(BPT) - Finding the right tax software can be just as important to ensuring the best possible return as making sure you have all the necessary documents and information. And when you factor in all the different tax software products available and the associated costs, finding the right program can be just as complicated as the process of filing your taxes.
There are many factors to consider, but there are a few things than can make your purchasing decision easier. Here are five tips to help ensure you get the best tax preparation software for your situation at a price you can live with.
* Determine what type of program you need. If you’re simply filing your personal income taxes and don’t have much in the way of additional enterprises, the basic version of a program will do. If you run a small business, or are self-employed, you’ll want to look for programs that have versions for single-owned LLCs, sole proprietors, consultants, contractors or whichever classification applies to you.
* Shop around for the best deals. In addition to just finding the program that will give you the best price, you might be able to find special deals on certain programs. For example, you can find seasonal discounts and cash back rewards for top retailers like TaxAct, TurboTax and H&R Block at FatWallet.com. Browsing online resources like this can help you get the best tax software deals.
* Find out what the others are saying. If you’re having a difficult time deciding on the best program, browsing online forums can help you make your decision. In addition to finding deals at FatWallet.com, you can access forums on finance and the latest tax tips to help you make smarter, money-saving tax filing decisions.
* Know what you are getting. If you’re using a free software program, you’ll want to make sure it covers both the federal and state versions of your returns. There’s nothing worse than being surprised by an unexpected fee once you’ve finished your filing and are ready to send off your returns. If your situation calls for a more expensive option, make sure your product delivers needed enhancements. Advanced packages should offer clarity of current tax laws, links to IRS publications and features that will help explain the best way for you to complete the return.
* If possible, complete your return online. Using an Internet-based program as opposed to a desktop program will help ensure that you have access to the latest updates to tax codes. When you file using an online program, your records will also be stored online on a separate server, which can be a great help in case something happens to your personal copy of your returns.
Unless your taxes are so complicated that they’re better left to a professional, you can save significant time and money by selecting the right tax preparation software. Find out more about specials on tax software at Ebates.com and FatWallet.com.