Whether it’s to save money or for the challenge, millions of Americans prefer to prepare their tax returns themselves — with help from some do-it-yourself computer software. Consumer Reports released its annual review of the four major tax prep software companies, NBC News BETTER reported, and these are the magazine’s recommendations.
For beginners, H&R Block has “simple explanations that are clear and easily accessible." While TurboTax Delux is good for processing complicated returns, the editors suggest working with a tax professional instead if you've had a major life event, own rental property, started a new business or failed to file in the past.
Meanwhile, TaxAct is good if you want a big deduction for donated goods. Its "Donation Assistant" provided higher valuations for more donated goods than H&R Block’s "DeductionPro" and TurboTax’s "ItsDeductible."
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And those who want to use their smartphones to file returns should use TurboTax Delux and H&R Block Delux. Apps from all the companies make it “relatively painless” to photograph W-2s and import them into the tax programs. TurboTax's “Virtual Assistant” even guides you to help.