TaxSlayer has emerged this year as a strong contender in the DIY tax prep space. In fact, we named them as one of the best tax software programs for small business - since they offer all of their forms for a single price, which is huge for side hustlers and busienss owners that have multiple forms and complex returns.
However, they may not be the best tax software option for you. In that case, you may be looking for TaxSlayer alternatives.
We break down our choices and picks for the best TaxSlayer alternatives that you could use to prepare your taxes this year.
What Is TaxSlayer?
In our recent review of TaxSlayer, we outlined a number of benefits to using it for your tax return software, including free filing if you are claiming student interest as a deduction. Here’s a quick review of TaxSlayer’s highlights:
- Pricing: $0 (state included), $29.95, $49.95, and $59.95 (for these three options, state is available for $39.95)
- Web-based (no downloads required)
- Options for tax audit, live tax pro help, and self-employed
- E-file available
- Easy to use
Most people will find that TaxSlayer meets their needs. Those with more complex tax filings may find they need more options than what is offered by TaxSlayer. In those cases, specialized tax software that can accommodate the unique needs of those filers will probably be the best option. Here are a few choices.
TurboTax offers a large variety of options but is on the more expensive side compared to other tax filing software. Like most tax filing software, they have four plans that increase in price as your tax needs increase or become more complex. Each higher-cost plan includes everything in the lower-cost plans. Except for the free edition, state filing will cost $40. You don’t have to pay for any plan until you file.
- Free Edition: Great for simple individual tax returns.
- Deluxe: $69, best if you have mortgage interest, donations, student loans, and 1099-MISC income.
- Premier: $89, best for those with various investment income including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and rental properties.
- Self-Employed: $119, best for self-employed, including freelancers and small businesses. Access to year-round tax estimator after filing.
You also have the option to add Live CPA help to each plan at a cost. Fees by plan are $50, $90, $140, and $170. TurboTax is web-based but you also have the option to purchase it as a CD or download.
TaxAct handles filings for anyone from individuals to businesses to those looking to maximize their deductions. There are four plans offered. Each higher-cost plan includes everything in the lower-cost plans:
- Free: For Individual Federal return. State will cost $39.95 even at the free tier. No phone support.
- Deluxe: $46.95, best for homeowners and those with specific types of deductions such as itemized deductions. Also great if you have the following: child and dependent care, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, student loan interest, a health savings account (HSA), or adoption credits. Includes tax specialist phone support. State filing costs $44.95.
- Premier: $69.95, best for those with investments, rental property, Schedule K-1 income, investment income and expenses, rental property income, and foreign bank and financial accounts. State filing costs $44.95.
- Self Employed: $94.95, Deduction Maximizer™, and year-round tax resources. Best for freelancers, businesses, and farmers. Finds business deductions and calculates depreciation. State filing costs $44.95, $10 higher than the other two non-free plans.
Sticking to the current theme, H&R Block also offers four plans with the individual plan being free. They have an Online Assist option for a fee that allows you to speak with a live tax expert, enrolled agent, or CPA. H&R Block’s software has a great-looking interface, is easy to use, and is completely web-based.
The free plan includes one state filing. State filings for the paid plans can be purchased for $36.99 each.
- Free: $0 and includes state filing. Tech support is available by chat.
- Deluxe: $29.99, for homeowners and those with donations and HSAs. Includes DeductionPro® to optimize donations. Technical support is available by chat or phone. State taxes with be $36.99 additional.
- Premium: $49.99, for freelancers, contractors, and investors (including rental properties). Performs cost basis calculation. State taxes with be $36.99 additional.
- Self-Employed: $84.99, for self-employed and small businesses. Import Uber driver tax information. Includes the ability to add home office depreciation and vehicle expenses. State taxes with be $36.99 additional.
If your filing needs are simple (just a Form W-2 and no investments), any of the free options above will work fine. If you are a small business owner or freelancer, TaxAct and H&R Block have comparable options with great feature sets.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.