Kiplinger’s Best Values in Tax Software, 2021

We ranked the most popular tax-prep packages to help you find the ones that provide the best experience at the lowest cost.

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If the COVID-19 pandemic forced you to move or work remotely, file for unemployment benefits or pick up a side gig to earn extra income, filing your tax return could be more complicated than in the past. The economic stimulus checks sent to millions of taxpayers, which represented advance payments of a 2020 tax credit, also create the potential for confusion.

Preparing your own return instead of hiring a preparer could save you money, but tax software can get expensive in a hurry, even for taxpayers with fairly straightforward returns. And a program that shortchanges your refund—or gets you in trouble with the IRS—is no bargain.

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Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023 with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, Rocky worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.