It’s here folks: that dreaded time of year, when taxes come due and the IRS comes knocking. Just a month ago it was New Year’s and we were all happily celebrating the end of 2016. Then the next day the Tax Preparation commercials came rolling in to remind us that April 15th is right around the corner.
So we thought we’d take a look at some apps and software that can help get the best deal from their taxes. Most of these will focus on personal taxes, but we will take a look at how they can help SMBs and Self-employed individuals file taxes. And, as always, you can always reach out to our expert Developers and build your own Tax preparation app!
H&R Block vs TurboTax
Both of these are by the big name players in the field of Tax Preparation. Both deserve to be counted on this list of Top 7. Both are quite similar in features and in price (TurboTax is slightly more expensive for both personal taxes and business taxes). Both free versions offer free filing for the basic level of tax forms (1040EZ and 1040A), though H&R Block allows you to do a standard 1040 with itemized deductions.
So which is the winner? When it comes to price, H&R Block is cheaper for all tiers and the deluxe version requires no price increase for those who are self-employed. In terms of the UI and UX, they tend to be identical, though TurboTax is slightly easier. TurboTax also offers some extra features for usability, but not enough to make it stand apart.
What it really comes down to is simple. If you get stuck, do you want to be able to talk to someone in person, or are you okay with online support? Both offer pretty significant online help, but only H&R Block has thousands of physical locations across the states. So it all comes down to whether or not you want to have that face-to-face support.
At the end of the day, our verdict is that if you are filing for personal taxes, or are self-employed with a moderate income, H&R Block is probably a better fit (though there’s a hair’s difference – mostly just the cost). But if you own a SMB or make a large amount of money from self-employment, you should consider TurboTax.
ItsDeductible Donation vs MyBlock
Don’t worry folks, we’re still here with H&R Block and TurboTax. But each have other mobile apps that fall under their umbrella (outside of just the standard app). TurboTax’s ItsDeductible Donation Tracker for iOS is great businesses and other enterprises that offer significant charitable donations throughout the year. Of course, it’s only useful to those who do make large charitable donations. And it’s only on iOS – kind of a deal breaker since Android users represent over 70% of the market.
MyBlock, on the other hand is available on both platforms and is a much more robust tax app aide. It’s quite comprehensive, allowing users to estimate their refund as well as letting them upload documents and receipts in a few easy steps. You can even compare your new tax returns to previous years’. Plus it lets users set up an appointment at a nearby location.
H&R Block also has another Tax Preparation app that is even more comprehensive and feature heavy. It’s even great for more complex tax situations (like the aforementioned self-employment) So, in our estimation, H&R Block is the clear winner when it comes to mobile app support.
This app is perfect for those who are self employed or who are small time contractors. It helps record all of the deductions SMBs have, tracks work mileage (a deductible expense) and allows you to create expense reports from Credit cards – which can be setup to occur automatically. Finally, it also allows you to create eReceipts that are already approved by the IRS.
Ask a CPA
While this won’t file your taxes for you, it does allow users to ask a whole array of tax-related questions from CPAs that are actually local to the user. This is an undeniably useful tool, especially for business owners. Filing taxes for a business is obviously much more complicated than personal taxes – and the risk of messing up is much greater.
Maybe you just have an exceptionally simple tax return. If you count yourself among this lucky bunch, TaxSlayer Go is the takeaway app from this list. The app is free plus, unlike others on this list, state AND federal filing is free. So a great option for those with single moderate incomes without a lot of deductions, or other tax issues (like owning property).
Your Tax App Developers
Maybe none of these apps solve the problem you have. Maybe you aren’t the only one facing that problem. Sounds like an entrepreneurial opportunity to us! Give us a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 (or click to contact us) to start building your own app for taxes.