Tax Season is Here – Prep & eFile for Free with Turbo Tax or H&R Block

Ugh. I just got some 1099s in the mail today. I guess that means it’s really time for me to make that appointment with the accountant.

Why an accountant? That’s not exactly the frugal choice for tax prep, you may be thinking. Well, you see, my husband and I have a small business, which we incorporated. This had numerous advantages, but the one BIG disadvantage is that our business tax returns are a huge, hairy deal. Which means… we hire an accountant.

She’s great and we’re lucky to have her. But every year,  I do toy with the idea of doing our personal returns myself once she finishes the business return – especially since there are so many great (and FREE!) tax prep programs out there.

Through April 15th, you can sign up for free accounts with either H&R Block or Turbo Tax, both of which allow you prepare, print and efile your federal taxes for free.

I jumped online to check out both of them. While I’m obviously NOT an accountant (nor do I play one on this blog), I do like how incredibly intuitive and user-friendly the software is.

And Turbo Tax in particular has earned high praise for speed and accuracy in several online reviews. Another great thing about Turbo Tax is that it’s free to file your state return as well in AL, AR, AZ, GA, ID, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, NY, ND, NC, OK, OR, RI, SC, VT, WV. Otherwise, adding a state return will cost $9.95 – still a bargain in comparison to some of the other free tax software. (H&R Block is $27.95 for each state return.)

If you have a more complicated return, but still want to prep and efile yourself, you can find plenty of sales on “deluxe” tax prep software over the next few weeks. Right now, for example, Target has its H&R Block software on sale – plus there is a gift card offer and coupon to better your savings.

H&R Block Deluxe – $39.99, Get $5 Gift Card
Use $10/1 H&R Software Target Printable Coupon
= $24.99 after sale, coupon & gift card

Do you do your own taxes? Or do you pay an accountant? (Maybe you ARE an accountant!) If you go it yourself, do you use free tax prep software, or are you a hardcore DIYers, with a pencil and calculator by your side?

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  1. I do my own taxes : ) Used to use paper and pencil. After using software for others, I will not go back to paper and pencil.

    Hiring an accountant can be a frugal choice if you hire the right accountant who really works closely with you. There are accountants who teach and guide and accountants that just want the stack of stuff you bring them and don’t ask questions. There are other types too, but I won’t even go there.

  2. We use an accountant who we have used for many years. She understands DH’s work and what he can write off and always asks the right questions. She used to work for the IRS so I feel we sort of have an “in” with her althought she is not as cheap as you quoted above, I feel she has saved us a ton.

  3. We do our taxes ourselves but use the software. We have run our own small business and have rental income, and this has seemed to work well for us. We did identify one issue and that was in our personal investing and we may need to hire an accountant if we want to rectify it (it is in our favor) because it was from ~3 or 4 years ago, and we just identified it now. I imagine we will continue to do our own returns.

  4. We use Turbo Tax Deluxe online. I like that it transfers our information from year to year so we don’t have to re-enter. I also like the interview format; I find it pretty easy. I do our state taxes on the state website though, because TT charges for that and it’s not worth it. (And, my dad is an accountant so any questions I have with federal or state taxes I can call him.)

    The IRS is delaying processing of about 9 million returns until Feb. 14 so they can update their software – this includes our return because we itemized deductions. Frustrating, since we are getting a pretty big refund! However, I’ve already finished and TT will efile for us as soon as the IRS is ready.

  5. We’ve had ours done by accountants for the past two years, primarily because my husband has been too busy with work to have a moment to think about taxes. However, we are both very interested in the idea of doing TurboTax, and plan to use it in the future.

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