Choosing an Online Tax Software
Choosing the best online tax preparation for business is not overly difficult but it does take a little time to research and compare features depending upon your business needs and the cost. Some of the best online software in the tax preparation arena include:
Cost: $99- $129
This software is available in Free, Deluxe, Premier Home & Business and Business editions. The Free version is for very simple personal tax filing while the Home & Business and Business editions are more appropriate for small business use. Intuit recommends the $99 Home & Business version (federal & state) for self-employed, freelancers, single-owner LLCs and sole proprietors. For S and C corporations, multiple-owner LLCs and partnerships, the $129 Business version (federal, state taxes additional charge) is more appropriate.
There are some key advantages with TurboTax, other than its extremely user-friendly interface. Each version of the software has an easy guide feature with step-by-step walkthroughs for first-timers to TurboTax. Also, the software can collect all of your businesses tax information such as bank account statements, W-2 and other financial information from institutions. The software will gather the data and insert it into the tax forms automatically speeding up the filing process.
Once the forms are prepared in TurboTax, they can be uploaded and filed electronically. TurboTax promises a turnaround within 8 to 15 days through a reloadable TurboTax Refund Card. State tax refunds vary by state.
Tax Cut by (H&R Block)
$64.95 for Premium Edition
$79.95 for Premium and Business Edition
While the Premium Edition covers freelancers and sole proprietorships, the Premium and Business Edition covers all corporations, LLCs, partnerships and non-profits. Tax Cut is user-friendly with walk-through screens to assist in filing forms and review screens before filing. They also offer free e-filing options for the quickest returns. Their paper filing with federal and state return are free for one form and additional charges ($39.95) for extra forms and schedules.
Tax Cut contains all of the standard features in tax preparation that TurboTax has except for user help forums and comparison of past tax preparation forms. Tax Cut does have an audit defense feature, which means that the company will defend the tax returns to the IRS in case of audit. This is only to the extent of any errors made by the company in filing the tax return. In addition, the company provides for Audit Support that explains why you are audited and how to prepare for it.
TaxAct (2nd Story Software)
Pricing for Form 1120S. (additional pricing schemes for forms 1020 and 1065 forms)
$39.95 for Business Edition (1 federal return and e-file for corporation)
$14.95 for State Edition (1 return and e-file by state)
$64.95 for Home & Business Edition (includes Business Edition in addition to state forms)
Tax Act software is a bit pricey once you add up all of the forms you may need for your business. The software used easy interview style wizards to collect the information and enter it automatically into the forms. You can download the software for the different forms directly from the website to avoid delay. The different forms when downloaded will automatically integrate into each other so just clicking a button will activate one form inside of the other. Although the features are easy, there is no live chat for help and no audit defense when auditing.