TurboTax vs H&R Block vs TaxAct

It’s tax time, meaning millions of us are buying or downloading tax prep programs.

Forty percent of taxpayers now file electronically without paying a tax preparer. You can even file on your smartphone now,  uploading your W-2 by simply taking a photo.

But which is best in 2018? Turbo tax? H&R block? Or TaxAct?

Consumer Reports Magazine, in its most recent comparison, found:

  • TurboTax: The priciest, but best for complex returns.
  • H&R Block:  The best live support, through its network of local offices.
  • TaxAct: The best value if you are filing an average return, according to Consumer Reports.

All of them offer free filing if you fall under certain income thresholds.

But from the “doesn’t that stink file,” catches with free filing.

For 2018, its the battle of the zeros. TurboTax is offering “Absolute Zero,” while Block has” More Zero.”

But the catch: Those zero deals are really just for basic returns.  If it is complex, and you need to file various IRS schedules, you will need to pay.

Meantime, the IRS once again is offering free filing if you earned less than $66,000 in 2o17.

But you need to go through the Free File section of the IRS website: Otherwise, you may be charged money, and end up saying “doesn’t that stink?”

Also, your state return may still cost  $30 to file.

You may be able to file free, but if your return is complicated, don’t skimp:  buy the premium edition of whatever software you use, or hire a professional, so you don’t waste your money.

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