This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
There are several alternatives to TurboTax available to suit a variety of needs and preferences, from TaxSlayer’s features for self-employed individuals to FreeTaxUSA’s free option for federal tax returns. With so many providers to choose from, it’s important to research and compare the features and pricing of each to determine the best fit for your tax needs. We looked at several solutions and narrowed our list down to these five best TurboTax alternatives:
- TaxAct: Best overall for sole proprietors, partnerships, and S corporations (S-corps)
- Bench: Best for full-service preparation of business returns bundled with year-round bookkeeping
- Xendoo: Best for full-service preparation without committing to a bookkeeping plan
- FreeTaxUSA: Best free solution for returns with Schedule C businesses
- TaxSlayer: Best inexpensive option with free advice for Schedule C businesses
Are you interested in learning more about TurboTax to see how it compares to the providers featured in this guide? Check out our review of TurboTax.
Best TurboTax Alternatives at a Glance
Check out our guide to the best small business tax software for additional options. We evaluated several solutions and narrowed our recommendations down based on the price of preparing the typical bundle of returns required by most business owners.
TaxAct: Overall Best Alternative for Sole Proprietors, Partnerships, and S-corps
- Price includes only one return, so it becomes expensive if you have multiple businesses
- Limited audit support
- No special cryptocurrency support
- No tax pro assistance for business returns
- $64.95 per Federal Form 1040 individual return with Schedule C
- $44.95 per state individual return
- $124.95 per Federal Form 1120, 1120S, or 1065 business returns
- $54.95 per state business return
Why We Chose TaxAct
Perhaps the best alternative to TurboTax, TaxAct is generally less expensive and offers a range of pricing options, including a free version for simple tax returns. Unlike TurboTax, TaxAct lets you prepare your business returns online instead of having to download a program.
Also, while both programs are designed to be user-friendly, TaxAct has a more straightforward interface and may be easier to navigate for those with less experience. It offers customer support via phone, chat, and email but may have longer wait times than TurboTax.
Bench: Best for Full-service Preparation of Business Returns Bundled With Year-round Bookkeeping
- Requires a monthly bookkeeping plan
- No access to helpful tools such as a tax calculator or donation assistant
- No financial planning services
Bench offers a choice of two plans, Essential and Premium. Both include monthly bookkeeping and year-end reporting, but only Premium offers tax services. It comes with unlimited tax advisory services and federal and state income tax filing.
- Premium: $499 per month for monthly contract or $399 per month for annual contract
- S-corps, C-corps, and partnership owners filing add-on: $69 per month for one partner or shareholder when billed monthly or $59 per month when billed annually
- Historical bookkeeping: Starts at $299 per month
Fit Small Business readers get two free months when they sign up with Bench.
Why We Chose Bench
While TurboTax is primarily a tax preparation software, Bench is an assisted bookkeeping service. It includes tax preparation for its Premium users.
It is designed to help businesses manage their finances throughout the year and includes features such as automated bookkeeping, bank account syncing, financial reporting, and tax preparation. In contrast to TurboTax, Bench provides businesses with a dedicated team of bookkeepers who will work with you to ensure that your finances are accurate and up-to-date.
Xendoo: Best for Full-service Tax Preparation Without Committing to a Bookkeeping Plan
- No free trial
- Accrual-based accounting is unavailable with Essential plan
- Services only available at flat annual fee
Xendoo offers a choice of three subscription plans—namely Essential, Growth, and Scale—which are based on your company’s monthly expenses and the number of connected bank and credit card accounts. The monthly fee ranges from $395 to $995.
Tax services are available for a flat annual fee of $1,200, which includes year-round tax support, a year-end financial package, and filing of business tax returns (Forms 1040, 1065, 1120, and 1120S).
Why We Chose Xendoo
If you don’t want to commit to a bookkeeping plan, Xendoo is a great option. Compared to TurboTax, it offers sales tax assistance, which includes the preparation and filing of sales tax returns. It offers a money-back guarantee and a dedicated team of accountants who are available to answer questions and provide support throughout the year. Xendoo also supports franchise businesses and those that have fallen behind in their bookkeeping.
FreeTaxUSA: Best Free Alternative for Returns With Schedule C Businesses
- Unable to consult with certified public accountants (CPAs) or enrolled agents (EAs)
- Customer support options are very limited for free customers
- Doesn’t support partnership or corporate tax return preparation
- Unable to import W-2s or 1099s
It is free to file federal Form 1040 individual returns with Schedule C.
- Federal tax return: Free
- State tax return: $14.99 each
- Deluxe Edition upgrade: $7.99 for priority support with live chat, unlimited amended returns, and audit assist
- Printed tax return mailed: $7.99
- Professionally-bound tax return mailed: $15.99
Why We Chose FreeTaxUSA
FreeTaxUSA offers a free version for federal tax returns with Schedule C businesses, which makes it a great TurboTax alternative. It supports all major individual tax returns for free without the need to upgrade, and if you sign up for the Deluxe plan, you’ll receive unlimited amended returns. However, one of the trade-offs to the free service is that it doesn’t offer advanced customer service options and personalized advice like with TurboTax.
TaxSlayer: Best Inexpensive Alternative With Free Advice for Schedule C Businesses
- Unable to import Schedule C income and expenses
- Doesn’t support business returns (1065, 1120, and 1120S)
- Cannot import capital gains transactions
TaxSlayer offers a free version that lets you file simple returns at no costs and three paid packages that range from $34.95 to $64.95 for federal filing, and an additional $39.95 for state returns.
- Simply Free: $0 for federal returns and one state return, 1040 only
- TaxSlayer Classic: $34.95 for federal and $39.95 for state return
- TaxSlayer Premium: $54.95 for federal and $39.95 for state return, includes priority phone and email support, live chat, and access to a tax pro
- TaxSlayer Self-Employed: $64.95 for federal and $39.95 for state return, with 1099 and Schedule C support
Why We Chose TaxSlayer
When it comes to cost alone, TaxSlayer is one of the most affordable options out there. It lets you file simple returns for free and handles complex self-employed tax situations at a low cost. It includes free email and phone support, which is why we chose it as the best inexpensive alternative that includes free advice for Schedule C businesses. It also has a robust mobile app that lets you file your taxes and track the status of your return.
How We Evaluated the Best TurboTax Alternatives
When evaluating the best alternatives to TurboTax, there are several factors we considered to make an informed decision:
- Cost and pricing structure: We looked at the pricing of the alternatives and considered how they compare with TurboTax. Some solutions may offer free filing for simple tax returns, while others may have different pricing tiers based on the complexity of your taxes.
- Customer support and help resources: We evaluated the customer support options provided by the alternatives. We checked if they offer live chat, phone support, email support, or an extensive knowledge base in case there are any issues or questions that come up during the tax filing process.
- Accuracy and audit support: We considered the reputation of the alternative tax solutions regarding accuracy and their track record of minimizing errors. We also reviewed whether they provide any guarantees or support in case of an audit.
- Features and functionality: We looked for alternative solutions that offer similar features and functionality to TurboTax. We considered the ease-of-use, step-by-step guidance, and the ability to handle your specific tax situation, such as self-employed, investments, or rental properties.
- Import and integration capabilities: We assessed the ability of the alternatives to import your financial data from various sources, such as W-2 forms, investment accounts, or bank statements, to streamline the tax preparation process. Integration with accounting software or online platforms can also be advantageous.
- Mobile and online accessibility: For those who prefer to file their taxes using mobile devices or need the convenience of online access, we checked if the alternative offers mobile apps or web-based platforms.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Some features to look for in business tax software include support for multiple users, integration with accounting software, the ability to file both state and federal taxes, and support for various business structures.
Yes, TurboTax offers a maximum refund and accuracy guarantee for all of its software products. If there is an error on your return due to a TurboTax calculation, the company will pay any resulting penalties and interest.
Yes, most business tax software allows you to file both federal and state taxes, although some may charge an additional fee for state filing.
While TurboTax is a popular choice for many individuals and businesses when it comes to tax preparation software, there are several alternatives available. Some of the best TurboTax alternatives include TaxAct, TaxSlayer, and FreeTaxUSA.
TaxAct is known for its affordability and offers online tax preparation for business return forms 1120, 1120S, and 1065. TaxSlayer offers a range of pricing options and is particularly well-suited for self-employed individuals. FreeTaxUSA is a free option for federal tax returns and includes several useful features like audit support and access to prior-year returns.