DIY tax software is a type of fintech that is enjoying its growing popularity right now. It’s true that the crisis of 2020 has brought down many industries. But some used the global change in circumstances as an opportunity to shine. The popularity of fintech, in particular, has grown at an unprecedented pace of +72%. Tax software is getting its chance to become a mass-use product right now as the new tax season arrives. The solutions that were mostly used by businesses are now accessible to everyone and are designed to handle personal taxes quite well. This type of software varies greatly by country and by its main purpose. It’s also growing more sophisticated with each new update.
Leading DIY Tax Software in the World: What Can It Do?
TurboTax (the USA)
TurboTax from the USA is developed by Intuit, one of the leading software providers today. It’s not the cheapest solution, but it’s definitely the most sophisticated one on the market. The cost is higher because the software offers a wide range of features that make it applicable to a variety of taxing scenarios. In fact, while it’s primarily American tax software, it has versions for a variety of other countries and expats. There is a free version, so everyone can try it out and see if it works for you personally.
TurboTax is easy to use despite the fact that it can complete complex calculations. The program itself will guide you to areas you need to focus on. The solution can integrate your W-2 form, no matter how many you have of those as well as 1099s.
Those who are self-employed or are using the Deluxe service package will be able to use a most helpful ItsDeductible feature. There is even a mobile app for your convenience. Note that if you are self-employed and use QuickBooks, you can connect it with TurboTax for expense tracking.
The solution offers a good customer support system as well, including TurboTax Live.
However, remember that no matter how sophisticated this solution is, it can only be used for rather straightforward tax reports. This is the same for all DIY tax software. People with very complicated taxes, for example if you have income from ventures abroad, should hire a personal accountant.
SimpleTax in Canada is similar to TurboTax but designed for Canadians specifically. This is a web solution, so you can use it without downloading any software. Therefore, you don’t need to worry whether your computer can handle it. As you will be accessing SimpleTax from your browser, it will be easy to contact the support team through email if you have any issues.
In spite of its name, SimpleTax can actually handle more complex tax situations, as long as they are straightforward. It can process multiple income streams and self-employment.
The solution is simple and intuitive, so you won’t need much time to master it. Once you get how it works, completing your taxes should take about 30 minutes. Many forms are auto-filled. Therefore, anyone with a standard tax situation can speed up the process significantly.
Please note that SimpleTax uses your CRA account to get data for auto-filling. Therefore, you need to have that account in order to use the solution.
The only downside is that there is no Live support feature. You can only contact the team through email.
HMRC App (the UK)
HMRC App in the UK is free and simple and sufficient for its purpose. However, you need to understand that it’s quite different from solutions like SimpleTax and TurboTax. This is because people in the UK do not file their taxes the same way. In fact, the majority of people aren’t required to file their own tax returns because they use the Pay As You Earn system.
Those who do need to do their own taxes can use the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) native app to help. This solution can report your tax credits and complete the renewal. It also features a tax calculator that will allow you to understand how much money you will have left with all the taxes paid.
You can use the app to track any correspondence with the HMRC and keep your information in the database updated. You can even use it to file a refund claim. This can be done if you’ve made some mistake and paid too much.
POP is a rather new DIY tax software in Australia that targets the millennials specifically. It’s very simple and quite basic because of it. However, it can be used as a way to learn how filing taxes works.
There are also some social features that make the app fun to use and not just functional. For example, it shows you how you are faring with your finances compared to your peers. The solution can be helpful for making sure you missed no tax deductions that can help you save money.
In Conclusion: Should You Use DIY Tax Software?
Of course, it’s not mandatory to buy a DIY tax solution. However, you need to remember that a mistake in filing taxes can end up being a disaster for your future. Seeking advice and information online can help. But for all that people believe personal finance tips from Reddit, those aren’t 100% accurate and reliable. High-quality tax software, on the other hand, can be extremely reliable and will help ensure you avoid any nasty mistakes.
That said, it’s only you alone who can decide whether the peace of mind provided by a tax solution is worth the investment.