The average tax refund in 2020 was $1,915, according to the IRS. To ensure you receive the most refund possible, make sure to investigate all tax credits and deductions available to you. Tax apps for mobile and online use make this simple.
Some of the best tax apps also let you track expenses and mileage in addition to looking for credits and deductions. Although some tax apps can auto-fill specific tax forms and provide live support to speed up the process, each tax app takes about the same amount of time to complete the tax filing process. Some apps even provide an advance on your refund if you want one.
To find the best solutions, we examined 20 distinct tax apps. Our ranking heavily weights features and price. We also considered usability and actual consumer reviews.
Overall, TaxAct Express is the best tax app because it has a lot of free features and reasonable prices. Usually apps charge around $40 to pay for your filing expenses using your tax return, but if your refund is direct deposited, this app is only $17.99.
- Even if you used a different provider, you can easily import the tax data from the previous year.
- Across all suppliers, this is the strongest free option.
- With your refund, pay for tax preparation.
- No expense tracking.
- Even for the free bundle, state filing is extra.
- The user interface is less intuitive than those of other tax programs.
TaxAct is a provider of tax preparation software with its TaxAct Express app, which makes it simple to e-file. TaxAct was founded in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1998. It is accessible through its web interface, as well as in the Google Play Store (4.4 stars), the App Store, and both (3.7 stars). Its affordable packages and the fact that users may pay filing fees with their tax refund, which is far more convenient than with other tax apps, have propelled it to the top of the list.
TaxAct will pay back up to $100,000 in IRS fines and interest if its software makes a calculation error. According to its Maximum Refund Promise, filing is free if you get a bigger return using a different product.
Additional advantages include the ability to import data from a previous year’s tax return by uploading the PDF, even if you didn’t utilize TaxAct. Also, if you refer a friend, you’ll receive a $20 Amazon gift card, and they’ll save 20%.
The Do-it-yourself TaxAct Express packages include:
|$0 + $39.95 per state filed||$24.95 + $44.95 per state filed||$34.95 + $44.95 per state filed||$64.95 + $44.95 per state filed|
|W-2 income||Everything in Free||Everything in Deluxe||Everything in Premier|
|Unemployment income||Itemized deductions||Stocks gains and losses and other investments||Freelance income, including 1099-NEC|
|Retirement income||Adoption credits||Home sale||Farm and business income|
|Child tax credits||Child and dependents care||Rental property income||Personalized business deductions|
|Earned income credits||Student loan interest||Royalty and Schedule K-1 income||Deduction maximizer|
|Stimulus credit||Mortgage interest||Foreign bank and financial accounts||Calculation of depreciation|
|Expenses for dependents and current students||Real estate taxes||Planning resources all year|
|Import prior-year tax info||Health Savings Accounts (HSA)|
|Free account and technical support|
It’s best to utilize a tax software designed for your tax circumstances if you’re a business owner. An app for paying taxes and tracking business expenses is called QuickBooks Self-Employed. Even your quarterly projected tax payments can be made directly through the app.
- On-the-go tracking of business spending and distance.
- Give your accountant or tax advisor permission to access.
- Using the app to calculate your IRS debt and make quarterly payments.
- It is simple to inadvertently duplicate data during uploading and syncing operations.
- It’s possible that smaller banks and credit unions lack the ability to sync.
- Does not provide payroll or inventory tracking.
One of the most widely used accounting applications is QuickBooks, and the Self-Employed app integrates effectively with TurboTax. This app is the greatest for company owners because it allows you to track mileage, costs for both personal and business use, and even send and track invoices.
You may access the app using its web interface, and it has 4.7 ratings in the iTunes Store and 3.7 stars in the Google Play Store. While some reviews complain about the app’s faults, others praise its ability to track both personal and professional costs.
Inventory tracking is not a feature in QuickBooks Self-Employed; thus, company owners with larger operations can prefer QuickBooks Online.
The three QuickBooks Self-Employed bundles are as follows:
|Self-Employed||Self-Employed Tax Bundle||Self-Employed Live Tax Bundle|
|To send and monitor invoices||Everything in the Self-Employed package||Everything in the Self-Employed Tax Bundle|
|Separate personal and business costs||Immediately pay quarterly estimated taxes with QuickBooks||Speak to a CPA|
|Maximize your Schedule C deductions||Files taxes by entering information directyly into YurboTax||Get ad-free assistance and counsel all year long|
|Automatically calculate the quarterly projected tax payments||Includes the filing of one federal and one state tax return||Get a CPA to evaluate your tax return one last time|
|Automatic mileage tracking|
H&R Block Tax Prep And File
H&R Block Tax Prep and File is the best tax software for live support because it has Online Assist, where you can get help from tax professionals at any time during tax season. Even better, you may have a tax expert file your taxes for you after uploading all of your supporting documentation into the program.
- During tax season, prices start at $39.99 for unlimited assistance from CPAs, enrolled agents, and tax specialists
- Using Tax Pro Go, you may upload your documents and have a tax expert complete your taxes for you
- Save copies of donations, returns, receipts, and other tax paperwork
- One of the priciest programs since Online Assist requires payment
- Does not track expenses
- The audit help from Peace of Mind is only important if H&R Block erred
The tax preparation business H&R Block, which was established in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1955, has an app called H&R Block Tax Prep and File. H&R Block Tax Prep and File is our top pick for the greatest online support. You can use the app to file your taxes yourself and get help from tax experts starting at $39.99, or you can hire a tax professional to file them for you starting at $49 per return.
Find the app on Google Play (4.8 stars) and the App Store (4.5 stars). If not, file your taxes via its web interface. Use your tax refund to cover the $39 price for your tax filing.
Among the guarantees are the following:
- No Surprise Guarantee: If the app does not offer upfront transparent pricing, a transparent process, free audit support, and a free mid-year check-in review, you will receive 20% off your tax filing for the next year.
- Maximum Refund Guarantee: Your H&R Block file is cost-free if you received a greater refund through another software.
- Audit Support Guarantee: H&R Block will provide free guidance on how to react to an IRS audit notice if you receive one. Or, if you have an in-person audit, you can get assistance by purchasing Worry-Free Audit Support for $19.99.
- 100% Accuracy Guarantee: If the program is mistaken, H&R Block will pay up to $10,000 in penalties and interest.
You can choose from several packages:
|$0||$29.99 + $36.00 per state filed||$49.99 + $36.99 per state filed||$84.99 + $36.99 per state filed|
|Earned Income Credit (EITC)||Everything in Free Online||Everything in Deluxe||Everything in Premium|
|Subtract student loan interest, installments, and tuition||Organize all of your tax documents digitally for up to six years||Record your income from stocks, bonds, and other investments (Schedule D)||Declare each company expense as well as asset depreciation.|
|Declare any retirement income.||Get technical support via live chat or phone||Claim rental income & deductions (Schedule E)|
|Have a Health Savings Account (HSA)||Deductible rental income claims (Schedule E)|
|Subtract property taxes and mortgage interest|
|Plan your contract, freelance, gig, and other self-employment income sources|
TurboTax Tax Return App
When the IRS accepts your tax return, TurboTax will give you up to $4,000 of your refund as soon as they do. If you need to file quickly, this is ideal because you can auto-import and auto-fill data by taking a picture with your phone.
- Take a photo of your W2, and the app inputs the info in the right forms
- Use Refund Advance to get up to $4,000 of your tax refund within three hours of the IRS accepting your return
- The app might be able to automatically upload your W2 information if you have an Employer Identification Number without taking a picture.
- Pricier than most tax apps if your taxes aren’t straightforward
- Constant upsell offers
Intuit, a pioneer in tax preparation software, is the owner of TurboTax. The TurboTax Tax Return App makes filing quickly possible with features like auto-fill and auto-import. This makes it the best choice for filing quickly.
The software may be found on the Apple Store and Google Play Store, both of which have 4.7 ratings. You can also use the web interface, but if you want the W2 information to automatically fill in some fields, you’ll need to upload the image. Several reviewers express dissatisfaction with upsells and spending far more than promised. To determine the bundle you require for your tax file, pay particular attention to the prices.
Even if you use the Free Edition of TurboTax (only for simple tax returns; not all taxpayers qualify), you can get the maximum refund guarantee. If you earn a greater refund with another app or a lighter tax burden, you will get your federal and state filing fees refunded. If you used the Free Edition (only for simple tax returns; not all taxpayers qualify), you will get $30 back under the guarantee.
You don’t have to pay anything up front to use TurboTax to file your taxes because they provide you the option to pay with your tax refund. But, doing this will cost you $39.99. Alternatively, you can use a credit card or checking account to pay your filing fees.
As soon as three hours after the IRS accepts their return, filers can use Refund Advance to get up to $4,000 of their refund as an advance. It has a 0% APR and no financing costs.
If you’re filing your taxes alone, TurboTax offers the following four packages on both the mobile and web interfaces:
|$0*||$39 + state||$69 + state||$89 + state|
|Prep, print, and e-file your taxes||Everything in the Free edition||Everything in the Deluxe edition||Everything in the Premier edition|
|Take a photo of your W2 for auto-input||Search over 350 deductions and tax credits||Covers stocks, bonds, and other investments||Tips and guidance for freelancers, small business owners, and contractors|
|Receive mortgage and property tax deductions||Auto-import investment income||Industry-specific deductions|
|Deduct donations||Covers rental property income and deductions||One-on-one help from self-employment experts|
|Accounts gains and losses on cryptocurrency transactions||Personalized audit assessment|
|Import 1099-NEC using a photo from your phone|
*for simple tax returns only, not all taxpayers qualify
There are four options for live support:
|Live Basic||Live Deluxe||Live Premier||Live Self-Employed|
|$0 if filed by 3/27/21, state included||$119 + state||$169 + state||$199 + state|
|Unlimited responses from a tax professional||Everything in Live Basic||Everything in Live Deluxe||Everything in Live Premier|
|Transfer last year’s information||Tax deductions for mortgage and real estate||Covers bonds, ESPPs, and stocks||Excellent for self-employed (1099-NEC) income|
|Skilled tax counsel and direction all year long||Charitable donations over $300||Deductions for refinancing and rental property income||Deductions unique to your field of employment|
|W-2 and unemployment income are included||Education costs and interest on student loans||Create a profit and loss statement for cryptocurrency transactions||Advice for entrepreneurs and independent contractors|
|Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) and child tax credits||Investment income from auto import||Maximize your work-related deductions (Schedule C)|
|Before filing, one last review by a tax professional||With a snapshot from your phone, import 1099-NEC|
Moreover, Live Full Service offers four tiers of services if you want your taxes done for you:
|Live Basic||Live Deluxe||Live Premier||Live Self-Employed|
|$199 + state ($0 if filed by 2/15)||$249 + state||$359 + state||$389 + state|
|Your taxes are prepared, signed, and filed by a tax professional||Everything in Live Basic||Everything in Live Deluxe||Everything in Live Premier|
|Personalized assistance and year-round tax guidance||Charitable donations over $300||Covers bonds, ESPPs, and stocks||Excellent for self-employed (1099-NEC) income|
|Your taxes done right, guaranteed||Education costs and interest on student loans||Deductions for refinancing and rental property income||Deductions unique to your field of employment|
|W-2 and unemployment income are included||Deductions for mortgage and property taxes||Create a profit and loss statement for cryptocurrency transactions.||Advice for entrepreneurs and independent contractors|
|Child tax credits and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC)||Maximize your work-related deductions (Schedule C)|
|With a snapshot from your phone, import 1099-NEC|
Usually thought of as a budgeting program, You Need a Budget (YNAB) is an excellent tool to track your ongoing costs. When it comes time to file your taxes, you may either do it yourself or share your spreadsheet of income and expenses with your tax preparer by downloading a comma-separated values (CSV) file.
- Provides articles, free online courses, and tutorial videos.
- available through a browser and an app
- Enables transactions to be synced with your bank and investment accounts
- Steep learning curve
- There is no integrated tax filing; you must export a CSV file into a third-party tax filing program
- Transactions must be manually uploaded if your bank is not supported
Being organized throughout the year is the best way to prepare for tax season. Spend some time initially setting up your YNAB accounts, and then keep updating them whenever you get paid. Lastly, when it’s time to file taxes, all of your income and expenses are separated into categories. This makes filing easy, and your tax advisor will be glad they don’t have to sort through a shoebox full of receipts. This makes us the best expense reporting service.
YNAB is accessible via a web interface and an app. Spend $14.99 monthly or $98.99 annually to try it out risk-free for 34 days. It’s free for a year if you’re a student. At the end of your trial period, YNAB gives you a 10% discount on the yearly plan.
It has 4.8 stars on the App Store and 3.1 stars on Google Play. Most reviewers complain about how hard it is to learn, but they praise how well it helps with budgeting and keeping track of costs. The YNAB app offers live classes seven days a week where you can learn how to use it for budgeting, or you may access any of its tutorials at any time.
Best Tax Apps For 2023
- Best Overall: TaxAct Express
- Best for Business Owners: QuickBooks Self-Employed
- Best for Live Support: H&R Block Tax Prep and File
- Best for Fast Filing: TurboTax Tax Return App
- Best for Ongoing Expense Tracking: YNAB
Many tax applications make it simple to file your taxes directly from your smartphone, even if the majority of them don’t include spending tracking. You must pay for advanced packages if your tax situation is complicated. But if you only have a few taxes to file, almost every tax tool has a free option that can help you.
We think TaxAct Express is the best tax app because it has low filing fees, a full free package, and the option to take filing fees out of your tax refund. Moreover, you can import tax data from the previous year even if you used a different source.
Compare Tax Apps
|Tax App||Key Benefit|
|TaxAct Express||affordable costs and a large complimentary package|
|QuickBooks Self-Employed||Monitor spending and send invoices|
|H&R Block Tax Prep and File||During tax season, reach tax professionals around-the-clock|
|TurboTax Tax Return App||After the IRS accepts the data you automatically fill out and import using your phone, you will immediately receive a refund advance|
|YNAB||By syncing or uploading transactions, keep track of your income and expenses|
Which Tax Software Provides You With The Most Refund?
Most tax software has a “maximum refund guarantee,” where your filing is free if your refund is higher using other software. But if you want to get the most money back, use every deduction and tax credit that your software offers. The Earned Income Credit (EIC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC), and the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction (HMID) are all good examples.
What Happens After You Use A Tax App To File?
After you use a tax app to file your taxes, the app sends your return to the IRS electronically. The time it takes the IRS to match your personal data with the return can range from a few hours to a few days.
With the IRS Where’s My Refund? feature, you may determine the status of your return. If there are no mistakes or other problems, you should get your money back in 21 days. To get your refund faster, set up a direct deposit. Unless you request an extension, you have until the tax filing date to make any payments if you owe money.
Do You Need A Mobile Tax App?
To file your taxes, you don’t need a mobile tax app. Yet you may make submitting your taxes simpler by using a mobile app. These tax preparation tools make it easier to file your taxes during tax season by letting you submit receipts and categorize costs all year long.
How Does A Mobile Tax App Work?
While the majority of mobile tax applications simply allow you to file your taxes, some of them can help you keep track of your costs, receipts, and miles all year long. Just from your phone, you may e-file your taxes, check for credits and deductions, and enter or upload your W2 information.
How We Chose the Best Tax Apps
We looked at 20 of the finest tax apps available and reduced it down to the six best options based on numerous features and factors. We took into account the features, price, feedback, and usability. It was important to find companies that offered a free version for simple tax situations and could also come up with solutions for people with more complicated tax needs.
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