Being a small business owner or self-employed is rewarding in many ways. But filing business tax returns is not one of them.
Many small business owners struggle to accurately prepare and file their state and federal taxes returns. Tax software aims to simplify the process of filing business taxes online. It can automatically calculate tax rates and deductions, guide you through the process, and is done completely online.
5 Tax Software Options for Small Businesses
Not all tax software is designed with the needs of small businesses or freelancers in mind. Making sure you’re not overpaying for tax preparation and filing services is just as important as maximizing your deductions.
Before diving into the best tax software options for small business owners, watch this short video for a primer on how to file business taxes:
This article reviews five tax software products ideal for small businesses and freelancers. Not all of the products below offer the same features, level of user-friendliness, or (most importantly) price tag. Prioritize what level of service and support you’ll need when filing your returns to help narrow down your choices. One thing to be aware of when comparing tax prep software, most charge fees for state returns.
Use the table below as a quick way to find which product will fit your tax filing needs best. Read on to learn more about what each tax software has to offer.
|Best fit for
|$120 for federal returns, plus $50 per state return.
Option to file yourself or work with a tax specialist
|More expensive than other tax software
|Individuals that want a smooth online tax-filing experience.
|$195 for self-employed, $250 for small businesses.
|Access to unlimited on-demand tax help
|Very expensive compared to other tax software
|Individuals that need access to specialized help.
|$94.95 for freelancers and sole proprietors, plus $54.95 per state return.
$124.95 for C or S corporations and partnerships, plus $49.95 per state return.
|More affordable than TurboTax or BlockAdvisors for freelancers
|Help from tax experts costs extra
State forms may not all be available to file electronically
|Individuals that want a user-friendly yet still affordable tax filing experience.
|$44.95 for freelancers and small business owners, plus an additional $34.95 per state filing.
|Great for in-person tax filing More affordable than many other options
|Minimalistic online tax filing experience
Not as user-friendly as other options
|Individuals who want to file taxes in-person or affordably online.
|$44.99 for freelancers, $79.95 for small businesses.
|Affordable freelancer plans compared with other tax software
|Business tax filing plans are more expensive than other options
|Individuals looking for affordable and no-frills tax filing software.
TurboTax from Intuit is one of the most popular tax software and service providers. It offers personal income tax filing as well as business tax filing. You have the option of using TurboTax to file taxes by yourself or with varying levels of assistance from tax specialists.
Overall, TurboTax aims to provide you with an easy to user interface and a few different tax filing options. But it’s also one of the pricier online tax products on this list. In this case, a smooth tax filing experience comes at a premium.
TurboTax also offers both online (cloud-based) and downloadable (on-premise) versions of its software.
- 100% accurate calculations guarantee
- Option to do DIY tax return filing or receive assistance from tax experts
- Easy to use user interface
- Live support from tax specialists costs extra
- Not the cheapest tax software
Prices start at $120 for do-it-yourself (DIY) online and on-premise federal tax return filing. State tax returns cost an additional $50 per return. You can use TurboTax’s online FAQs and receive individual support from tax specialists. Small business owners and freelancers will also have access to the TurboTaxcommunity.
TurboTax also offers two other tax filing options for small businesses. The $200 plan provides access to unlimited advice from TurboTax specialists. You can also receive a final review of your tax returns before filing them. The most expensive plan costs $290 for filing federal tax returns but is all-inclusive. I.e. Tax experts handle preparing, filing, and signing tax returns for you. Filing state tax returns is an additional $55 per state for both of these options.
TurboTax will be a good fit for you if you want a smooth online tax filing experience. But it’s also one of the pricier products covered here. So this may not be the best choice for budget-conscious small business owners or freelancers.
BlockAdvisors offers payroll, tax, and bookkeeping services for small businesses and freelancers. It is a service offered by the well-known brand H&R Block. BlockAdvisors allows you to choose to file tax returns yourself using their online software or with tax assistance. Filing options for self-employed individuals, S Corporations, C corporations, and partnerships are available.
- 100% accuracy guarantee
- Year-round tax support
- Unlimited help from tax experts
- Small business and self-employed tax filing services are expensive
For self-employed individuals, BlockAdvisors offer two main options. You can file your returns yourself with unlimited on-demand help from their specialists. Or, you can have a tax professional file for you.
The first DIY filing option costs $195 and includes the ability to file online from any device and includes unlimited on-demand tax help. The second option costs $229 and includes:
- Meeting virtually or in-person with a tax specialist
- free profit & loss (P&L) statement and analysis
- full-service tax preparation and filing on your behalf
BlockAdvisors has one offering for small business owners. It costs $250 and includes full-service tax preparation and filing. It comes with a 100% accuracy guarantee, the ability to meet in-person or virtually with a tax specialist, and year-round tax support.
Overall, BlockAdvisors will be a good choice if you know you want extra tax preparation and filing assistance. Their team of tax experts has, on average,12 years of experience. But BlockAdvisors is also the most expensive tax software choice on our list. This makes them a good choice for complex small businesses, but not ideal if you have fairly simple tax returns to file.
TaxAct is another great choice for freelancers or small business owners looking for a mid-level tax filing solution. This option is a little cheaper than the previous two mentioned, though those who need help from tax specialists will find themselves paying extra fees. The service still offers key features such as year-round tax support and a deduction maximizer, even with its lower cost.
Notably, you can import previous tax return data (PDFs of 1040 forms) prepared by H&R Block or TurboTax. It also offers free e-filing and real-time refund status updates.
- More affordable than TurboTax or BlockAdvisors
- Tax deductions maximizer tool
- $100K accuracy guarantee
- Access to 7 year’s worth of prior returns
- Help from tax experts, specialists, and CPAs costs extra
- The online experience is not as user-friendly as some other tax software
TaxAct offers DIY online federal tax return filing for freelancers and sole proprietors starting at $94.95. Filing state tax returns cost an additional $54.95 per state.
For partnerships, C corporation, or S corporations, TaxAct offers a guided online tax filing process for $124.95. Filing state tax returns cost an additional $49.95 per state. All of these plans include automatic calculations and data entry into the correct tax forms. Small business plans also come with guided questions to help you maximize your deductions.
TaxAct will be a good fit for you if you want an easy yet affordable online tax filing experience. Since you’ll find yourself paying extra for tax assistance, TaxAct is ideal for freelancers and small businesses who likely won’t need additional help.
4. Liberty Tax
Liberty Tax offers four main tax filing options: in-person, online, via mobile app, and via a secure drop-off. This may be especially appealing for small business owners or freelancers who prefer to file their taxes in person. Odds are that one of their over 3,000 offices will be close to you. Along with their in-person locations, Liberty Tax is known for providing users with a quick and seamless tax filing process.
You can receive a free review of your tax returns before filing from one of Liberty Tax’s experts. However, this is only available in person at some of their 3,000 locations. Liberty Tax also allows you to import prior tax returns that you’ve filed with their competitors.
- Thousands of in-person locations to choose from
- 100% accuracy guaranteed
- Fast filing in 15 minutes
- Multi-channel support (e.g. chat, email, social media, in-person)
- More affordable state filing (additional $34.95 per state)
- Minimal other services offered
- Less user-friendly than other tax software options
Liberty Tax offers two online tax filing plans for small business owners and freelancers. Its Deluxe plan costs $44.95 for federal filing, plus an additional $39.95 per state filing. This plan is better suited for self-employed individuals than it is for small business owners. It includes the following forms and schedules:
- Schedule A
- Schedule B
- Schedule C
The Premium plan is better suited for small business owners, especially S corporations. It costs $44.95 as well, with an additional $39.95 per state filing. Along with all of the forms and schedules above, the Premium plan also includes forms 4684 and 4835 and scheduled E, F, and K-1.
If you’re looking for a no-frills online tax filing option, Liberty Tax may be the right choice for you. While it doesn’t offer too many extra features, Liberty Tax is the most affordable online tax product on our list. It’s also great if you like to file your taxes in person, as Liberty Tax has over 3,000 locations in the U.S. where you can file in person.
5. H&R Block
H&R Block is one of the oldest tax preparation companies, it was founded in 1955. It offers affordable yet paired-down tax filing options for small business owners and freelancers. Comparatively, its small business services like BlockAdvisors are a more expensive option.
H&R Block gives you the option to choose between using their tax software to file yourself or filing online with an assistant.
H&R Block also offers five free federal e-files, free in-person audit assistance, and free tax return accuracy review. You have the ability to upload previous year’s returns from Quicken, TurboTax, and other competing tax software products.
- Maximum refund guarantee
- $10,000 accuracy guarantee
- Options to file online yourself or with assistance from tax experts
- Not all functionality is available on the cloud-based version of their software and mobile application
- The small business owner plan is more expensive than some other tax filing software.
H&R Block offers a Premium plan for self-employed individuals and a premium & business plan that’s suitable for small business owners. The Premium plan costs $64.95 plus an additional $19.95 per state return e-file.
The Premium & Business plan costs $79.95 plus an extra $19.95 per state e-filing. This plan is also suitable for self-employed individuals. Though freelancers looking to keep costs low should consider the Premium plan. Note, these prices are for H&R Block’s on-premise tax software (i.e. desktop software you need to download to your computer).
For people who would rather file their taxes completely online and use cloud-based tax software, H&R Block offers a few plans. Self-employed individuals can file online for $49.99 and small business owners can file online for $109.99. Both of these plans charge an extra $44.99 per state tax return filed.
H&R Block has additional plans available for freelancers and small business owners who want to file online with the help of a tax expert. The Deluxe Online Assist plan starts at $109.99 and is ideal for self-employed individuals looking for some extra assistance. The Self-Employed Online Assist plan costs $194.99 and is suitable for small business owners as well as freelancers. Both of these assisted tax preparation plans cost an additional $49.99 per state return filed.
Like Liberty Tax, H&R Block is a great choice if you’re on a budget and want to file your taxes online. It’s the second most affordable product on this list. H&R Block is ideal for people who don’t need a bunch of additional features, have a fairly simple tax return, and prioritize cost over a modern user interface.
More Tax Software Resources
Along with the five popular options above, here’s a list of other tax software for small business owners and freelancers to check out:
Visit the TrustRadius accounting and tax services providers page to learn more about the products mentioned in this article and read in-depth end-user reviews.
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