5 of the best tax software programs

Published October 1, 2020   |   

Tackling tax can be much easier if you have the right software on hand to help you out. In fact this market has grown significantly in recent years, to the point that there are almost too many options to choose between.

To help you narrow down the field, here are just 5 solutions designed to streamline tax management and put you in the driving seat.


For self-employed individuals who want to get their tax affairs in order with less fuss and confusion, TurboTax is one of the top choices.

There are a few packages to consider, with one tuned specifically for people who work for themselves. Be aware that you will pay a premium for this market-leading software, although since you can offset this against your tax this is less of a concern.

In terms of features, TurboTax includes straightforward receipt and document capture via photo-snapping, and also offers the opportunity to share sessions with accredited accountants if you work with a pro before filing a return.

H&R Block

If TurboTax is the current frontrunner, H&R Block is arguably its closest competitor, with marginally more affordable pricing potentially giving it the edge if you are on a tighter budget.

As with other popular tax software programs, it makes sense for aspiring accountants to get experience with this software, in addition to checking up on the CPA requirements which you will need to meet to qualify. This is because many clients will use H&R Block and will want to be able to harness this resource in conjunction with you to balance the books.


The look and feel of TaxAct may be a little more rudimentary than its premium rivals, but it still delivers all of the core functionality you could need from tax software, in addition to boasting impressive customer support so you can get your queries answered quickly in time-sensitive situations.

Another reason to consider using TaxAct is that it does feature the ability to help self-employed users pinpoint the potential tax breaks they could be eligible to receive according to their industry and needs.

If you are migrating from a costlier platform, you may miss some of the sheen and sparkle, but in purely practical terms there is no question that this service ticks all the main boxes.

Credit Karma Tax

Eliminating any kind of additional expense from completing tax returns using software might sound like a pipe dream, but Credit Karma Tax makes this achievable. Indeed this is one of the features that allows it to stand out from the crowd, and it still manages to pack in the ability to cope with every form that the IRS issues, regardless of the complexity.

To make itself even more attractive, Credit Karma Tax will guarantee that you will be properly protected in the event of an audit, which is certainly head-turning given that you do not need to pay a penny for the privilege.

Rounding all of this out is the option to import returns which you have filed using rival platforms in the past so that everything can be stored in one place.


Having spent decades in the business and evolved from a professional-only platform to one which encompasses individual users as well, TaxSlayer is fully featured and entirely hosted online, meaning it is effectively device agnostic and eminently accessible, while also protecting your data successfully.

With some aspects of the software being available for free and low prices applying to simple returns, it is good for budget-focused users, while offering a premium edition with tons of additional support as well.

Given that trialing tax software is an option, you can experiment with several platforms before settling on the one that suits you best, so get out there and see which works for you!