Not all Tax filing software are same

If you are reading this then there is a high chance that you are about to file for your tax return for this year and looking to see which one to use.

I filed my taxes last night and while doing it I used three tools to calculate my return and I have an insight into each one (Credit Karma, TaxAct, TurboTax) of them that can help others.

I will be comparing them and suggesting which one will get the job done easier and faster.

Credit Karma

Its FREE. but WAIT .. basic tax filing is free in all other as well. Credit Karma will not show any ads to lure you into a paid service. Its free and its pretty simple if you are a student or single/married professional with W-2.

It will ask you a set of fairly simple questions, pull up right set of forms for you to enter amount, address, etc. And you will be done with filing your tax return for past year in around 10–15 mins.

TaxAct

TaxAct offers both free and paid service. Free service is as good as Credit Karma. And paid service isn’t that bad either.

This is good for everyone using Credit Karma and will also help you with other forms like 1099-DIV, property tax, dependent credit, etc.I struggled with adding child daycare expense along with dependent care credit offered by my company. I spent over 15mins to fix it and I moved on to the next tool.

Turbo Tax

Turbo Tax is by far best of out of all three because of its simplicity, integration with other solutions.

Let me start with ADP integration. If your employer uses ADP then TurboTax can pull your W-2 just by using three information field from the form. It will definitely save you time and you’ll get an overall premium experience. It is extremely well organized to add dependent and dependent care saving account information and it is smart enough to pull related information from W-2 whenever necessary.

It’s pretty simple to add other information pieces like dividend information (1099-DIV), property tax, health saving account, car registration fees, etc.

Another great feature is its integration with Mint with offers good set of options on IRA/Roth IRA. Mint is definitely a tool that can be wisely used to manage monthly expenses and have a good view on other investments.

Turbo tax also offer itemized deductible option which can get more money in your pocket. I will highly recommend trying that option if you have bunch of expenses that incurred over the year and now is the time to get some money back.