Tax day is near, but the sooner you file the sooner you can get your tax refund. The IRS actually recommends that American taxpayers file their taxes online and they also say you should request your refund via direct deposit. So we decided to take a closer look at the two most popular online tax filing systems to see which one is better.
I'm here with Anya who beat us all to the punch when it comes to doing your taxes, she is the true early-bird and has already filled out her tax return on not just one online filing service but two, and we're here to find out which one she liked better. What type of taxpayer would you say?
I'm filing one income this year, last year I was filing two for my business insider internship and from my freelancing gig, so that was a little more complicated this year. I'd say I'm a much more streamlined taxpayer because I only have one income to worry about as opposed to two, why did you use TurboTax last year and are there certain taxpayers you think that it might be better for it?
Last year I started off using H&R Block, it was going very well at first, then when it came time to file my freelancer income, I found it much more complicated it was quite unclear how to move forward, so I ended up going to TurboTax. It was a breeze, I just filed my regular Business Insider income and my freelancer income, and it was not an issue at all if you are somebody who has side projects, side hustles, you're a freelancer, TurboTax is probably better.
It really allows you to skip back and forth between different stages of the process, seems a bit more acclimated to people who have multiple sources of income, which service was easier to go through the process. So they were both very similar in that, they both had very intuitive interfaces that kind of keep the process flowing and also answer questions along the way as you're going through it.
I found H&R Block more streamlined, a little bit more intuitive than TurboTax, but they're both pretty similar in terms of how you use them, which one had something that really stood out as a pain point. Something that was kind of annoying TurboTax, because they're very pushy about trying to get you to upgrade to their paid services, they keep taking you back to the screen where you're able to select different options, and just basically asking "are you sure you want to do this for free" and it's kind of like "yes, I am sure", and they basically show you all your information saying we did your taxes last year, you're 50% complete, if you upgrade to Plus now.
And when I declined, and went to the free service, instead it kind of makes a point of showing you losing all your information, and I felt that was a bit passive-aggressive and it's a stark contrast to H&R Block, which was very much easier to use. In the sense it doesn't make you set up an account right away, you can kind of go through it, it does ask you if you want to upgrade, but it just feels less insistent, less making your second guess yourself essentially.
What was one of the major differences? You notice between the two different services, H&R block surface is incredibly linear, which I liked personally, because it just takes you from beginning to end, and it's a very straightforward marched to the end.
In terms of TurboTax it really allows you to jump around more, I felt in terms of its interface, you can start one thing, leave it to go to something else, that might appeal to different personalities based on how you like to work given your experience which service would you ultimately recommend it.
I'd say if you're like me, and you heart filing for one income, both are good. H&R block for me was better just in terms of its interface and the way I was able to kind of breeze through it essentially. So if you don't have to worry about other freelancing or side gig income, I would say the H&R Block is probably best.
H&R Block is your pick actually this year? I'll be using TurboTax to file my taxes. That seems like it goes against what you just said though. I already have an account on there, I'm all set up, they have all my information, even though they made a point of stripping it all away when I didn't upgrade, I'm used to it, and they're both so similar, that I just feel like might as well start an ongoing relationship with one of them as opposed to switching back and forth. Since I mean it is nice when you have all of your tax returns in one place, but if you do want to switch back and forth every year, you can just download the PDF and keep your own digital copy.
Thanks so much for doing your taxes early, so the rest of us could heed your advice.