Best Tax Software for 2022: Late or Not, TurboTax, H&R Block and More Can Help You File

This floor is part of Taxes 2022, CNET ‘s coverage of the best tax software and everything else you need to get your return filed quickly, accurately and on-time .

The tax deadline for most Americans — April 18 — has come and gone, but that does n’t mean your tax return is necessarily late. Some Americans affected by disasters like wind instrument storms, tornadoes and wildfires have deadlines of May 16 or June 15. And if you filed a tax extension on time, you ‘ve got until Oct. 15 to complete and file your tax return. For those taxpayers who do n’t have extensions and are presently late on their 2021 taxes, you should file your tax return ampere soon as potential. You ‘re losing out on money if you ‘re owed a tax refund, and tax penalties and interest will grow if you owe the IRS. Whether you have a spot of breathing room or not, there ‘s no commodity rationality to procrastinate. The best tax software of 2022 can handle all the complications that the IRS can throw at it and leave you satisfy with your maximum refund, or at the least a compensate measure that you owe.

TurboTax, H&R Block, Cash App Taxes, Jackson Hewitt, TaxSlayer, TaxAct and FreeTaxUSA all make our list of best tax software this year. Read on to learn more about features, feel and prices to decide which could work well for you .

Best tax software

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TurboTax by Intuit is our clear front-runner for good reason. The software combines tax expertness and an easy exploiter experience with an accessible interface. TurboTax guides you dexterously through the process of completing your tax return, never asking for data you ‘ve already given or that does n’t apply to your tax situation. When questions arise, data is promptly at hand. Four TurboTax products — Basic, Deluxe, Premier and Self-Employed — cover the stove of taxpayers. We recommend the Deluxe horizontal surface at $ 78 for most filers if your taxes are even slenderly complicated, but if you know you do n’t qualify for most deductions or credits, stick with Basic for dislodge. adept support from TurboTax Live can supplement any of the TurboTax products, as can TurboTax Audit Defense. TurboTax ‘s comprehensive examination benefits come with a higher price tag than other tax software, but peace of mind could be worth the cost. Learn more in our full TurboTax review for 2022 Pricing

  • Free to $89 for federal
  • Free to $39 per state filing*
  • Free to $199 for TurboTax Live
  • Free to $389 for TurboTax Live Full Support

*Up to $ 49 per state render with TurboTax Live and Live Full Support
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H&R Block compares well with our top pick, TurboTax, and it shines in its Free Online version, which covers dim-witted returns equally well as deductions for student loans and tutelage fees — a perfect fit for filers without complicate tax situations who besides want educational tax breaks. While not angstrom smooth as TurboTax, H & R Block features a well-designed, interview-style system that helps users sidestep likely mistakes. Help screens and FAQs are comprehensive examination, though not as comfortable to entree. H & R Block ‘s Online Assist — an accessory that costs $ 40 for release Online and Deluxe and $ 60 for Premium and Self-Employed — provides virtual tax aid from a master on-line, including screen sharing to show precisely where you ‘re stuck. A bang-up photograph appropriate lets you promptly upload your W-2 to H & R Block and get your tax rejoinder rolling. Its on-line software besides lets you upload files like multiple 1099 forms, schedules A and C, gifts to charity and medical expenses, among a tilt of many items. One big invoke of H & R Block is the universe of brick-and-mortar offices. If you decide center through your on-line tax render that you ‘d quite not do it yourself, H & R Block has about 9,000 offices across the US to set up an appointment or drop off your taxes for a professional to complete. Learn more in our full H & R Block recapitulation for 2022 Pricing*

  • Free to $85 for federal
  • $37 for state
  • $39 or more for live support

*Get outright help from know tax experts starting at $ 39 and an extra fee for submit taxes .

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Cash App Taxes — once known as Credit Karma Tax — debuts this tax season with a fully release tax preparation option that does n’t skimp on available IRS forms and schedules. It provides users with one federal and one state tax return, wholly unblock, with accuracy and maximum refund guarantees. The miss of file import and an unusual background login work might discourage some users from trying the avail, but once you ‘re into the software it works like most programs : A simple, interview-style process collects information about your tax position and uses it to populate IRS forms. Because you ‘ll need to enter your data manually, we recommend Cash App Taxes to tax filers with a few forms and relatively simple tax situations. Cash App Taxes besides has restrictions that might exclude some taxpayers : No multiple state returns, no extraneous income and no option of married filing individually in community place states like California or Texas. Cash App Taxes besides lacks professional tax back, making it best for users confident in handling their own taxes. The software besides requires the initiation of the Cash App mobile app on a pill or telephone — veteran users of the requital military service who already have the app installed should give it a spirit. Learn more in the full Cash App Taxes review for 2022 Pricing

  • Free

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TaxSlayer offers no-frills tax formulation at reasonable rates — its full-featured software will entice filers on a compressed budget. Its spare adaptation may be excessively restrictive for most users, but the top Self-Employed tier includes tax advice from a pro with self-employment expertness for much less than competitors. TaxSlayer offers four levels of service — Simply Free, Classic, Premium and Self-Employed — that range from dislodge to $ 48. Simply Free is restricted to filers with less than $ 100,000 in taxable income and includes one free state return. The other paid tiers of TaxSlayer charge $ 37 for each state refund. TaxSlayer ‘s freelance tier, our peak choice for freelancers and gig workers, provides tax training support from a tax master versed in self-employment taxes, a well as all the servicing features of the other plans, at $ 85 sum for federal and state returns. The interface and help content of TaxSlayer may not be a polished as other top competitors, but its bargain prices for freelance filers make it an attractive option for those comfortable completing their own tax returns. Learn more in the full TaxSlayer review for 2022 Pricing

  • Free to $55 for federal
  • Free to $37 per state filing

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While not quite as intuitive or flashy as TurboTax or H & R Block, Jackson Hewitt ‘s price of $ 25 for one federal reappearance and outright country returns is tough to beat. Unlike most competitors that offer different tiers of service depending on your tax position, Jackson Hewitt Online lets you file for one price, regardless of how complicate your taxes are. Jackson Hewitt Online offers unblock IRS audit aid and a Lifetime Accuracy Guarantee® to protect against unexpected penalties or interest. Its stripped service comes with some drawbacks, though. Its web site lags behind competitors — there ‘s no choice to upload files or tax forms — and it ‘s besides easy on support. Along with self-service tax cooking for $ 25, Jackson Hewitt Online besides offers a “ file on-line with a tax professional ” option for $ 99. You start your on-line fall, sync up with a tax professional, and then upload the respite of your IRS phase and software documentation for the agent to complete your tax return. And if you want more one-on-one attention, you can file at a participating Walmart placement starting for $ 59 or visit one of its offices to file with a tax pro ( prices vary depending on your filing situation and state of mansion ). Learn more in our full Jackson Hewitt review for 2022

Pricing 

  • $25 for federal and unlimited state filing; starting at $59 to file at Walmart with a tax pro

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TaxAct offers aboveboard income tax homework — its major distinction is its $ 100,000 Accuracy Guarantee and Maximum Refund Guarantee, which promise to get you an accurate refund and the utmost allowable by law. If it fails to do so, TaxAct will refund you up to $ 100,000 to cover the dispute between your actual and electric potential refund, your software costs and any associate legal or audit costs. It does n’t have quite the feature set of top competitors, but TaxAct offers comparable serve at a discount price. Its standout feature of speech is a Deduction Maximizer that reviews your complete restitution for possible tax deductions you may have missed. TaxAct ‘s professional tax aid military service Xpert Assist is besides available for spare for taxpayers who file before March 31, 2022. Learn more in the full CNET review of Tax Act 2022 Pricing

  • Free to $80 for federal
  • $40 to $55 per state filing
  • Free to $60 for Xpert Assist

Naomi Antonino/CNET

FreeTaxUSA is by and large free, except you ‘ll need to pay to file state taxes. It offers options for importing previous tax returns and filing an better tax render. The Deluxe adaptation includes precedence live new world chat, customer support and access to its tax specialists and audit overhaul. These tax professionals should be able to address all your specific income tax return questions — from what paperwork you need to how to understand an audit notice and write a response to the IRS. Learn more in our full recapitulation of FreeTaxUSA. Pricing

  • Free for federal
  • $15 per state filing
  • $7 Deluxe version

FAQs

Can I file my taxes for free? What’s the catch?

There are two chief ways to file your taxes for free. The beginning is through the IRS ‘ “ File barren ” broadcast, which includes private companies that provide their services for loose in partnership with the IRS. To qualify, you need to earn less than $ 72,000 in adjusted crude income. The moment is through the exempt programs of non-alliance members, like Intuit ‘s TurboTax and H & R Block. These individual services offer free products for those with simple file situations, and deoxyadenosine monophosphate retentive as you do n’t have complications like investment income or lease place income, you can stick with the dislodge products all the way through file. eminence, however, that Intuit and other companies will much try to upsell you on other products throughout the process. Before signing up for a higher-tier merchandise you had n’t planned on, make certain you in truth need it .

Which tax software is free? (Is it really free?)

about all of CNET ” sulfur best tax software selections for 2022 include detached options for simple tax returns. however, some of those free options merely include your federal tax retort — you ‘ll occasionally need to pay excess to file state tax returns. TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxSlayer and Cash App Taxes all provide absolve tax-filing services that include one federal tax come back and one state tax render. FreeTaxUSA ‘s basic plan is rid for union and $ 15 for inexhaustible submit returns, whereas TaxAct ‘s detached design requires $ 40 per state of matter tax revert. Be careful to check for restrictions before you start the summons of using loose tax software at any of the providers. For example, TurboTax ‘s Basic plan merely allows dim-witted tax returns with 1040 forms — no unemployment income, stock sales or any itemize deductions like mortgage interest. H & R Block ‘s Free Online adds a few more forms like Schedules 1 and 3, but you ‘ll hush need to take the standard subtraction. TaxSlayer Simply Free does n’t allow taxable income over $ 100,000. even Cash App Taxes, which earns CNET ‘s award for Best Free Tax Software, does n’t cover absolutely all tax situations. While it does include advance tax forms for self-employment, lease place, standard sales, small business income and the child concern credit, it does n’t allow for alien earned income, the health coverage tax credit or income from an estate or faith ( Form K-1 ) .

When are taxes due this year?

federal tax returns for 2021 are due this year on Friday, April 18, 2022. ( Washington DC celebrates Emancipation Day on April 15. ) Residents of Massachusetts and Maine get an extra sidereal day — their tax returns are due April 19 because they celebrate Patriots ‘ Day on April 18. Some taxpayers in Colorado, Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee who live in areas affected by natural disasters have an prolong tax filing deadline of May 16. You can see which counties are included in the extension on the IRS calamity relief page. Unlike last year, filing deadlines were not extended in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We ‘ll keep you update if tax deadlines change at all this class .

What is a ‘simple’ tax return?

When you file only a unmarried W-2 from an employer, it ‘s considered a simple tax return. With a simple return, you wo n’t be itemizing deductions, claiming investment income or rental place, reporting freelance income or claim commercial enterprise expenses like a home agency. Companies like Intuit and H & R Block explain the add complexity commensurate with their higher-tier products, therefore if you are n’t surely, double-check their lists before buy. You can besides start filing with a free revert in most cases and upgrade your service horizontal surface if needed .

When should I pay extra to get live assistance from online tax software?

The beauty of well-designed tax software is that most filers wo n’t need to pay extra for expert help. All of the answers you need should only be a few clicks away, and if you need technical aid ( help with the software, not tax-related issues ), support should be easily accessible. If you find yourself constantly wanting to speak with a human tax adept or if you know your tax site is complicated, you may be better off selecting tax software with tax adept accompaniment or just hiring a CPA, or certified populace accountant, on your own .

How much does it cost to hire a CPA? Is it worth it?

According to the 2020-21 Fees Practices Survey released by the National Society of Accountants, working with a CPA for your tax filing will cost $ 200 to $ 500, depending on the complexity of your tax return — how many schedules and supernumerary forms need to be completed — and where you live. Each extra schedule, for things like rental income or investing gains, could cost around $ 100. If you have self-employment income, enumerate deductions, investments or other complicated tax situations, the supernumerary cost is likely to be worth it. It can besides be easier to send off your forms to an technical and know they ‘ll take care of everything. Remember that the extra amount you ‘re paying in fees could get you a better return, making the upfront monetary value a smart investment. Keep in mind, however, that it depends a lot on your person file site, your withholdings and your tax bracket. angstrom good as many software programs are, a human adept is frequently the manner to go .

Methodology: How we select the best tax software

CNET reviews tax software by comparing products across a specify criterion. We use the software to prepare personal tax returns, examine tax products ‘ terms and offers, communicate with software representatives to resolve questions about products, comparison have sets, and analyze software for its potency in coarse tax situations. We consider the features and functionality of the tax training software, the user experience, the software interface, web site performance, quality of avail and defend, and the value based on price. We are besides looking for and evaluating particular features, including file import or photograph capture of forms, number and type of available IRS forms and schedules, contextual help oneself, desktop and phone/tablet compatibility and synchronize, professional tax aid, maximum refund and accuracy guarantees, live back and security protections.

More tax software advice

The editorial subject on this page is based entirely on objective, freelancer assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertise or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. however, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners .

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