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Guide to 7 Top Tax Software Programs, 2017

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The tax software business is getting as crowded as the cereal aisle at your local grocery store, and that’s good news for do-it-yourself taxpayers. New entrants are offering deals, forcing veteran players to up their game or lower their prices.

The best tax software for you will depend on your sources of income, your need for help, and your budget. It’s important to review each platform’s terms before you start plugging in your numbers. Otherwise, you could discover that you can’t complete your return without upgrading to a pricier product.

For this year’s tax software review, we gave our hypothetical taxpayer a mortgage, some modest investment income, and a health savings account, an increasingly popular tool for people with high-deductible health insurance plans. (HSA account holders who withdraw money for medical expenses are required to report it on their tax return; otherwise, they could end up owing a large penalty.)

Note: Software prices are subject to change, and they generally rise as the tax-filing deadline approaches. With most software providers, you pay when you file — yet another reason to complete your return as soon as possible.

Before you get started, check out the many new ways to file your taxes free this year. Several major software providers offer free preparation and e-filing for taxpayers who are eligible to file a federal 1040EZ or 1040A, and some include a state tax return, too. And even if have a more complex return, you can use IRS Free File as long as your adjusted gross income was $64,000 or less.

All prices listed here are as of February 16.

Please Note: Links to products and services mentioned in this feature may be affiliate links. These business relationships played no role in the independent judgments and recommendations of the Kiplinger editorial staff. For more valuable offers from our merchant partners, visit our Marketplace.

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