TurboTax 2014: Compare Cost to Other Online Tax ServicesBy: Erika Watts - February 28, 2014
Tax filing season is finally underway, so now it’s time to decide how you want to file your taxes. If you don’t much care for using an accountant or tax preparation chain such as H&R Block to file your taxes and prefer to prepare your return yourself, you’ve no doubt heard of TurboTax. TurboTax is one of the most popular online tax services available, so there is no doubt that people will be using the TurboTax 2014 software by the droves, but how does the cost compare to other online tax services? Check out a comparison of TurboTax 2014 to two other online tax services below to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.
Whether you want to file a 1040EZ or need something more complicated to file a return for your small business, TurboTax 2014 has you covered. Like most online tax preparation services, TurboTax offers free federal tax preparation for simple returns, plus offers three other packages: Deluxe ($29.99), Premier ($49.99), Home & Business ($74.99). You’ll also get free phone and online chat support with TurboTax 2014.
While TurboTax’s Deluxe package costs a little more than twice as much as its competitors’ comparable services ($12.99 vs. $29.99), if you expect a decent return, you can take advantage of TurboTax’s refund bonus offer to make up for the extra cost. If you use one of their paid packages to process your return, TurboTax gives you the option to get all or part of your refund back on an Amazon gift card and will tack on an additional 10 percent. If you use Amazon frequently and expect a return of at least $500, you can more than make the added cost of using TurboTax pay for itself.
Not only does TaxACT undercut TurboTax by at least 50 percent on their software costs ($12.99 vs. $29.99 on the Deluxe packages and $17.99 vs. $49.99 for the next level), you won’t pay nearly as much if you have to file an additional state. TurboTax’s cost for each state is $36.99. With TaxACT, you’ll only pay $5 for an additional state. Even though TurboTax would be a sure bet if you are expecting a large return and want to get the Amazon gift card bonus, if you worked out your deductions early in the year so that you have to pay in a little or will only get a small return, then using TaxACT will certainly save you some money.
TaxACT also offers free phone support, plus offers a number of apps on Apple App Store and Google Play for you to check the status of your return, itemize deductions, etc.
Like TaxACT, TaxSlayer is much cheaper than TurboTax. Choose from two paid packages with TaxSlayer: $12.95 for the Classic Edition or $32.95 for the Premium Edition. You receive live tax advice with the most expensive option, but will receive free phone support with all options, including the free edition. While TaxSlayer doesn’t charge as much as TurboTax to file state tax returns, the cost is quite a bit higher than TaxACT at $14.95.
TaxSlayer doesn’t offer any perks that give you back any additional money and does cost more than TaxACT, but if you are a previous TaxSlayer user, then having easy access to your previous returns would certainly be desirable.
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