The Best Tax Software Values for 2020

We tested nine of the most popular tax software programs to see which ones offer the best overall value. You might be surprised who's #1.

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Kiplinger is refeaturing our rankings of the best values in tax software as we approach the July 15 deadline for filing your 2019 tax return. Prices are as of January 2020; they may have changed, so check each product for current rates.

It's that time of year again. You've gotten your W-2s and any other paperwork, such as a 1099 for your investment income, in the mail, and you're ready to sit down and do your taxes (which aren't due until July 15 this year). But you're unsure of which program to use. We're here to help.

As in previous years, we reviewed nine of the most popular online tax preparation software programs for 2019 returns, including TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxAct and others, to help guide you to the right program. In addition to reviewing, we ranked them based on cost, ease of use, tax help and more. Our goal is to identify the online products that provide the best overall value.

To help keep everything equal, we created two fictional tax returns using each product. The first return was for a single taxpayer with just W-2 income. The second return was for a married couple with a young child and a mortgage. (For more information about our hypothetical taxpayers, scroll to Methodology slide at the end of this article).

Just remember: Know thy tax situation, as it will determine the best program for you. Here are the rankings, from the online software that offers the least to the one providing the most bang for your buck. (Note that, although some companies also offer CD products which may have different features, we only reviewed web-based software.)

All prices as of January 31, 2020.

Rivan V. Stinson
Staff Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Rivan joined Kiplinger on Leap Day 2016 as a reporter for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. She's now a staff writer for the magazine and helps produce content for Kiplinger.com. A Michigan native, she graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 and from there freelanced as a local copy editor and proofreader, and served as a research assistant to a local Detroit journalist. Her work has been featured in the Ann Arbor Observer and Sage Business Researcher.