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The Best Small Business Tax Software


Picking tax preparation software for your small business is still easier than picking your tax deductions. But there are a growing number of options. And it can be hard to figure out which is best. Here are the small business tax software programs most likely to be what you need to prepare your company’s tax return. Consider working with a financial advisor as you prepare your tax returns if you’re looking for professional help.

1. TurboTax

TurboTax has a broad mix of features, support, and user-friendly features. However, you might not choose TurboTax if you don’t want to pay its price for small business features.

TurboTax offers different packages for different filers. For freelancers and sole proprietors dealing with Schedule C, 1099 forms, home office expenses, automobile mileage and the like, there’s TurboTax Self-Employed. It’s delivered online for $119, with state returns costing extra.

For more complicated enterprises dealing with depreciation, rental real estate, and preparation of  W-2, 1099 and other forms, there’s TurboTax Business. This version targets C corporations, S corporations, partnerships, LLCs, estates or trusts. TurboTax Business is available online for $190, with state returns extra.

The TurboTax interface is designed for ease of use. The software guides even inexperienced filers through the process by asking questions and suggesting alternatives. Filers can upload photos of 1099s and import information from past returns. Also, they can import data from QuickBooks Desktop accounting software.

Meanwhile, TurboTax checks for errors during preparation and before filing a return.  The company guarantees accuracy and promises to reimburse filers for any penalties and interest paid because of its error. It also guarantees filers the maximum refund available.

2. H&R Block

An accountant uses tax software to prepare tax documents for a small business client.H&R Block’s small business tax software includes features that rival any other tax software offering. Meanwhile, it’s slightly more affordable than TurboTax.

For $64.95, H&R Block Premium Tax Software can handle simple returns for most business types. That includes self-employed freelance sole proprietors with 1099s, as well as Schedule Cs and C corporations with payroll forms and W-2.

The next step up is H&R Block Premium & Business Tax Software for $89.95, for business owners with more than 10 itemized expenses. Both H&R Block products include one free state return preparation. However, it’s another $19.95 for each state return that is filed electronically.

H&R Block’s help center includes more than 13,000 searchable articles on tax topics. Free live support is available via in-product chat. For an extra fee, filers can get individual help from a tax pro who will review the return to make sure it’s error-free. Also, they’ll ensure that filers haven’t missed any deductions or credits.

The software double-checks returns for accuracy and assesses the risk of triggering an audit. If a filer faces an audit, H&R Block offers free audit representation. Meanwhile, TurboTax, H&R Block offers to reimburse filers for any fees paid due to inaccuracies.

Filers can upload scans or photos of some forms. Also, they can import data from prior year returns, including those prepared by competitor tax software. Users of Xero accounting software can also integrate their business books with future tax returns through a partnership with H&R Block.

3. FreeTaxUSA

FreeTaxUSA is a no-cost tax preparation software option for some sole proprietors, freelancers, and contractors. However, state tax returns cost $14.99 each. Choosing the Deluxe option knocks the price down to $7.99.

FreeTaxUSA accommodates Schedule C sole proprietor returns with self-employed and freelance income. Also, it assists taxpayers with rental income, health insurance costs, automobile expenses and home office expenses. It won’t, however, do returns for corporations, partnerships, LLCs and other more complex entities.

Like its costlier competitors, FreeTaxUSA lets filers import the previous year’s data from competing tax software. The basic offerings are supported by email, which may be slower than online chat. The Deluxe level provides support via live chat as well as unlimited amended returns and audit assistance.

The Bottom Line

Tax software can help business owners keep more accurate records of their finances so that it's easier to file their taxes when the time comes.Small business owners who choose to do their taxes with TurboTax or H&R Block will enjoy a full slate of features, plenty of help and money-back guarantees. For no- or low-cost filing, TaxFreeUSA may be enough for many sole proprietors, freelancers and contractors. The right one for you will depend on your unique situation and what features or services you need.

Tax Tips

  • Consider talking to a financial advisor about your small business tax software and whether or not it suits your needs. If you don’t have a financial advisor yet, finding one doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • To pick tax software, first, you may want to make sure it supports all the tax forms you’ll need, such as a Schedule C for the self-employed and Form 1120 for corporations. Then you might consider a comfortable user interface with support tailored to your confidence level. Finally, give your budget a look and choose an option that fits your finances.

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