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Tax Software Comparison 2024

For people with a relatively simple tax situation, using the right online tax software can make a world of difference when it comes to getting your taxes filed without suffering too many migraines. Tax software has been around since the 1980s, and today it’s wildly popular. More than 195 million tax returns were e-filed using tax software in 2020 alone!1

Tax software can be a budget-friendly, convenient way to file. It offers step-by-step guidance through the preparation process, so even the first-time filer can easily follow instructions and e-file their return to the IRS. And on top of that, most software programs let you choose add-on services or different versions of their software according to your filing needs (like versions with live chat support or specialized self-employed options).  

With so many online software options and versions available for the 2024 tax season, it’s important to compare their features and costs to see which one will best fit your tax situation.

Let’s take a look at five of the most popular online software options (in no particular order) and see which one is the best tax software for you and your tax situation.

2024 Tax Software


TurboTax is the most widely used tax software program available. They have a 70% market share among people who choose to self-file their income taxes.2 Part of the Intuit family of products, TurboTax is related to QuickBooks, Credit Karma, Mailchimp, and the soon-to-shut-down budgeting app, Mint. One of the things that attracts people to TurboTax is that it talks to accounting software offered by Intuit—if you use QuickBooks or Quicken to keep track of your business or personal expenses, you can import your data into your tax return using TurboTax.

Like most tax software, TurboTax saves your information from previous years’ returns in the cloud so you can access them at any time and roll over your data to this year’s forms. And if you need extra support, they offer versions of their software with live chat with a tax expert. They’ll even pair you with a local tax expert who’ll basically handle all the paperwork for you. Of course, you’re going to pay more for these support features, and just exactly how much you’ll end up paying when you actually file is where things get cloudy.

See, for the 2024 tax season, TurboTax has adjusted how they’re labeling and pricing their products, which might make it trickier to pinpoint which version you’ll use and how much you’ll end up paying to file. Transparency is definitely not TurboTax’s strong point, folks.

Here are TurboTax’s three online filing options and a breakdown of their features and costs, starting with their most basic package:



Cost to File Federal Return

Cost to File for Each State Return


Prepare, print and e-file your return with no live support (if you meet their qualifications)

Save data and import data from last year’s return

Easy file upload, including pictures of your forms


Import data from Quicken or QuickBooks

Claim the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Credit (EITC)




Features from TurboTax Free Edition, plus:

Unemployment income

Itemized deductions

Student loan interest and education credits

Deduct homeowner expenses like property taxes and mortgage interest

Product support




Features from TurboTax Deluxe, plus:

Report income from rental properties, stocks, bonds and other investments

Access all self-employed forms and tax breaks



As you can see, affordability is one of TurboTax’s major downsides. It’s one of the most expensive software programs out there.

Don’t settle for tax software with hidden fees or agendas. Use one that’s on your side—Ramsey SmartTax.

It’s possible to file through TurboTax for free, but only if you have a simple tax situation with minimal tax forms. If you have to file more than a simple W-2 and 1040 tax form, you won’t qualify for the freebie filing. This includes homeowners, folks who plan to itemize deductions, the self-employed, people with 1099 income, and more. From there, the minimum you’ll spend with TurboTax is $69 plus a $59 fee for each state return you e-file.6

Here’s another major red flag: TurboTax makes money on your data. TurboTax’s parent company, Intuit, actually refers to receiving bounties on customers they entice to sign up for loans and credit cards. (Remember, one of Intuit’s companies is Credit Karma.) Getting people into debt is part of their business model! If you want to avoid the debt push, check out Ramsey SmartTax (We’ll go over the details of Ramsey SmartTax below, including the fact that it doesn’t try to sell you on a loan. Unlike TurboTax).

And if you owe money to the IRS, they’ll conveniently offer you a loan to help pay your bill. That’s definitely a turbo approach to lining their pockets with your money. The last thing you want to do when you’re filing your taxes is to create more debt for yourself.

Getting a refund? TurboTax will graciously let you pay for their service with a portion of your refund—for an additional $40 refund processing service fee!*7

H&R Block

H&R Block started as a tax preparation service in 1955, and when online tax software became a thing in the early 1990s, they quickly jumped on the bandwagon. H&R Block offers several packages for those looking to self-file online, but one of their biggest draws is that they still offer in-person support at their office locations scattered across the U.S. There, you can ask one of their “Block Advisors,” aka tax pros, a few questions about your return or drop off all your tax forms and let them take care of the rest (for a price, of course).

With their tax software, H&R Block delivers a user experience that’s pretty simple and easy to navigate. They avoid all the heady tax jargon and offer step-by-step guidance in all their product versions, but where H&R Block really stands out is its free tier. Most free versions of tax software are extremely limited in what tax forms and situations they can handle without bumping you up to a paid tier. But H&R Block’s free version can handle more tax situations and forms than a lot of its freebie competitors. For example, it can handle specialized things like the student loan interest deductions and retirement income. Not too shabby for a free service!

Let’s take a look at the different versions of H&R Block’s tax software, starting with the freebie tier:



Cost to File Federal Return

Cost to File for Each State Return

Free Online

For relatively simple returns only (W-2, Form 1040, Schedules 1, 2 or 3)

Free federal and state returns

Easy file upload, including pictures of your forms

Claim the child tax credit and earned income tax credit (EITC)

Deduct student loan interest

Report retirement income




Features from the Free Online version, plus:

Live tax expert help

Save tax documents for up to 6 years

Deduct Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions

Deduct real estate taxes and home mortgage interest

Report contract, freelancing, and other self-employed income




Features from the Deluxe version, plus:

Report stocks, bonds, and other investment income

Cryptocurrency taxes

Rental income and deductions




Features from the Premium version, plus:

Deduct small-business expenses

Asset depreciation



In additional to these prices, H&R Block gives you a few more service options: You can have an online tax pro review your return before you take the plunge and e-file. Plus, you can add on their Audit & Tax Notice Support service. Each for a hefty fee,* of course.9

Jackson Hewitt

Jackson Hewitt has been offering online tax software for about a decade. They aren’t on the top rung of the software popularity ladder like TurboTax or H&R Block, but Jackson Hewitt is still a name to be reckoned with in the tax prep game.

Jackson Hewitt gets good reviews with self-filers because of how simple and streamlined it is. They only offer one package, which can cover all tax situations. It has a flat base fee of $25 for one federal return and unlimited state returns,10 which is like a breath of fresh air after trying to figure out TurboTax’s confusing mix of prices and fees. 

Yep, Jackson Hewitt’s flat $25 rate sounds like a great deal, but there are a few downsides to using this tax software: There’s no free version if you have a basic return, no available online support from tax pros (not even for an extra fee!), and no mobile app to help with accessibility.

Like H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt got its start by offering tax services at their physical locations, and they currently have almost 6,000 offices across the U.S.—and about half are in Walmarts.11 So, if you start using their software and realize you need additional help, you can always go to a tax pro at one of their locations. But the cost of those services will vary, and they’re probably going to be more than $25.

Here’s a recap of what you can expect from Jackson Hewitt’s 2024 software:



Cost to File Federal Return

Cost to File for Each State Return

Jackson Hewitt

Accommodates all tax forms and situations

No interruptions with attempts to upsell you to higher-tier packages

Step-by-step instructions

Tech support via live chat and phone


Unlimited state returns included12

So, Jackson Hewitt’s software is pretty straightforward, but keep in mind that a lower price doesn’t always mean a better experience, especially if you have a complicated tax return to navigate and might need a tax pro to chime in. It’s worth paying more if it means you can file with confidence.

And here’s the deal, folks: Like TurboTax, Jackson Hewitt has started pushing credit with their Early Refund Advance loan. It sounds like a great deal—why wait for Uncle Sam to send you your refund when you could get a loan for up to $1,000 now? But read the fine print. It’s a loan with a 35.53% estimated annual percentage rate on a loan duration of 75 days!13 That’s called crazy land, guys and gals.* So, bottom line: Why would you choose a tax prep company that pushes its customers into debt? Stick with software that won’t try to sell you on a refund advance loan, like Ramsey SmartTax.


Another major player in the tax software game is TaxAct. Though it may not be as popular as TurboTax or H&R Block, TaxAct provides a tax prep experience that’s comparable to the programs we’ve covered above.

When you first open TaxAct’s software, it’ll guide you through a long list of questions to start the preparation process. You’ll be asked about marriage and children, whether you run a business or own a home, and whether you have student loans or are in retirement—those types of questions. This allows them to recommend the best version of their software for your tax situation.

TaxAct offers four different packages, including a free package that can handle relatively simple returns. But that $0 rate does not include live support from a pro. Instead, you can add their live tax pro support feature, called Xpert Assist, to any of their packages, for a hefty fee—if you add it to the free version, it changes the price of filing a federal return to $59.99.

Here’s a look at TaxAct’s four different software packages for personal taxes:



Cost to File Federal Return

Cost to File for Each State Return


For relatively simple returns only (W-2, Form 1040)

Import data from prior year’s report

Claim the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit (EITC)

Deduct student loan interest

Report retirement income

Tech support via live chat, email or phone




Features from the Free version, plus:

Claim dependents

Health Savings Account (HSA)

Deduct real estate taxes and home mortgage interest

Itemized deductions

Adoption credits and the child and dependent care credit




Features from the Deluxe version, plus:

Report stocks, bonds, and other investment income

Cryptocurrency taxes

Rental income and deductions

Sale of home

Foreign bank and financial accounts

Income reported on 1099-K




Features from the Premier version, plus:

Freelance and contract income, including 1099-NEC

Small-business taxes

Personalized business deductions

Calculate depreciation



Like a lot of software companies, TaxAct offers several free features (otherwise known as freatures) on their website, like tax checklists, an income tax calculator, and a self-employment tax calculator to help you estimate your refund or how much your tax bill is. But keep in mind that you’ll still pay extra for TaxAct’s live support with a tax pro feature, no matter which version of their software you use.*

*We do our best to stay on top of the highest list prices and features, but there’s always a chance details may not be exact as of today’s date. Ramsey isn’t affiliated with TurboTax, H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt or TaxAct.

Ramsey SmartTax

With Ramsey SmartTax, every part of the e-filing process is designed to be accurate, up-to-date and reliable. It’s the only e-file tax return service Dave Ramsey recommends. Whether you’re a college student filing taxes for the first time, or you’re shopping around for new software, getting started with Ramsey SmartTax is an easy, relatively quick process.

Powered by TaxSlayer, Ramsey SmartTax stands out from other software by giving you access to all major federal forms and deductions without any upcharges. It offers two different versions: Federal Classic and Federal Premium. And if you’re looking for ways to be more intentional with your finances in 2024, Ramsey SmartTax is also offering a Federal Premium + EveryDollar version, which gives you access to the premium version of EveryDollar for one year. EveryDollar is Ramsey’s easy-to-use budgeting app. It’s helped thousands of people take control of their money by helping them create a monthly zero-based budget.

Since Federal Classic includes all major federal forms, deductions and credits at a low, up-front price, you can easily and affordably prepare, print and e-file your tax return with the IRS.

For just $20 more, Federal Premium includes everything that comes with Federal Classic plus priority-level support for technical questions you might have along the way—and some other perks. Here’s what you get with Federal Premium:

  • Audit assistance for three full years
  • Live chat for fast technical support
  • Skip the line for technical support via phone and email
  • Other perks like a free financial coaching session and three months of identity theft protection

And if you need to file a state return too, Ramsey SmartTax has you covered! The cost to file a state return is $39.95, whether you choose Federal Classic or Federal Premium.

And if you start with Federal Classic and change your mind about needing that extra bit of support halfway through the process, that’s okay! You can upgrade to Federal Premium at any time for priority support or the peace of mind that comes with extended audit assistance.

Here’s a recap on Ramsey SmartTax’s two versions:



Cost to File Federal Return

Cost to File for Each State Return

Federal Classic

Easily prepare, print and e-file your return

Accommodates all major income types, including self-employed income

Access to all major federal forms, deductions and credits

Tech support via phone and email

Support for an IRS inquiry up to 1 year after your return is accepted



Federal Premium

Features from the Federal Classic version, plus:

Skip the line for tech support via phone and email, or use live chat

Free financial coaching session after you file ($200+ value)

3 months of free identity theft protection



Federal Premium + EveryDollar

Features from the Federal Premium version, plus:

Access to the premium version of the budgeting app EveryDollar for one year, which includes bank connectivity (a $79.99 value)



One of the best things about Ramsey SmartTax is you won’t have to worry about debt being pushed on you—your data won’t be used to sell you credit cards, and no attempts will be made to sell you an advance loan on your refund.

And with this software, transparency is the name of the game. No hidden fees and no bumping you up to a higher-priced package just because you have a particular tax form. You shouldn’t have to pay more just because your tax situation is a little more complicated, and with Ramsey SmartTax, you won’t.

Check Out Ramsey SmartTax Today!

Bottom line: We want you to win with money 24/7—and that includes tax time too. That’s the main difference between Ramsey SmartTax and other tax software. Ramsey SmartTax is designed to keep you winning. When you e-file with Ramsey SmartTax, you know you’re getting a clear and affordable price, a reliable filing partner, and most importantly, a product that keeps your well-being and financial future in mind.

Don’t just do your taxes this year. Get them done the right way. For a smarter way to do your taxes, check out Ramsey SmartTax.

Federal Classic Includes:


  • All major income types and federal forms

  • Prepare, print and e-file

  • Phone and email support

  • 1 year of audit assistance

Get Started With Ramsey SmartTax

Federal Premium Includes:

Everything in Classic plus:

  • Live chat

  • Priority phone and email help

  • Free financial coaching session

  • 3 years of audit assistance

Get Started With Ramsey SmartTax

Tax software is a tax preparation process that is designed to be more efficient and user-friendly than the old-school method of filing paper tax forms and sending them off to the IRS via snail-mail.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure (insert eyeroll here) of spreading a pile of tax forms across your desk and going back and forth, trying to fill out one form while pulling numbers from two more, and keeping track of instructions on yet another form, you know how frustrating and time-consuming it is. Not to mention sending all those forms, including your personal information, to the IRS in the mail. No thanks!

Tax software streamlines that process by asking you a series of questions about your tax situation, then using the answers you provide to walk you through the tax preparation process one step at a time. You’ll still have to refer to your tax forms and plug in some numbers, but the instructions will be much easier to understand and follow, plus you won’t have to worry about whether your own calculations are correct.

The last step of using tax software is the actual electronic filing (or e-filing) of your taxes. It’s a quick and secure way of filing, and you’ll know before you e-file whether you owe money to Uncle Sam or if you’ll be getting a refund.

And here are a few more perks of using tax software over the old-school method of self-filing:

  • Secure, long-term storage: A lot of online tax software will store your tax return information in the cloud year after year so you can access it when needed. This saves a lot of time when you start filing next year’s return! And you’ll create a password-protected account to log in every time you need to access your information or work on a return, so tax software is a secure way to file.
  • State returns: All tax software focuses on making filing your federal taxes easier, but the most popular software also lets you file your state taxes (for an extra fee, in most cases).
  • Accuracy and diagnostics: One of our favorite things about tax software is how accurate it is. It takes the guesswork out of all those calculations and breaks down the preparation process into user-friendly bits of instructions.
  • Credit and deduction suggestions: Many tax software programs will suggest tax deductions and tax credits and give you a brief rundown on how they work. But ultimately, you’ll have to decide whether you actually qualify for a credit or deduction and which ones you want to claim.
  • Online and live support: Most tax software programs come with support, whether it’s a simple help function, a glossary that explains tax terms, or a version of their program that includes live one-on-one chat with a tax professional.

The cost of filing with tax software depends on several things:

  • Which software you choose
  • Which version of the software you choose (Most popular tax software programs will offer three or four different versions of their software to meet different tax needs and situations, and each version will have a different price point.)
  • Whether you have a state return
  • Whether you need any additional support (Sometimes choosing additional support will bump you up into the next-higher-priced version of the software, and sometimes it’s just an additional fee that’s added to your current version’s price. That’s why we recommend Ramsey SmartTax—there’s some support built in with no hidden fees!)

Tax software can handle a lot of different tax situations, but if you’re unsure about whether it’s worth your time to check it out, here’s a run-down on the times when it makes sense to use tax software to file:

  1. You have a relatively simple tax situation. And by simple, we mean you only have one or two sources of income, you plan on taking the standard deduction or making simple itemized deductions, you have few or no investments outside of your tax-advantaged retirement accounts—think a Roth 401(k) or IRA—and you haven’t taken money out of your retirement accounts before you’re eligible.
  2. You had few life changes this year. If your life this tax year looks much the same as it did last tax year, or you only had a few life changes (like buying a home, getting married, or welcoming a new baby), you can probably handle filing with tax software. If you’ve experienced more major life changes, you should get in touch with a tax pro. More on that later.
  3. You’re comfortable filing on your own. If you’re comfortable navigating the software and spending a few extra weekend hours to file online yourself—then tax software is probably for you! Just keep in mind that it’ll be on you to fix any filing errors that might happen in the process. Before you begin, check out our Tax Prep Checklists or our Beginner’s Guide to Taxes to get started so you can knock out your taxes and move on with your year.

Sometimes your taxes can be a bit more complicated. You should strongly consider using a tax pro if:

  1. You have a complex tax situation. If your tax situation involves a lot more tax forms or paperwork than just a W-2 and a couple of 1099s, then it might be time to call a tax pro! Here are a few situations that could complicate your tax situation and require a tax professional’s help:
  • You have a lot of taxable investments outside of your retirement accounts.
  • You made a big Roth conversion.
  • You own a rental property.
  • You owe taxes in multiple states.

In those cases, it’s worth spending a few hundred dollars to let a qualified tax expert answer your questions and file your return for you.

  1. You had major life changes this year. Online tax software can handle a few specific life changes (getting married, buying a new home, and having a baby), but tax pros can help you navigate through any major life change. We recommend using a tax expert if you retired, received an inheritance or other large lump-sum, or went through some other major life event this tax year that’ll significantly change your tax situation.
  2. You’re not confident about filing your taxes. Whether it’s your first time filing taxes or you’re just not familiar or comfortable with online tax software, there’s no shame in skipping the software! Tax season is stressful enough, so let a tax pro handle the heavy lifting and give you confidence that your return is being filed correctly.  
  3. You want to save time. We know you’re busy with work and family, and using tax software to file your taxes can take a few hours of your time. If you’ve got better things to do on your Saturday than taxes, bring all your paperwork to a tax pro and let them file for you instead!
  4. You own a business. If you have to file a separate business tax return or you’re a sole business owner who reports income (or loss) from your business on your personal tax return, this makes your taxes more complex. A tax pro can file for you—and take the headache out of payroll and bookkeeping too.

You may have other reasons for considering a tax pro. Maybe you’re still wrapping your head around how inflation has affected your tax bracket and tax rate. Or maybe you could file your taxes on your own, but you just don’t want the hassle. Do what works for you! Sometimes it just makes sense to get the advice of a professional. It is their day job, after all. Reach out to a RamseyTrusted tax pro and let them take some of the stress of tax season off your shoulders.

Taxes for tax year 2023 are due on April 15, 2024. This is also the deadline for requesting an extension. If you do request an extension, the extension deadline is always six months from Tax Day: October 15, 2024.16

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Ramsey Solutions

About the author


Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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