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Stepping into the complex landscape of taxes can often seem overwhelming. With a plethora of forms, deductions, and regulations to consider, it’s understandable that many individuals seek the assistance of tax preparation software to ease the process. Two of the leading contenders in this space are TurboTax and TaxSlayer. This article provides a comprehensive review of both platforms, delving into their features, pros and cons, pricing, customer service, and alternative options.
TurboTax, a product of Intuit, is one of the oldest and most comprehensive DIY tax preparation programs on the market. Since its inception in 1984, TurboTax has been a go-to choice for many taxpayers, offering a range of features and guidance that cater to both beginners and those with complex tax situations.
TurboTax offers a variety of features designed to simplify the tax filing process. These include:
Step-by-step Guidance: TurboTax provides comprehensive guidance throughout the tax filing process, walking users through every step and ensuring they understand each part of their tax return.
Integration with Financial Tools: TurboTax offers seamless integration with other financial tools like QuickBooks. This feature allows users to easily import their financial data, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.
Variety of Plans: TurboTax offers four different online plans to cater to different tax situations. These include a free version for simple returns, and plans for more complex returns with itemized deductions, investment income, rental properties, and self-employment or small business owner option.
Comprehensive Guidance: TurboTax’s step-by-step guidance is one of its standout features. This guidance makes the platform ideal for beginners and those with complex tax situations who may need extra help navigating their tax return.
Integration with Financial Tools: The ability to integrate with financial tools like QuickBooks simplifies the tax preparation process, making TurboTax a convenient option for many users.
Variety of Plans: The variety of plans offered by TurboTax ensures that there is a suitable option for almost every tax situation.
Cost: Despite its impressive features, TurboTax’s cost can be a deterrent for some users. It is the most expensive option among the three platforms reviewed here.
Limited Free Support: While TurboTax does offer support, live support is only available if you upgrade your basic self-filing plan to a Live Assisted or Live Full Service plan.
TaxSlayer is a cloud-based tax preparation service that offers a number of solid features and is easy to use. Founded in 1965, TaxSlayer has a long history in the tax preparation industry and is generally cheaper than both TurboTax and TaxAct.
TaxSlayer offers several features that make it a strong contender in the tax preparation software market:
Support for All Tax Situations: TaxSlayer’s Classic plan, priced at $34.95 for federal filing, accommodates all tax situations, incomes, deductions, and credits.
Free Service for Military Members: In a unique offering not provided by many other tax preparation services, TaxSlayer offers free service to active military members. Turbotax also has a military discount available
Affordable Pricing: TaxSlayer offers competitive pricing, making it a budget-friendly option for many taxpayers.
Affordability: TaxSlayer’s competitive pricing makes it the most budget-friendly option among the three platforms reviewed here.
Support for All Tax Situations: The ability to accommodate all tax situations at a relatively low cost is a significant advantage of TaxSlayer.
Free Service for Military Members: The free service for active military members is a unique benefit that sets TaxSlayerapart from many other tax preparation services.
Less Guided Experience: While TaxSlayer is easy to use, it is not as guided as TurboTax. This might make it less suitable for beginners or those who prefer a more guided tax preparation experience.
Limited Free Support: Similar to TurboTax, live chat or dedicated professional support is not included in the Simple Free and Classic plan. You need to upgrade to the Premium or Self-Employed plan for these features.
- Taxslayer Coupons and deals are here
- Our Taxslayer Review is here
- TaxAct vs TurboTax vs H&R Block – Which Is Better
While TurboTax and TaxSlayer are both excellent choices, it’s worth considering other alternatives in the market:
TaxAct: TaxAct is a low-cost alternative to other tax preparation software. It offers good value to users but less handholding than some other services. It is a good choice for users who are comfortable with preparing their own taxes with minimal guidance.
H&R Block: H&R Block offers a range of tax preparation services, from DIY tax filing to full-service tax preparation. It also offers a free version for simple tax returns.
Credit Karma Tax: Credit Karma Tax offers a free online tax filing service. It supports a variety of tax forms and situations, making it a good option for many taxpayers.
Customer service is a crucial aspect to consider when choosing a tax preparation software. Here’s how TurboTax and TaxSlayer fare in this department:
TurboTax: TurboTax offers a variety of customer service options, including phone support and a comprehensive online help center. However, live support is only available if you upgrade to a Live Assisted or Live Full Service plan.
TaxSlayer: TaxSlayer offers phone and email support for all users. However, live chat and dedicated professional support are only available if you upgrade to the Premium or Self-Employed plan.
In conclusion, both TurboTax and TaxSlayer have their strengths and weaknesses. TurboTax offers a more comprehensive and guided experience, but at a higher cost. On the other hand, TaxSlayer is a more affordable option, but with less guidance. The choice between the two will depend on your specific needs, budget, and comfort level with preparing your own taxes. It’s also worth considering alternative options like TaxAct, H&R Block, and Credit Karma Tax.