You have less than two weeks to figure out how big your tax return will be or if you owe the IRS. Luckily, there are a few types of tax software that can make this process a little easier for you and without hiring an expensive tax accountant. If you are having trouble deciding which program to use, take a look at the top three options when it comes to tax preparation software.

1. TurboTax

This is among the most popular tax software choices every year, and it’s mainly because it is so easy to use. You can choose to have TurboTax walk you through every step as you prepare your federal and state taxes, or you can navigate through it yourself. If you have any questions as you prepare your taxes, you can use the live chat feature or check the forum for answers.

Even if you do not have some important paperwork, such as a W-2, to answer certain questions, you can always move on and come back to that section later as your progress will be saved. During the whole tax process, a meter will indicate your audit risk, as well as how much money you will owe or get back for state and federal taxes. If your tax situation is fairly simple, you can file your federal return for free; it costs about $30 to file your state return.

2. TaxACT

TaxACT is great software for those with simple financial situations. The main advantage of TaxACT is that it is the cheapest available, but it still has many of the same features of other tax preparation software. You will immediately be alerted if the program detects a possible error while you prepare the return.

Though this program is not considered quite as easy to use as TurboTax, it is still very user friendly. It features a meter that keeps you updated on how much you will owe or get back, and it also offers free audit support. If you have any trouble preparing your taxes with this software, you can view one of the tutorial videos for help. You can use the free federal edition, and then just pay about $15 to file state taxes. You can also purchase the Deluxe edition for about $13 or the Ultimate Bundle for $18.

3. H&R Block

This tax preparation software is not considered as easy to use as others, but the main benefit is its above-average customer support. After all, if you are having trouble preparing your return, you can simply walk into the H&R Block location near you, which is something no other major tax programs offer. You can also get audit support in person, which is invaluable when you need fast help from professionals. Of course, if you prefer to get help at home, you can call or use the live chat option.

As you navigate this tax software, you will see an updated interface with links that explain any terms you might not understand. You can also use the free version whether you have a simple return with a W-2 or are self-employed. This helps put this tax software above the rest of the market.

One of the few downsides of this program is its slightly higher price compared to others. You can file federal taxes for free if your return is relatively simple, but state will cost up to $37. You can also use the Deluxe program for $30 or the Premium version for about $64.

Have you used any of these tax preparation programs before? If so, which do you think is the best? For more information or to shop discounted software  visit our online store.