Selecting Tax Software That's Right for Your Business
March 25, 2020
Sure you could do your taxes on your own, or hire someone to do them for you, but there’s a good hybrid option that might be perfect for you: tax software that will guide you through the process. There are many different tax software packages out there to choose from. So, here are some questions to help you choose the package that's right for you.
How complicated are your taxes? How comfortable are you with the tax process?
Your taxes might be relatively straightforward—a few deductions here, a few sources of income there—and you might feel relatively competent to do them with some relevant auto prompts from your software. Or, you might be a complete novice and want your software to ask lots of questions—just like if you were sitting with a tax advisor—and offer advice to help you make the right decisions.
Some come with a help line or online chat feature you can call if you get stuck, and others offer “audit defense” which helps you prepare for an audit should one occur. (Pro tip: If this interests you, you can buy the coverage now since you can’t buy it retroactively). You can read some reviews to find the features that suit your needs.
Is it current?
Tax laws change constantly and keeping up with them is a full-time job—just ask any accounting professional. That’s why you want to make sure that your tax software is updated for the current tax year. Before you buy, make sure the software has the most recent changes handed down from the government to ensure you are using the most current advice.
If you're now working from home
If your situation has changed and you're now running your business from your home office, there are more deductions you can take when working from home, including office supplies, furniture specifically for your home office, computer and tech for your home office, and more you can learn here.
What features are important to you?
Preparing taxes can be tedious and, even at times, confusing. But that’s where your tax software platform steps in and can simplify the task. Overall, the ideal tax planning software can help walk you through each step of the process and unpack exactly what you need to do.
Here are a few key components to look for in a tax software program:
A function to access data from your employer, if relevant
Whatever tax software package you choose, be sure to let it do the majority of the work for you — and do it in a manner that serves you and your business well.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer who specializes in small business, finance and real estate.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein. The information should not be relied upon as replacement for professional tax advice.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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