As a small business owner, your overall tax strategy should be to avoid penalties and audits while maximizing your credits and deductions. If you’re not working with a professional tax preparer, you’ll need to find tax filing software you can easily navigate. Here are five business tax software providers to consider.
Our friends at FitSmallBusiness.com named TurboTax as the best small business tax software provider in 2018. Many others agreed and user reviews are positive overall. “Ease of Use” is generally named as the best feature. For the price, TurboTax offers the most features and users can tailor TurboTax to their specific needs.
There’s a self-employed edition, a business edition and even extra guidance for new businesses, showing startup tax deductions. TurboTax runs an accuracy check on every return to make sure everything is filled out and will alert you if anything seems amiss before filing. The company guarantees 100 percent accuracy.
Check the prices of various packages and purchase TurboTax Business here.
If you’re e-filing self-employed or small business taxes, H&R Block is a good alternative to TurboTax because of its lower price. A unique feature of this software is the ability to create payroll tax returns. You also have the ability to store your tax documents and returns for 6 years.
Technical support by chat is offered. The price for the small business and self-employed tax edition is lower than TurboTax. Like TurboTax, you don’t pay until you file.
Purchase H&R Block here.
The TaxAct website touts their software as "the best deal in tax". Price is a big upside for small business owners on a budget. However, TurboTax and H&R Block allow you to file multiple returns for one price. TaxAct charges you for each additional return.
Because of the lower price, some features are not as good as others. The customer support is limited as are the importing capabilities. Users have reported that the navigation can hinder your ability to work through a return.
Purchase TaxAct here.
Right upfront you should know that TaxSlayer only supports Schedule C filers. If you’re an S Corp, C Corp or multi-member LLC, you’ll need to explore other options. The software does cost less than H&R and TurboTax so if you’re filing Schedule C and looking to save money, TaxSlayer might be a good fit.
The big advantage of TaxSlayer is the support from tax professionals available via chat, phone or email. There’s also a comprehensive database of frequently asked questions that’s easy to navigate.
Register for TaxSlayer here.
eSmart Tax is Liberty Tax's online tax filing service that uses a straight-forward, easy-to-use interview style. The interview style means that you’re asked a series of yes-or-no questions used to evaluate your tax situation and determine what you need to complete your return. eSmart Tax allows you to prepare and e-file multiple tax returns.
An often mentioned disadvantage of eSmart Tax is that support is not as robust as other tax filing software. They do have a live chat feature and email support but it can take up to three days to get an email response and the live chat isn’t available 24 hours.
Overall, eSmart Tax is best for those comfortable with the filing process who are looking for an affordable option.
Purchase eSmart Tax here.