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Tax Preparation Services and Apps

Gone are the days when you needed to shell out big bucks to an accountant or toil over complex calculations with pencil and paper. Review companies and apps to easily maximize your tax return.

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Filing and preparing your taxes can take several hours. You have to review various items on your tax form and attribute them to multiple income sources, investments, and other resources. It’s possible to make mistakes if you file them on your own, and some people prefer not to find out what happens if errors show up on their returns. Tax preparation services and apps can handle the work for you and help you avoid making mistakes on your tax forms.

Tax Return Preparation Process: Overview

When you earn income, you have to show it on your tax returns. These tax returns allow the IRS to determine how much you will have to pay in taxes. Taxpayers have to accumulate paperwork that demonstrates how much income they receive. If consumers want to capitalize on deductions and tax credits, they will have to provide the necessary documents to prove that they qualify for the programs.

You can store your paperwork in a reliable place throughout the year and stay organized to avoid any last-minute stress. However, most people scramble through their paperwork leading up to Tax Day. Having help throughout this process can minimize the likelihood of errors and help you save money on taxes.

Common Mistakes When Preparing Your Taxes

A few common mistakes can result in tax penalties and accruing interest. Avoiding these common errors can put you in good standing when you file your taxes.

Incorrect Personal and Financial Information

Filling incorrect personal and financial information can make it more difficult for the IRS to determine that your tax form is actually yours. Putting in the wrong Social Security Number and confusing other details can lead to issues with the IRS.

Omitting Sources of Income

If you work at a full-time job, your employer likely reports your income to the IRS. However, if you work multiple side hustles, you have to make sure you report them. Omitting some income sources can become problematic, resulting in penalties and a higher tax bill.

Filing an Incomplete Return

Tax returns have several components, and missing one of those items can lead to an incomplete return. The IRS can either ask for the missing information or return the form and ask that you complete it.

Filing Late

Filing your taxes late can result in penalties and interest accumulation. It’s a good idea to file your taxes well before the deadline. Giving yourself ample time and accumulating the necessary paperwork early can keep you safe from additional tax burdens.

Should You Hire a Company to Help You with Your Tax Return Preparation?

Hiring a company to assist with your tax prep is a personal decision. These companies can help you save time and spot errors that are easy to miss. Many of these companies also offer “Peace of Mind” guarantees where they will protect you from costs incurred if they make errors on your tax returns.

Filing your taxes can feel less stressful when working with professionals who understand the nuances of the U.S. Tax Code. The tax code is a document that consists of 6,871 pages. Handing the work to professionals can give you more time to work on other areas of your life, such as your career and relationships.

However, some taxpayers feel confident in their ability to file taxes and want to save money. Having a company work with you to file and prepare your taxes can cost hundreds of dollars. Taxpayers on shoestring budgets who want to save money may prefer to work on their taxes solo.

What Types of Companies Offer Tax Preparation Services?

If you don’t want to file and prepare your taxes alone, several companies can help. These are the types of companies you can reach out to if you want help with your taxes.

Tax Preparation Companies

Tax preparation companies sit with you and look through your tax forms and other documents. These companies offer a more personalized experience.

Tax Preparation Software or Mobile Apps

Tax preparation software and mobile apps are more affordable and make it quick and easy to file taxes. There isn’t as much personalization with these tools, but they can get the job done and provide pointers.

What Types of Tax Preparers Can Help With Your Taxes?

While tax companies and software apps can help with filing your taxes, some taxpayers prefer to speak with a professional. Establishing a go-to professional can make you feel more confident going into every tax season. These are some of the types of tax preparers who can help with your taxes.

Certified Public Accountants (CPA)

Certified Public Accounts (CPAs) go through rigorous exams to receive their certifications. They can review your numbers, make sure everything looks good, and help with filing your taxes.

IRS Enrolled Agents

IRS Enrolled Agents can represent taxpayers before the IRS. Enrolled agents can handle any type of tax matter and represent any taxpayer.

Tax Attorneys

Do you have questions about property taxes, local nuances, and federal taxes? A tax attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the U.S. Tax Code so you are in compliance with federal, state, and local taxes.

Non-credentialed Preparers

Non-credentialed preparers are individuals without professional credentials or certifications who file taxes. Some people learn how to file taxes by reading articles and watching videos. These individuals have practiced through experience. Some of these preparers can file suitable tax returns, but there is more risk in this area. Non-credentialed preparers may make mistakes or not know about all of the nuances and tax relief strategies.

What Tax Services Can They Typically Help You With?

Tax companies and professionals can help with several types of tax services. These are some of the available options.

Tax Return Preparation Services

Professionals and tax preparation companies can help you fill out your tax returns and double-check them. This service can minimize the likelihood of errors.

Tax Relief Services

If you have fallen behind on your tax payments or have a difficult time navigating tax payments and basic living expenses, tax relief services can help. These services make existing tax debt more manageable, but you have to qualify for tax relief to receive it from the IRS. Professionals and companies can help you assess your choices and work with you to reach a resolution.

How Much Do Tax Preparation Services Typically Cost?

Tax preparation services have varying costs, but most of them cost a few hundred dollars. These services can net a return on your investment if you discover tax deductions and credits that you qualify for. You can also save considerable time and increase the likelihood of an error-free tax return.

The Benefits of Using a Tax Preparation Company or Apps

Tax preparation companies and apps offer several advantages. These are some of the perks you can expect.

Expertise and Knowledge

Tax preparation companies and apps have expertise and knowledge that can make it easier to file taxes and avoid mistakes. Companies can offer more personalized suggestions, while apps use artificial intelligence to walk you through the process. It’s easier to receive assistance with tax preparation than it is to conduct all of the research on your own and learn as you go.


These solutions save you time that you would have spent conducting research and triple-checking your tax returns. You can use the same time to pursue career opportunities that increase your income and make it easier to pay for tax preparation services.

Error Reduction

Tax preparation companies and apps can help you spot errors and make changes so common mistakes don’t show up on your tax returns. Any errors on your tax returns can delay your tax payments and result in interest and penalty fees accumulating on your tax debt. Getting stuck in this cycle can become problematic, and getting rid of errors can help you avoid these extra expenses.

Enhanced Accuracy and Compliance

Accurate tax forms can help you avoid a host of problems in the future. You won’t have to worry about accumulating interest or penalty fees increasing how much you owe to the government.

How to Choose the Best Tax Preparation Services or Apps

Taxpayers can choose from many tax preparation services and apps. Due to the wide amount of choices, taxpayers should only choose a solution that fulfills their parameters instead of settling for a satisfactory experience. These are some of the factors to consider when choosing the best tax preparation services and apps.

Reviews and Recommendations

Online reviews can tell you a lot about a company or an app. These reviews come from past and present customers. You can discover insights from good experiences and negative experiences. Average ratings on review sites like Trustpilot can help taxpayers gauge which type of experience is more common.

You may also want to ask family and friends for recommendations. You shouldn’t use a recommendation just because a family member or friend uses it. However, you can do more research into that recommendation to determine if it is right for you.

Certification and Credentials

Many taxpayers feel more at ease if they are working with certified professionals, such as CPAs. It takes considerable effort to become a certified public account. These accountants have to commit to their craft for several years and take challenging exams to earn their certifications.

It’s possible to get a reliable service from a non-credentialed preparer, but this path is riskier. Taxpayers should consider the professional’s experience and accolades when comparing choices. A company or app created by someone with those credentials can carry more weight than a company or app created by a non-credentialed preparer.

Cost and Billing

Any service can be underpriced or overpriced, depending on how much you paid for it. Taxpayers should assess the total costs incurred for working with a tax company or using software to file taxes. Consumers should consider how much they receive for their money and what comparable options charge.

It’s also important to consider how much you can afford. Some taxpayers have lower budgets and can’t afford top-tier accountants with many credentials. They may have to use a more affordable app that offers guidelines you can use to prepare your own taxes.

Service Offered

When comparing tax preparation services and apps, it is important to review what services these entities offer. You should only have to use one tax preparation service or app instead of having to mix and match several services and apps for the full experience.

Taxpayers should approach the comparison process knowing what type of services they want. If an app or tax preparation service does not check all of those boxes, you should move on to another competitor. It is important to remember that consumers can choose from many tax preparation services and apps.

Conclusion: Is It Worth Paying for Tax Preparation Services?

Tax preparation services can make tax preparation and filing much smoother. They can help you avoid mistakes, save you time, and also save you money. Many tax preparation services, professionals, and apps cost hundreds of dollars. Some apps have one-time fees, while others have subscriptions.

The one factor that deters many people from tax preparation services and apps is the cost. It costs money for a service that you could do on your own. However, you are probably not as well-versed in the U.S. Tax Code as a Certified Public Accountant. You may also be more prone to making mistakes with your tax returns as other things get in the way. Filing taxes on your own can also lead to missed deadlines since you won’t have a meeting with a professional scheduled on your calendar.

For many people, tax preparation services are worth the cost. You can recoup your investment if your tax preparer knows about several tax deductions and credits that you may have overlooked. It’s also possible to save money if the tax preparation service provider can detect mistakes on your tax forms. While tax preparation services have many perks, each taxpayer must assess the pros and cons before committing to these services.

Review Companies and Apps to Prepare Your Tax Return.​

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Product name, logo, brands, and other trademarks featured or referred to within are the property of their respective trademark holders. This site may be compensated through third party advertisers. The offers that may appear on’s website are from companies from which may receive compensation. This compensation may influence the selection, appearance, and order of appearance of the offers listed on the website. However, this compensation also facilitates the provision by of certain services to you at no charge. The website does not include all financial services companies or all of their available product and service offerings.

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Product name, logo, brands, and other trademarks featured or referred to within are the property of their respective trademark holders. This site may be compensated through third party advertisers. The offers that may appear on’s website are from companies from which may receive compensation. This compensation may influence the selection, appearance, and order of appearance of the offers listed on the website. However, this compensation also facilitates the provision by of certain services to you at no charge. The website does not include all financial services companies or all of their available product and service offerings.