Choosing the Right Tax Software for Your Business

tax-softwareTax season is upon, which means it’s time for you to gather up your receipts and get started. While some entrepreneurs hire tax professionals, there are many who still do their taxes themselves, using professional tax software to get the job done. If you fall into that category and are stumped at which software to use, here are a few things to consider:

1. Ease of use and installation.  How proficient are you with a computer? This may seem like an odd question for a tax article, but it’s important to know how much you are willing to poke around and learn about your new software.  Some versions have help links displayed prominently with a step-by-step questionnaire that guides you through the process.  Others are a bit more complicated and will have you filling out online versions of a tax form or clicking several links deep just to get back to the beginning.

This can also determine how you want to purchase tax software that professionals use. Some programs can be downloaded and installed right from the Internet, while others can be picked up on CD from your local office store.  If you’re not as computer savvy, then a physical CD might be better for you than navigating to a website.

2. Includes updated tax rules. There seem to be new tax laws every year. Make sure the software you use is up-to-date on all of them.  If you get penalized by the IRS, they will come after you, not your out-of-date software program. J

3. Has an extensive help section. Even if you’ve been doing taxes yourself for years, questions can arise. Your tax software should have a help section with frequently asked questions, tool tips for each area of the form and ideally an “ask the expert” feature to seek out live help, if needed.

4. Cost. This almost goes without saying, but please make sure you know all the costs of filing before investing in the software. Some potential fees could include: actual software, federal e-filing, state e-filing, audit protection and tax expert review.

5. Personal recommendations. Check with your trusted business colleagues to see what worked for them. Is there a tax software program they’ve used for years with no problem? Is there one you need to stay away from at all costs? Tap your network to find out.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that grow their businesses. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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