Choosing the best tax preparation software for a small business requires the careful consideration of several important factors. One of the most important features to check for is a tool that helps you find industry-specific tax deductions. It’s also essential to choose a program that offers a solid support system, so that any questions you may have will be answered promptly. Here are the top three tax software packages for small businesses.

1. TurboTax

TurboTax is one of the most popular tax software programs on the market for many good reasons. This software is catered to everyday people who may not be especially knowledgeable about the convoluted world of taxes. TurboTax is one of the most affordable tax preparation software. There are four editions of TurboTax from which to choose:
Basic: Geared toward the user who requires more guidance when preparing taxes. This edition would be a good choice for anyone who wants 24/7 online access to their tax returns. Not recommended for small business.

Deluxe: The most popular choice, this version helps maximize your tax deductions, making it ideal for business owners with families and many deductions to claim.

Premier: Perfect tax software for business owners that own stocks and bonds, mutual funds and rental properties.

Home & Business: Blends personal and business tax preparation into one package.
With a very well-designed user interface, excellent navigation and review process, TurboTax is one of the most impressive and easy-to-use tax preparation software programs for small businesses.

2. TaxACT

For small business owners with straightforward tax requirements who like to get the job done on their own, TaxACT is definitely worth considering. This is one of the lowest-priced tax software products on the market as its MSRP is just $17.95. The best features of TaxACT include the following:
Guaranteed Accuracy: This software company guarantees taxes are filed accurately.

Past Year Comparison: TaxACT automatically compares the current tax return with the previous year’s return and highlights any differences found.

Real-Time Balance Meter: This tax preparation software comes with a built-in real-time meter that displays the balance of your refund or the amount owed.

Returns are Double-Checked: TaxACT double checks your tax return to ensure it is accurate.
Small business owners who file uncomplicated returns will find TaxACT to be a suitable tax preparation software package to use. However, this product does not have any tools on board that help identify deductions according to industry or other business characteristics.

3. H&R Block

Costing the same as TurboTax ($29.95), H&R Block provides a clear, easy-to-use pathway through the 1040 forms as well as several upgrade pathways. Using this tax preparation software’s “interview” format, you are given access to online support offered by a network of tax professionals. The best features of H&R Block are:
Organized and Clear: The tax filing process is relatively straightforward and easy to understand as H&R Block provides well-defined instructions.

Guaranteed Accuracy: This tax software guarantees your taxes are calculated accurately. If you do become penalized due to miscalculations made, the company will pay your penalties including interest.

Professional Help Available: If you become confused or uncomfortable while doing your taxes, you can use the online help service or visit one of the many H&R Block brick and mortar stores.

For the small business owner who feels confident about doing his or her own taxes and knows the difference between a credit and a deduction, H&R Block is a great tax preparation software program to use. But for those individuals who get nervous just thinking about taxes, the help files of this program are somewhat confusing and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed trying to decide if the advice applies to you.

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