Selecting Tax Software That's Right for Your Business
December 8, 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 a home office, you may qualify for a deduction. This might include office supplies and furniture or computer and tech specifically for your home office. Consult with a professional tax advisor or visit the IRS website for details.
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.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is,” and neither the author nor Office Depot warrants 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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