Tax preparation software player

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Top Tax Preparation Software for Households

The top 10 tax preparation software companies for households in the US are TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxAct, Credit Karma, TaxSlayer, Liberty Tax, FreeTaxUSA, efile.com, Jackson Hewitt, eSmart Tax.

METHODOLOGY

To determine the top 10 tax preparation software companies for households in the US, our research team first searched for a precompiled list of top software for personal tax preparation. To determine the top 10 we looked at how often they were included in the list.
To find out how many households used the software, we first looked through the official company and affiliated sites for information on how many households are using their software. We only found reviews and user ratings.
Next, we looked through credible software and business sites such as pcmag, bloomberg, Forbes, businessnews, nbcnews, cnet, and others. No information on households that use their software was found. We then searched through government sites such as IRS, and SEC, for annual reports that may contain information of households or users. The companies mentioned are private companies so we could not find that information. We looked through articles and press releases that may contain the information. The research team did find the total number of tax returns filed for the 2017 financial year. We assumed that the total number of users that filed their taxes using the software is the number of households that use them. Below is a list of the top 10 tax preparation software companies based on the publicly available information found.

Top 10 tax preparation software companies for HOUSEHOLDS in the US

TURBOTAX

They had about 36,013 million online returns filed through 2017.

H&R BLOCK

More than 23 million tax returns filed through the 2017 financial year.

TAXACT

Served about 7 million tax filers in the 2017 tax year.

CREDIT KARMA

Claims to have more than 80 million members in the United States.

TAXSLAYER

The company processed more than 10 million e-filed tax returns in 2017.

LIBERTY TAX

Processed 1.49 million tax returns in 2017.

FREETAXUSA

More than 18 million returns have been filed using this service.

EFILE.COM

A total of 53,929 million self-filed tax returns in the 2017 financial year.

JACKSON HEWITT

Exceeding 2 million tax returns through 2017.

ESMART TAX

Nearly a million handled tax returns.


Part
02
of two
Part
02

Top Tax Preparation Software for Small Businesses

Although an extensive search through the public domain did not provide information on the top 10 tax preparation software companies for small businesses in the US by the number of small businesses that use it, we were able to discover the top 6 tax preparation software for small businesses in the US by the type of service they provide and the benefits for the businesses owners. These companies include TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxAct, TaxSlayer, Liberty Tax, and E-Smart Tax.

METHODOLOGY

Initially, we started checking several websites which are specialized in small business and/or tax. Most of them provided a list of top tax preparation software but they didn't talk about the number of customers or small businesses that uses them. They were categorized by price, customer and tax support, and other features that can assist small businesses. The data found on tax software official websites, in press releases or annual reports, didn't mention the number of small business clients. However, the companies like TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxSlay, Tax Act, etc., some showed the total number of clients for all the services they provide, that include more than tax preparation, and some didn't have any data on the number of clients at all which made it impossible to categorize them.

Next, we tried looking for statistics around small businesses and tax software through Statista but they only had one data that was on what software CPAs use. Later, we searched through Owler, Craft.Co, Hoover, and other similar websites but they didn't inform the number of customers the businesses had. They only had a percentage of the kind of customers they have on their software but it has not mentioned the numbers.

Based on our research through the public domain, we were unable to find the desired information on the top 10 tax preparation software companies for small businesses in the US. We were unable to identify any usable data to come up with the number of small businesses that use a certain type of tax software because all the companies are private entities so, the information was very limited on those numbers. Therefore, we decided to put information on the top tax preparation software for small businesses according to websites that are expert in that area, gathering all they have said about the top 6 companies based on price, usability, features, etc.

1. TURBOTAX

TurboTax is owned by Intuit, which provides a number of services including tax preparation assistance. 50% of their services were utilized by small businesses. TurboTax is the best option for business owners who use QuickBooks desktop or QuickBooks Self-Employed to manage their books as it allows them to import their data into TurboTax. It helps business owners providing "in-app guidance, an online knowledge base, and free telephone support from customer service." A certified public accountant or enrolled agent is also available for a fee who reviews their tax return. The cost of TurboTax Self-Employed is $89.99, TurboTax Live is $169.99, and the cost of TurboTax Business is $159.99.

Customers have said that business version cannot successfully import data from QuickBooks Online and that the business version doesn’t work on Mac. However, according to them, TurboTax is easy to use and provides a checklist for preparing business returns.

2. H&R Block

It has 23 million clients worldwide, they have 14% of the revenue of U.S. tax preparation in contrast to 10% from TurboTax, 2% are from other DIY platforms and the larger percentages come from CPAs and independents. H&R Block is a good platform for small businesses which want high-end tax software at a slightly lower cost than TurboTax. It is considered as one of the top picks for the number of features it has for the price it offers, an easy interface for users includes a knowledge database and live customer support. The cost of H&R Block Self-Employed is $79.99, plus $36.99 per state. A free trial is also available.

Customers have mixed reviews for H&R Block. They are pleased with the simplicity of the software and noted that their tech support is very helpful. But explanations are fairly poor in the state section and that the business version isn't as user-friendly as the premium version.

3. TaxAct

TaxAct’s software options are targeted toward several types of businesses, including tax-exempt entities. It helps the customers for choosing the correct product to get the software and forms they need. They have unlimited access to the previous year’s tax return for seven years after the filing deadline which is great for freelancers who need an affordable solution. It also has support for small business tax forms, error check and audit support, and provides free, unlimited telephone, and email support.
Customers have complained that customer support is hard to reach by telephone. According to a customer, "IRS never got a copy of her extension, even though TaxAct provided her with confirmation, however customers like the fact that TaxAct is affordable and easy to use."

4. Taxslayer

TaxSlayer is the best of a range of options we found competing on price. It cannot be compared to other software like TurboTax or H&R Block, but TaxSlayer Premium and Self-Employed still offer many of the same features. It's a good software for sole proprietors looking for the best value tax software.

TaxSlayer’s online tax software is easy enough to use. Customers get access to seasoned tax professionals who answer questions via chat, telephone, or email, you cannot file a corporation, partnership, or nonprofit tax return and it does not offer the option to have a tax professional or CPA review the tax return prior to filing it.

Based on customer reviews, it is ideal for beginners. Some of them experienced problems in which TaxSlayer did not transfer all federal data into a state return, resulting in an incomplete state return.

5. LIBerty tax

Liberty Tax is considered an affordable option that delivers some useful features for small businesses. However, it’s not the strongest on user experience or customer support compared to the other choices.

Small businesses should consider the premium option which is straightforward and going through the initial basic information has been made simple with auto fill. However, customers have to pay extra for audit assistance.

6. E-smart tax

E-Smart Tax is functional online tax software for self-employed business owners who own rental property, e-smart premium edition. It costs a little more than TaxAct Self-Employed, but customers can only file one federal tax return with e-smart tax premium versus five federal tax returns in H&R Block and TurboTax editions.
Customers have mixed experiences regarding E-Smart Tax's customer services. Some customers have experienced problems with e-filing and direct deposit but they like e-smart tax’s clear navigation and user interface.


Sources
Sources

From Part 01