The Best Tax Software for 2024

If you’re experiencing stress surrounding Tax Day, April 15, you’re not alone. From concerns about being audited to facing a tax bill you can’t afford, there are plenty of reasons to dread tax time. 

But you don’t have to go it alone. You can hire a tax expert for peace-of-mind and professional guidance. But if you’d prefer to do your taxes yourself, you can choose from a host of tax software programs. Many cost less than you think and some may even be free of charge for taxpayers who qualify. 

A recent survey from the personal finance site WalletHub found that nearly 66% of taxpayers think that companies advertising free tax filing services are “bait-and-switch schemes.” It’s true that many tax services and tax software companies introduce upcharges for certain services, including added costs for tax filings for independent contractors reporting 1099 income or for filing your state taxes along with federal. And, if you need professional support from a tax expert, most of the software packages we evaluated charge added fees for that personalized service.  

As with so many aspects of personal finance, education is key when it comes to choosing the best tax software for your situation. There are many tax and accounting software programs available across a wide range of price points that can help you get the most out of your tax return and avoid penalties. You want to know the price for the software, whether you can get professional help if you need it, and if support is available in cases you’re audited. 

For complicated returns you might want to enlist the help of a tax professional, instead. 

And, be aware that if you are facing unpaid tax debt and fines are adding up, reach out to Alleviate Tax now. We resolved nearly $2.8 million in tax debt in 2023 and we are here to help you with the tax relief you need. 

The Best Tax and Accounting Software Programs

H&R Block – Best for Personalized Support from Tax Pros

H&R Block’s tax and accounting software programs are some of the best, winning most of their points for being user-friendly and offering exceptional support. 

Because the software is housed online, you can log in from other devices (like your tablet or smartphone) if you prefer to chip away at your return here and there rather than all at once. The mobile app is even designed to accommodate completing a tax return in its entirety.

Paid versions allow you to import the previous year’s return from TurboTax, Tax Act, or any other tax prep company. They also include useful tools like a W-2 and 1099 photo import, which saves time entering information.

You’ll likely have some questions during the tax preparation process, and H&R Block offers several robust support options. Many of the accounting terms are hyperlinked to clarify how specific terminology applies to you, and the software is quick to send confused users to a searchable knowledge base. 

Like most software packages, a banner runs across the top of the page to indicate where you are in the process. Deluxe and Premium package users also get a free online chat with a tax professional.

H&R Block also offers Tax Pro Review, an add-on with costs ranging from $49.99 and $89.99, depending on which software version you buy. The tax pros handling these returns are “certified at H&R Block’s highest levels and are our most tenured and experienced tax professionals,” according to the company.

For an extra $19.99, you can also purchase an add-on called “Worry-Free Audit Support.” This gets you one-on-one contact with a tax professional to help guide you through an audit and includes IRS correspondence management, audit preparation, and in-person audit representation.


  • User-friendly
  • Exceptional support
  • Can file across devices
  • Easily import past returns


  • Expensive
  • Upgrades get costly

TurboTax – Best for Intuitive Use

TurboTax stands out for its design and workflows, which make it easy to enter your tax information. The user-friendly, question-and-answer input process is similar to working one-on-one with a tax preparer.

Paid users can get free, real-time help from a tax specialist through video using the TurboTax mobile app, and there’s an extensive resource section for users who need help. One of their features, TurboTax Live, is a high-end package that can handle virtually every form the IRS may throw at you. Plus, you get a one-on-one review with an actual Enrolled Agent or CPA before you file, as well as unlimited live tax advice from an on-screen CPA or EA.

TurboTax is more expensive than some of the other options. Depending on which version you use, it can cost over $100 for software and state-return preparation. However, if you are “active duty or reservists of an enlisted rank (E-1 through E-9) with a W2 from DFAS,” you can file your taxes for free. 

TurboTax offers free guidance if you get audited, but if you want actual representation before the IRS, you’ll need to buy the Audit Defense add-on product for $44.99.

Some users report Turbo Tax has issues with integrating their accounts with their various apps, but overall, it’s one of the most popular choices. 

Also, TurboTax recently got into hot water with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for “deceptive advertising” related to their free tax products. In January 2024, the FTC ordered Intuit to cease making deceptive claims, as the majority of people don’t qualify for the company’s “$0 to file” program and, often, don’t discover they will have to pay a fee until they’ve already spent their time entering their personal information. Bear in mind, very few people qualify for the free version of TurboTax. 

Even so, the paid version stands as a user-friendly, intuitive option for many taxpayers and TurboTax is a well-known name in tax software. 


  • User-friendly
  • Lots of educational resources
  • Mobile app
  • Live support available


  • More expensive than most software
  • Add-ons increase price
  • Potentially deceptive advertising

TaxAct – Best for Free Tax Filing

TaxAct is significantly less expensive than most of the competition. TaxAct offers a free version for basic returns, while the “plus” version costs less than half of TurboTax’s or H&R Block’s comparable offerings. 

TaxAct offers most of the features you would want, such as planning tools, calculators, and the ability to import last year’s returns. Because the software is housed online, you can log in from nearly any internet-enabled device if you prefer to work on your return incrementally.

If you need help, TaxAct will connect you with a CPA or Enrolled Agent over the phone or through live chat, a rare bonus feature for software at this low price point.

TaxAct’s audit assistance consists of an FAQ page on its website, but for $39 (included in the Premium package), customers can buy a service from a partner company that includes a comprehensive response and resolution strategy, IRS and state correspondence, help with denied credits, and tax debt and tax fraud assistance.


  • Free
  • Access with mobile device
  • Live chat with a CPA or EA


  • No W-2 import feature
  • Some language is more technical than accessible

Jackson Hewitt: Best Flat Rate Filing Option for Busy People

Jackson Hewitt stands out as the best flat-rate option, with a filing cost of $25 – “no matter how complex your taxes are,” according to the website. Before you start filing, use the software to get a personalized tax document checklist to ensure you have all the paperwork you need for a smooth filing process. 

The Jackson Hewitt software is easy to use, with step-by-step instructions and live chat support in case you get stuck. If you tend to be on the go but have a few minutes to spare, you can easily hop into the mobile app and work on your tax return. Don’t worry about making a mistake because you’re on mobile, though. Jackson Hewitt’s software has a built-in error checker that is automatically enabled.

This software is built to help you save time. Once you file your Federal return, Jackson Hewitt starts your state return with the previous information. You can also upload W-2s and employer info to save time and still file accurately.

You can be sure your data is safe, too, when you turn on two-factor authentication. Even if you don’t, though, all your data is encrypted, and you get an alert when there’s activity in your account.

Jackson Hewitt offers a couple of guarantees, including:

  • Maximum Refund Guarantee: You’ll get the maximum refund possible, or Jackson Hewitt will refund your tax prep fees plus $100. 
  • 100% Certainty Guarantee: Jackson Hewitt guarantees that your tax return is “right for life.” If there is a mistake on your tax return, Jackson Hewitt will cover the penalties and interest (not additional taxes, though) as long as you notify them “within 30 days of initial notice from a taxing authority.” 
  • Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied, Jackson Hewitt will refund your tax preparation fees. You must request the refund before you print your return or file it electronically. These actions represent acknowledging your “satisfaction” with the results.


  • Great guarantees
  • Affordable
  • Automatic error checking


  • Can’t import past returns
  • Lacking in resources
  • Lower quality user experience
  • Autosave issues

FreeTaxUSA: Best Value for Complicated Returns

FreeTaxUSA is a well-loved IRS-approved e-file provider with over 63 million tax returns under its belt. The base federal tax return with FreeTaxUSA is free (state returns are $14.99), but you have the option to add on different features at a cost. 

Options you can add to enhance your tax filing experience include live chat support (deluxe and pro tiers), guidance through an audit, tax extensions, and filing prior year returns if you need to get up to date. 

FreeTaxUSA is easy to use, prompting you through each step of the process. You can even skip paying anything upfront– just get it taken out of your refund. Download and print or order a bound copy of your tax return, and you’re done with tax season!


  • Affordable
  • Defer filing payment
  • Multiple refund options available
  • Easy to use
  • Three different levels of accuracy checking


  • Long wait times for customer support
  • Missing crucial time-saving features
  • Support costs extra

TaxSlayer: Best for Simple Tax Situations

TaxSlayer is a steal compared to much of the competition and is one of the best tax and accounting software programs available for straightforward returns. With a user interface as attractive as the more expensive versions on the market, TaxSlayer also carries similar features, such as the ability to upload images of W-2s and 1099s and an extensive online knowledge base.

TaxSlayer guarantees that unless you receive the maximum refund to which you are entitled, they will refund you the purchase price paid. Their in-depth error checking guarantees 100% accuracy, or they will reimburse you any penalties and interest charges.

Tax help is free for Premium and Self-Employed users, along with free audit assistance (users of other versions can buy it for an additional $29.99). However, this will only help you prepare for an audit and not representation in front of the IRS. Unfortunately, freelancers (and anyone else filing a Schedule C) don’t qualify for the feature. The support coverage applies for three years from the date you buy the software. There is no audit defense available.


  • Active duty files free
  • Support available
  • Affordable


  • Expert assistance costs more
  • User interface not as intuitive
  • No audit defense
  • No document import with free version

Cash App Taxes: Best for Gen Z and Millenial Taxpayers

Cash App Taxes is a straightforward state and federal tax filing service that is 100% free, no matter how complex your taxes are. File from your phone or computer with easy step-by-step instructions. Upload documents by taking photos of them, and Cash App does the rest. 

Cash App guarantees accurate calculations and includes audit defense with every return – at no cost. This tax filing service is no-frills, easily accessible, and makes getting your money easier than ever. Choose to deposit your refund into our Cash App account, and you can receive the money up to five days early.

Some may be skeptical of Cash App’s foray into tax filing, but you shouldn’t be – they’re an authorized IRS e-file provider that “meets or exceeds all security standards set by the IRS.” All you need to start is a Cash App account, which is also free to create.


  • Free state and federal returns
  • Audit Defense is free
  • Most affordable
  • Intuitive user interface


  • No expert help
  • Must have a Cash App account
  • Some tax situations are ineligible

IRS Free Filing Software

If your income was less than $66,000 last year, you probably qualify to use the IRS’ Free File program, which gets you access to free tax-prep software. This lets you prepare and electronically file your return without a fee using software from a consortium of about a dozen tax-prep companies. Some are brand names; others are more under the radar. If you answer a few questions on the site, the IRS will match you with the right software.


  • Free
  • Guided process
  • Lots of options from trusted tax professionals
  • Bilingual


  • Must meet income qualifications
  • No expert help

Alleviate Tax Stress in 2024

Although using tax filing software helps you file your tax returns correctly, it may not completely subdue your worry – especially if you owe back taxes, with fines and penalties adding up by the day. 

If you have past-due taxes, Alleviate Tax is here to help you find tax debt relief, get you caught up on your filings, and move forward on a path to financial freedom.

Don’t let tax debt stress you out. Let the tax experts at Alleviate help. 


Find out what people are asking about tax software.

What is the most popular software for filing taxes? 

U.S. taxpayers in 2024 have many options when it comes to tax filing software. The most popular tax software programs include TurboTax, H&R Block, Cash App Taxes, and TaxSlayer.

Can tax preparer do better than TurboTax? 

Tax software like TurboTax can help you file your taxes quickly and efficiently. But if you have complicated tax returns or want to be sure you are maximizing your deductions, hiring a CPA or tax preparer may help you save money on taxes in the long run.

Which is better: TaxAct or TurboTax? 

TaxAct and TurboTax can help you file your taxes by yourself. TurboTax is somewhat easier to use, making it a popular choice for many taxpayers. But the paid version TaxAct costs less than TurboTax or H&R Block. If you have some experience filing taxes, you can save money with TaxAct.

Which is better: TurboTax vs. H&R Block tax software? 

TurboTax is hailed as being one of the easiest to use do-it-yourself tax software options. But H&R Block typically costs less and offers just as many features.



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