Taxes are a fact of life for freelancers and while you can’t get away from having to deal with them, you can make the process run a little more smoothly. E-filing your taxes is a convenient way to look after this necessary task.
These online tax software programs for freelancers can help you make sure you get all the tax breaks you are entitled to as a self-employed person. When you are trying to navigate the waters of taxes, you need all the help you can get. Here are our picks for the best programs to help you file your taxes quickly and conveniently:
Turbotax makes preparing a return an easy process. The software allows you to import many documents directly from your bank and can fill in other forms with the results of an online interview. All you do is answer questions in plain English. If you need help, support is available on the phone or by way of live chat. The software checks your return before you file, too.
It also tracks your audit risk and lets you know whether you are high or low. If you are at high risk for being audited, Turbotax gives you tips for reducing your chance of being audited.
2. H&R Block File at Home Online Tax Prep
The H&R Block income tax software program allows you to start working on your return for free. If you used TurboTAx or TaxAct Online to file your return last year, you can import the data into the H&R Block program. The system offers step-by-step guidance as you work through your return. If you are audited after you file your return using H&R Block software, the company provides audit support and representation from an agent at no charge.
3. E-smart Tax by Liberty Tax
E-smart’s Premium online tax software is geared toward business owners, freelancers, and independent contractors. Start working on your return at no charge; you answer a series of simple questions by responding “Yes” or “No” to help you prepare it. Import your prior year’s return at no charge. The software handles your self-employment tax (Schedule SE).
CPA Audit Assistance is offered at no extra charge to all E-smart customers. If you are contacted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after you have filed your return, a Liberty Tax CPA audit specialist will be provided to help you through the process.
TaxSlayer.com Classic can complete simple or complex income tax returns online. Once you input your data, you can transfer your prior tax information forward. It saves time when you file future income tax returns.
Support is available by phone or e-mail. You can also get help from “Bobby,” your personal tax guide, who appears in a series of videos to provide guidance as you work through your return.
The program checks your return for accuracy before you file. It looks for missing data, as well as errors in your return.
5. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Online
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service offers a self-employed package for freelancers or contractors online. It includes small business forms and free federal and e-file. The Premium package includes unlimited support (e-mail, phone, or chat) if you get stuck preparing your return.
Do you need a secure place to store documents and receipts? Scan and upload your prior year’s returns and other documents and store them in the Jackson Hewitt software. Once you have uploaded them, they can be accessed from any computer. If you have ever had to spend time searching for receipts or need help staying organized, this part of the service may make this income tax service of interest to you.
Online software programs can make calculating our income taxes a little less daunting every year. When the software includes an interview to gather information about a freelance writer’s tax situation, you don’t need to be a tax guru to be able to prepare and file your own return. Paying for a tax preparer or an accountant to look after it for you can be pricey, and you will be able to put the money saved toward other things.
For more tax tips for freelance writers, check out these helpful links: