The tax season is in full swing. The IRS will begin processing 2017 tax returns on January 28, 2018. The lucky ones, who will get a refund this year, are probably already gathering their receipts filing. However, things have drastically changed over the years. Taxpayers can have their taxes done in a short time from the comfort of their own home. All it takes is a computer and some information to get things done. There are so many options out there, but many wonder what the best option is for them. Here are the top 3 tax companies and information about each.
This company is a staple in the tax industry. Henry and Richard Bloch founded this company back in 1955. Today, they have more than 12,000 retail tax offices around the globe. They provide tax filing software, retail establishments, and online filing for users. They have a simple platform that is very easy to use.
They opened their first company in Kansas City with a $5,000 loan. They were just doing bookkeeping at first, but they quickly branched into other areas of the financial world. The company was first called the United Business Company, but when a reporter for the local newspaper suggested they offer $5.00 tax services and make it their focus, things took a surprising twist. The ad for their services ran in the newspaper in January 1955, and it didn’t take long until they had an office full of clients. H&R Block was born. By 1986, the company was handling more than 10 million tax returns each year. That same year, they began working with the IRS to implement a program that would allow them to file returns electronically. Currently, they are servicing more than 19.9 million customers each year. They have 90,000 tax preparers that work for them, and they process more than $30 billion in tax refunds.
What They Offer
Handling taxes is serious business. However, they offer a peace of mind guarantee. Basically, they certify that any numbers they give you are correct. They will stand behind their returns as truthful. Now, keep in mind they can only reflect the numbers they are given. Consequently, should they make a mistake in the numbers, they will stand good for it.
Another perk is that the tax returns are checked by a tax professional before they are filed. That means that even if a person files their taxes using their online system, they still get the assurance that someone is watching out for them. It also means that if deductions are missed or credit not given, they can maximize one’s refund.
Filers can snap a picture of their W-2 and the computer will upload the information. Those who have simple taxes can use the free edition. There is no charge to file state, federal, or receive a direct deposit refund. The deluxe package is only $34.99 online. This is for those who want to maximize their credits and claim more than the standard deduction. The premium package is only $59.99, and it is for those who own a small business or have investments. Their prices are among the lowest in the industry. Tax preparation service with H&R Block is assurance that they will be done right and for a good price.
Michael A. Chipman began Turbo Tax as a software company in the mid-1980’s. It was originally called Chipsoft, with a headquarters located in San Diego, CA. When Intuit bought the company in 1993, they changed the name to reflect the new ownership. They kept the office in San Diego, but they moved their headquarters to Mountain View, California. They offer Canadian tax services through QuickTax, and also French tax services through ImpôtRapide.
What They Offer
Their platform is super easy. They have easy to understand picture icons that help direct customers to the right pages. They make tax filing simple. For instance, when starting, they ask a series of questions. They place the customer in the category that best fits their needs. They offer a maximum refund guarantee, 100 percent audit defense, and they double check the tax returns for errors. Customers can file online or pick up a CD at their favorite department store. Either way, the costs are just paid up front or when a person files.
Taxpayers who make $28,500 or less can use their free filing services. Keep in mind that the state filing is not free regardless of the income. It is $12.95 per state filed. The only exception is those who file the 1040 EZ form. There are tons of packages extras that can be added onto one’s tax return. For instance, Max-Audit Defense is rather new. It is an additional $99. Their basic package is free, but the next package level is the deluxe. This package is priced at $39.99. The premier is for rental properties and investments, and it costs $59.99. The self-employed package is $89.99. Those who want their filing fee taken out of their refund can do so for a charge of $34.99. Keep in mind, if the IRS withholds the refund or adjusts the return, the $34.99 + filing fee will still be deducted from the checking account on file. Of course for most of us we will get the best refund with one of their paid options. Save up to $20 on TurboTax with this link!
Tax Act has a Federal Free Alliance with the IRS. They offer low-income families an opportunity to file their taxes for free. The company was founded in 1998 and was sold to Blucora in January of 2012. They have in-house programmers and tax specialist that oversees the daily operations.
What They Offer
Their main niche in the market is their affordability. They have no add-ons to their packages and no fancy stuff. With more than 300 tax deductions and credits to choose from, they excel at getting their customers more money back. They offer several guarantees to their customers, such as the satisfaction guarantee or they get their money back. They also offer the maximum deduction and accuracy guarantee.
They offer free filing for those who file the 1040 EZ form. Those who don’t take the standard deduction can itemize with the basic, and it will cost $15. Lastly, they offer a $30 package called the Premier. This package is for those who are self-employed or have other business associations to report. They have a price lock guarantee, and no one pays until they file. Everyone starts for free and makes sure their tax returns are correct before they pay a dime.
Finding The Best Service
Finding the best tax service may be easy for some, but others really struggle with leaving their taxes to a computer service. Those who are concerned about price and need to file a 1040 EZ form should have no worries. All the above-listed companies have the ability to file simple returns with no issues.
Turbo Tax seems to nickel and dime their customers with tons of add-ons. Charging $100 for an audit defense package is a bit absurd. Free audit protection already comes with the program. When it comes to longevity and the company that has stood the test of time, H&R Block is the clear winner. They have long been a pillar in the tax community. Their pricing is fair and their services exceptional. Tax preparation with this company allows filers to rest easy because they are in good hands.