs and income level is a good starting point. Several legitimate companies base the cost of tax software upon how much you earned in the previous year. If your income is below a certain amount the software is either free or a reduced price. If your income is not at a level that receives reduced cost software, shop around to find a company that provides the best software for the best price. There are several legitimate companies that offer software online as well as on discs for download.
Another important factor to consider is your own tax education. How much you know about preparing taxes can change the type of software program needed. If you are a novice at preparing taxes it is important to select a program that walks you through the preparation in an interview type manner. There is more than one correct way to prepare taxes and novice programs limit your ability to dictate how you want your return prepared. If you have some knowledge of taxes select a program that allows for you to manipulate your taxes as you see fit. If you are extremely knowledgeable there are programs that are little more than a directory of forms that you can fill out on your computer as you see fit, no interview with automatically populates your return.
With all these factors considered sometimes the best software is in the form of a live person. If you have a highly complex tax situation such as a corporation, farm, and or rental properties it is probably just best to hire an experienced tax professional. Sometimes people are still smarter than computers.