Navigating the complexities of partnership tax can be a daunting task, but the right tax software can make the process significantly easier. The best partnership tax software provides features for allocating income and deductions among partners, a user-friendly interface, automated calculations, and integration with accounting software like QuickBooks.
Here are our top five picks for the best tax software for Form 1065:
- TaxAct: Best overall tax software for online Form 1065 preparation
- Bench: Best full-service partnership return preparation with bookkeeping
- TurboTax: Best desktop tax software with tax pro assistance for Form 1065
- H&R Block: Best lowest-priced desktop software
- ProConnect: Best for tax professionals preparing a few partnership returns
Comparison of Best Tax Software for Form 1065
Form 1065 Pricing
Audit Guidance or Defense
Included with plan
1 included; $39.95 each additional state
$117.95 (discounts for multiple returns)
TaxAct: Best Overall Tax Software for Online Form 1065 Preparation
- Only one return is included in price
- Lacks personalized audit support
- No assistance from tax pros
TaxAct is available via a web browser (TaxAct Online) or a desktop program (TaxAct Desktop). It also provides two tax bundles, both for the cloud-based and downloadable options, if you plan on using TaxAct for your personal return, Form 1040:
- Form 1065: $124.95 per return for online preparation or downloadable program
- State: $54.95 per state filed
- Partnerships & Home Bundle (Forms 1065, 1041, and 1040): $199.95 for online or desktop program
We selected TaxAct as the overall best tax software for Form 1065 because it is the only solution in this guide that allows for do-it-yourself (DIY) preparation and filing, via either the online or desktop app. The online version avoids the headache of installation and frequent program updates required with desktop software.
It provides comprehensive technical support and guidance specific to partnership returns in its Answer Center. It even includes specific forms and schedules required for Form 1065, allowing businesses to input financial information easily. Furthermore, its robust error-checking features help identify potential errors and ensure all necessary information is provided.
Bench: Best Full-service Partnership Return Preparation With Bookkeeping
- Proprietary software doesn’t sync with other popular accounting software
- Tax preparation and filing only available if you sign up for bookkeeping service
- Premium plan required for tax preparation and is only available as an annual contract
Bench offers the preparation and filing of partnership returns as part of its Premium plan for $4,788 per year ($399 per month) and is unavailable as a monthly plan. It also provides unlimited one-on-one income tax advisory services and tax strategy planning year-round.
- Individual filing for one partner or shareholder: $59 per month (annually)
- Historical bookkeeping: Starts at $299 per month
- Specialized bookkeeping (A/R tracking, segment-level bookkeeping): Starts at $100 per month
Bench is the best solution for full-service partnership return preparation with bookkeeping because it provides you with an expert team of tax professionals who will prepare and file your tax return. Its other features include an online platform where you can communicate with your team, tax compliance support, tax strategy planning, and a customized chart of accounts specific to partnership businesses.
These features are especially useful because partnership returns are the most difficult returns to prepare due to all of the special allocations to partner K-1s. They are considered more difficult than S corporations (S-corps), which always allocate based on the percentage of ownership.
TurboTax: Best Desktop Tax Software With Pro Assistance for Form 1065
- Only available as desktop software; no online program
- TurboTax Live Assisted Business is only available in 14 states Only available in California, Texas, Florida, Washington, Nevada, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, Arizona, and Ohio
- Can be more expensive than competing tax software
TurboTax Business is a downloadable DIY tax program you can use to prepare Form 1065. In addition, you can purchase assisted or full-service tax preparation, if you’d like help preparing your partnership return.
- TurboTax Business: $190 for unlimited federal returns, plus $55 per state
- Assisted Business Only available in California, Texas, Florida, Washington, Nevada, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, Arizona, and Ohio : $739 plus $64 per state
- Full Service Business: $1,499 plus $64 per state
We selected TurboTax as one of the best partnership tax return software because it provides the option of assisted or full-service tax preparation. In both cases, you’ll be paired with a dedicated tax expert who specializes in small business taxes. In the case of an audit, this also includes audit representation, and TurboTax will communicate with the IRS on your behalf. You’ll also receive unlimited expert help and advice and assistance with maximizing credits and deductions for your business.
H&R Block: Best Lowest-priced Desktop Software for Preparing Partnership Returns
- Live pros are unavailable for assistance with desktop software
- Can be a steep learning curve
- Data unavailable on the cloud since it’s desktop software
H&R Block offers support for partnership returns with its Premium & Business desktop tax software, which is priced at $89.95 and includes the following:
- E-filing for up to five federal returns including a combination of personal and partnership returns
- First state program included, additional state programs are $39.95 each
- Free in-person audit representation
There is an additional charge of $19.95 for each state e-file. You can also opt for assistance from Block Advisors, who will prepare your partnership return starting at $260.
We selected H&R Block as the lowest-priced software for preparing partnership returns because of its affordable flat rate of $89.95, which includes even individual returns. If you prefer to have a tax expert prepare your return, you can sign up for Block Advisors, which charges a fee. Its multiple guarantees provide peace of mind, and its physical locations offer flexibility for businesses. The tax calculator and deduction maximizer it provides are also useful.
ProConnect: Best for Tax Professionals Preparing Only a Few Partnership Returns
- Not ideal for firms preparing a high volume of returns due to per return pricing
- Only for use by tax pros; requires the preparer to have an electronic filing identification number (EFIN)
- Limited customization options
ProConnect charges $117.95 for each business return (including Form 1065), though it currently offers a discounted rate of 40% off for multiple returns based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of returns you purchase. Prices included unlimited state filing.
- 1 to 9 returns: $70.77 per return
- 10 to 49 returns: $62.97 per return
- 50 to 99 returns: $55.17 per return
- 100 to 199 returns: $35.37 per return
- 200 to 299 returns: $29.97 per return
- 300 to 499 returns: $24.57 per return
While ProConnect provides a discount depending on how many returns you purchase, its per-return price can be expensive—so it’s best to keep it to a few returns. It is cloud-based, allowing users to work remotely, and allows viewing of the e-file status of all clients on its dashboard.
It also offers e-signing, so clients can review and sign forms from anywhere. We also selected ProConnect as the best professional tax software program for QuickBooks Online ProAdvisors because ProConnect integrates with QuickBooks Online Accountant. What’s more, they can try the software for free and not pay until they file.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Form 1065 is an income tax return used by partnerships to report their income, deductions, gains, losses, and other relevant information to the IRS.
When selecting the best partnership tax return software for your business, consider the following factors: cost, ease of use, accuracy and compliance, and additional features.
While it is possible to manually prepare and file Form 1065 without tax software, using dedicated tax software can streamline the process, help minimize errors, and ensure compliance with tax laws. Tax software often provides step-by-step guidance, automated calculations, and error checks, which saves time and effort compared to manual preparation.
While there are free tax software options for individual returns, it is less common to find completely free software specifically designed for Form 1065. Partnership tax returns tend to be more complex, requiring advanced features and support. However, some tax software providers may offer free versions or trials for partnership tax returns with limited functionality.
Choosing the right tax software to prepare your partnership return can impact the efficiency and accuracy of Form 1065 filing. After thorough analysis, TaxAct emerges as the clear winner for the best tax software for Form 1065. Its user-friendly interface, automated calculations, and seamless data integration make it a top choice for small businesses.