Best tax software 2021: TurboTax, H&R Block, and more

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Best value overall
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Best value for itemizing deductions
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Best value for self-employed filers
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Best free option for federal and state filing
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The best tax software to use in 2021

Most Americans dread filing taxes. It can be costly, confusing, or just plain tedious ... but it has to be done.

The good news is that if you have a straightforward financial situation, there are simple and free tax filing options available online.

If your situation is more complex — you have side jobs, own a business, live and work in different states, or earn income from a trust, for example — you can expect to pay to file your federal income tax return, and probably your state return, too.

Taxes are incredibly nuanced and it's naive to assume one person's filing experience will be like another's because they use the same tax preparer. That said, there are some companies that excel in certain niches, like helping small business owners navigate deductions or walking first-time filers through loads of tax jargon.

Tax software at a glance

We reviewed 10 online tax preparers with an emphasis on their do-it-yourself online filing options. These are the ones that earned an editor's rating of at least 3.5 out of 5. You can find out exactly what goes into these ratings at the end of this post.

Tax prep company

Editor's rating (out of 5)

Cost for federal return

Cost for state return

H&R Block4.9$0 - $109.99$36.99*
TurboTax4.6$0 - $120$50*
Jackson Hewitt4.1$25 - $49$24
Tax Slayer4.1$0 - $54.95$32*
TaxAct3.9$0 - $79.95$19.95 - $44.95
FreeTaxUSA3.7$0$14.99
Credit Karma3.7$0$0

*Does not apply to the free version; state is included.

Learn more about the best tax filing software

Below you'll find our picks for the best tax software and more information about why they were selected.

Best value overall

The best tax software to use in 2021

Most Americans dread filing taxes. It can be costly, confusing, or just plain tedious ... but it has to be done.

The good news is that if you have a straightforward financial situation, there are simple and free tax filing options available online.

If your situation is more complex — you have side jobs, own a business, live and work in different states, or earn income from a trust, for example — you can expect to pay to file your federal income tax return, and probably your state return, too.

Taxes are incredibly nuanced and it's naive to assume one person's filing experience will be like another's because they use the same tax preparer. That said, there are some companies that excel in certain niches, like helping small business owners navigate deductions or walking first-time filers through loads of tax jargon.

Tax software at a glance

We reviewed 10 online tax preparers with an emphasis on their do-it-yourself online filing options. These are the ones that earned an editor's rating of at least 3.5 out of 5. You can find out exactly what goes into these ratings at the end of this post.

Tax prep company

Editor's rating (out of 5)

Cost for federal return

Cost for state return

H&R Block4.9$0 - $109.99$36.99*
TurboTax4.6$0 - $120$50*
Jackson Hewitt4.1$25 - $49$24
Tax Slayer4.1$0 - $54.95$32*
TaxAct3.9$0 - $79.95$19.95 - $44.95
FreeTaxUSA3.7$0$14.99
Credit Karma3.7$0$0

*Does not apply to the free version; state is included.

Learn more about the best tax filing software

Below you'll find our picks for the best tax software and more information about why they were selected.

$0.00 from H&R Block

Best value for itemizing deductions

The best tax software to use in 2021

Most Americans dread filing taxes. It can be costly, confusing, or just plain tedious ... but it has to be done.

The good news is that if you have a straightforward financial situation, there are simple and free tax filing options available online.

If your situation is more complex — you have side jobs, own a business, live and work in different states, or earn income from a trust, for example — you can expect to pay to file your federal income tax return, and probably your state return, too.

Taxes are incredibly nuanced and it's naive to assume one person's filing experience will be like another's because they use the same tax preparer. That said, there are some companies that excel in certain niches, like helping small business owners navigate deductions or walking first-time filers through loads of tax jargon.

Tax software at a glance

We reviewed 10 online tax preparers with an emphasis on their do-it-yourself online filing options. These are the ones that earned an editor's rating of at least 3.5 out of 5. You can find out exactly what goes into these ratings at the end of this post.

Tax prep company

Editor's rating (out of 5)

Cost for federal return

Cost for state return

H&R Block4.9$0 - $109.99$36.99*
TurboTax4.6$0 - $120$50*
Jackson Hewitt4.1$25 - $49$24
Tax Slayer4.1$0 - $54.95$32*
TaxAct3.9$0 - $79.95$19.95 - $44.95
FreeTaxUSA3.7$0$14.99
Credit Karma3.7$0$0

*Does not apply to the free version; state is included.

Learn more about the best tax filing software

Below you'll find our picks for the best tax software and more information about why they were selected.

$0.00 from Turbotax

Best value for self-employed filers

The best tax software to use in 2021

Most Americans dread filing taxes. It can be costly, confusing, or just plain tedious ... but it has to be done.

The good news is that if you have a straightforward financial situation, there are simple and free tax filing options available online.

If your situation is more complex — you have side jobs, own a business, live and work in different states, or earn income from a trust, for example — you can expect to pay to file your federal income tax return, and probably your state return, too.

Taxes are incredibly nuanced and it's naive to assume one person's filing experience will be like another's because they use the same tax preparer. That said, there are some companies that excel in certain niches, like helping small business owners navigate deductions or walking first-time filers through loads of tax jargon.

Tax software at a glance

We reviewed 10 online tax preparers with an emphasis on their do-it-yourself online filing options. These are the ones that earned an editor's rating of at least 3.5 out of 5. You can find out exactly what goes into these ratings at the end of this post.

Tax prep company

Editor's rating (out of 5)

Cost for federal return

Cost for state return

H&R Block4.9$0 - $109.99$36.99*
TurboTax4.6$0 - $120$50*
Jackson Hewitt4.1$25 - $49$24
Tax Slayer4.1$0 - $54.95$32*
TaxAct3.9$0 - $79.95$19.95 - $44.95
FreeTaxUSA3.7$0$14.99
Credit Karma3.7$0$0

*Does not apply to the free version; state is included.

Learn more about the best tax filing software

Below you'll find our picks for the best tax software and more information about why they were selected.

$0.00 from TaxSlayer

Best free option for federal and state filing

The best tax software to use in 2021

Most Americans dread filing taxes. It can be costly, confusing, or just plain tedious ... but it has to be done.

The good news is that if you have a straightforward financial situation, there are simple and free tax filing options available online.

If your situation is more complex — you have side jobs, own a business, live and work in different states, or earn income from a trust, for example — you can expect to pay to file your federal income tax return, and probably your state return, too.

Taxes are incredibly nuanced and it's naive to assume one person's filing experience will be like another's because they use the same tax preparer. That said, there are some companies that excel in certain niches, like helping small business owners navigate deductions or walking first-time filers through loads of tax jargon.

Tax software at a glance

We reviewed 10 online tax preparers with an emphasis on their do-it-yourself online filing options. These are the ones that earned an editor's rating of at least 3.5 out of 5. You can find out exactly what goes into these ratings at the end of this post.

Tax prep company

Editor's rating (out of 5)

Cost for federal return

Cost for state return

H&R Block4.9$0 - $109.99$36.99*
TurboTax4.6$0 - $120$50*
Jackson Hewitt4.1$25 - $49$24
Tax Slayer4.1$0 - $54.95$32*
TaxAct3.9$0 - $79.95$19.95 - $44.95
FreeTaxUSA3.7$0$14.99
Credit Karma3.7$0$0

*Does not apply to the free version; state is included.

Learn more about the best tax filing software

Below you'll find our picks for the best tax software and more information about why they were selected.

$0.00 from Credit Karma

Other tax services we considered and why they didn't make the cut

The best tax software to use in 2021

Most Americans dread filing taxes. It can be costly, confusing, or just plain tedious ... but it has to be done.

The good news is that if you have a straightforward financial situation, there are simple and free tax filing options available online.

If your situation is more complex — you have side jobs, own a business, live and work in different states, or earn income from a trust, for example — you can expect to pay to file your federal income tax return, and probably your state return, too.

Taxes are incredibly nuanced and it's naive to assume one person's filing experience will be like another's because they use the same tax preparer. That said, there are some companies that excel in certain niches, like helping small business owners navigate deductions or walking first-time filers through loads of tax jargon.

Tax software at a glance

We reviewed 10 online tax preparers with an emphasis on their do-it-yourself online filing options. These are the ones that earned an editor's rating of at least 3.5 out of 5. You can find out exactly what goes into these ratings at the end of this post.

Tax prep company

Editor's rating (out of 5)

Cost for federal return

Cost for state return

H&R Block4.9$0 - $109.99$36.99*
TurboTax4.6$0 - $120$50*
Jackson Hewitt4.1$25 - $49$24
Tax Slayer4.1$0 - $54.95$32*
TaxAct3.9$0 - $79.95$19.95 - $44.95
FreeTaxUSA3.7$0$14.99
Credit Karma3.7$0$0

*Does not apply to the free version; state is included.

Learn more about the best tax filing software

Below you'll find our picks for the best tax software and more information about why they were selected.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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