Our Top Picks

Credit Karma Logo
Credit Karma
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: 24/7 (live rep), phone during business hours, online
  • Client management

Credit Karma’s biggest plus is that it offers a way to do state and federal income taxes for free. It has a mobile app, which means tax preparers who are doing returns for individuals with relatively simple tax returns can file those returns from their smartphones. Clients or tax preparers need to join Credit Karma, however, to use its tax software.

Credit Karma may not be the best choice for tax preparers doing more complicated tax returns or whose clients don't wish to join Credit Karma in order to prepare the return.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Tax filing
  • Free audit defense

Cons

  • Need to join before you can use its tax software

Summary

Credit Karma Logo
Credit Karma
  • Starting Price
    • $15-20
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Offers free trial
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
  • Support Options
    24/7 (Live Rep)
    Business Hours
    Online
  • Client Management
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: 24/7 (live rep), phone during business hours, online
  • Client management
H_R Block Logo
H&R Block
  • Deployment: Windows
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours
  • Reports

In business since 1955, H&R Block has filed over 800 million tax returns over the decades. Depending on how complicated the tax returns are, a tax preparer can either do returns themselves or work with a H&R Block tax expert over the phone through their Small Business Services platform. With some versions you'll receive chat support for free.

Although this may not be the most expensive option, if a client is looking for a budget-friendly solution, this would probably not be their first choice. The H&R Block Business platform is a good option for filing corporate taxes.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Client management
  • Due date tracking

Cons

  • Only available for Windows
  • Can be expensive

Summary

H_R Block Logo
H&R Block
  • Starting Price
    • Deluxe Online - $49.99, per state filed
    • Premium Online - $69.99, per state filed
    • Self-Employed Online - $104.99, per state filed
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Not available
  • Deployment
    Installed - Windows
  • Support Options
    Business Hours
  • Client Management
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours
  • Reports
TaxAct Logo
TaxAct
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: 24/7 (live rep), phone during business hours, online
  • Tax forms

Not as robust as some of its competitors, TaxAct is still a good budget choice for tax preparers whose clients, family members, or business may have more than a simple tax situation but not an extremely complicated one.

If the tax returns are uncomplicated and the tax preparer thinks they can use a free version to complete a client's taxes, TaxAct does not charge any extra fee on its free version to file state returns along with your federal return. TaxAct also offers a professional package for preparers who are doing taxes for multiple individuals or businesses.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Client management
  • Reports
  • Has a mobile app

Cons

  • Does not offer free audit support

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Deluxe+ - $54.95
    • Premier+ - $79.95
    • Self Employed+ - $109.95
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Not available
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
  • Support Options
    24/7 (Live Rep)
    Business Hours
    Online
  • Client Management
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: 24/7 (live rep), phone during business hours, online
  • Tax forms
TaxSlayer Logo
TaxSlayer
  • Deployment: Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours
  • Reports

TaxSlayer is a family-owned company based in Georgia. It offers affordable software, and while it may not have all the features of some of its competitors, it's still a reasonable choice for those who may have more complicated tax returns but are still looking for a price break. Financial site NerdWallet picked TaxSlayer as a good budget pick for professional tax preparers.

TaxSlayeralso offers a way for active military to file their income taxes for free. Military members who are having their taxes done by a tax preparer can then use this option to file their income taxes free of charge.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Unlimited phone and email support
  • Integrations

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer comprehensive audit support

Summary

TaxSlayer Logo
TaxSlayer
  • Starting Price
    • Classic - $17
    • Premium - $37
    • Self-Employed - $47
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Offers free trial
  • Deployment
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    Business Hours
  • Client Management
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours
  • Reports
TurboTax Logo
TurboTax
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: 24/7 (live rep), phone during business hours, online
  • Due date tracking

Chosen by US News and World Report as the top tax preparation software of 2020, TurboTax offers robust tax preparation software, but it can be expensive. TurboTax is a great choice for tax preparers who need to prepare complex returns for their clients or family members.

Founded in 1984, TurboTax products prepare returns by asking a series of questions that help it fill in a return. It’s ideal software to use for the tax returns of freelancers, investors, small business owners, and the self-employed.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Client management
  • Client portal
  • 100% accuracy guarantee

Cons

  • Not a good choice for clients who are budget conscious

Summary

TurboTax Logo
TurboTax
  • Starting Price
    • Deluxe - $60
    • Premier - $90
    • Self-Employed - $120
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Offers free trial
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
  • Support Options
    24/7 (Live Rep)
    Business Hours
    Online
  • Client Management
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: 24/7 (live rep), phone during business hours, online
  • Due date tracking

How We Chose the Best Tax Software for Tax Preparers

Doing taxes is extremely important for everyone, but especially so for those who prepare returns for others, whether professionally or for family members or their business. We looked at available tax preparation software and chose the five best according to the following criteria:

Tax Preparation Features

The best tax software covers all the bases. We recommend software that includes many helpful features for tax preparation, including tax filing, tax forms, and client management.

Integrations

Tax software should work with your financial software. The best software includes pre-built integrations for accounting systems and other tools that are often used together with tax software.

Reports

It’s important to know the work has been done correctly. Detailed reports help the user assess and improve their tax preparation practices.