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It’s about that time again, folks: This year's tax deadline—Monday, May 17—is just a few weeks away. If you've yet to file, that means you'll need to gather up your most important financial documents from the past year and dive in—and fast! I’ll be the first person to admit that it can be an intimidating task: from W9s to 1099s, it's pretty easy to get lost in all the paperwork and jargon. Thankfully, however, there are tons of tax software programs that are specifically designed to help people who feel overwhelmed (just like me). Best of all, many come in the form of digital subscriptions that are deeply discounted this filing season.
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When is Tax Day 2021?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) pushed the beginning of tax-filing season to February 12 (it usually starts at the end of January), with its deadline for receiving returns moving back to Monday, May 17 instead of its usual April 15 date. According to the agency, the later start date was given to account for additional programming for its employees and ensure that folks get their refunds as quickly as possible once their taxes have been filed.
"'This programming work is critical to ensuring IRS systems run smoothly," the agency said in a statement. "If filing season were opened without the correct programming in place, there could be a delay in issuing refunds to taxpayers.'"
The best tax software on sale
Lucky for us all, Reviewed has already put a bunch of tax softwares to the test to find the the best of the best. Spoiler alert? Intuit TurboTax Deluxe is our No.1 pick, and it's on sale at Amazon now. You can currently nab the Mac download for $49.99, which is down $10 from its original price of $59.99. (Note that you can also grab the PC version for $39.99 at Barnes & Noble.)
It's worth noting that the IRS also offers a free file option for those who make less than $72,000. With this program, you can file your federal taxes free of charge (and, in some cases, your state taxes, too), and you will receive guided preparation after answering some basic questions. If you make more than $72,000, the agency also offers free file fillable forms.
However, if you're looking for more a bit more guidance, we lauded TurboTax, which is available in a plethora of options, for its impressive performance in testing. Here's how the various iterations shake out:
1) Intuit TurboTax Deluxe: While not free, the deluxe version is our top pick and is on sale at Amazon. This program is recommended by TurboTax for homeowners, those who have charitable donations to deduct or customers with high medical expenses and those who need to file both federal and state tax returns. It also comes with live customer support, five federal e-files and a download of a TurboTax state product.
2) TurboTax Free Edition: Separate from the IRS free-file program, TurboTax also offers its own free software to help with filing. It's for simple tax returns only (Form 1040 or Form 1040 plus Form 1099-G) and covers W2s, information in 1099-INT or 1099-DIV forms, standard deductions, earned income tax credit, child tax credits and unemployment income.
3) IRS Free File Program Delivered by TurboTax: This option is available to tax filers who have an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $39,000 or less, active military members with an AGI as high as $72,000 or those who quality for the earned income tax credit. Individuals with simple returns who use Form 1040 (and/or Form 1099-G for unemployment income) can also download the free file program.
In testing, both the free and deluxe versions were intuitive, especially for those who would otherwise struggle with filing. We liked that the deluxe option automatically imported W2s, investment and mortgage documents, but both the free and deluxe versions allow you to easily upload last year's information if you filed elsewhere.
To further help you save on digital downloads—and make your filing process as pain-free as possible—we've compiled a list of even more awesome deals on our favorite tax software. Check them out below!
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Tax Day 2021: Shop tax softwares on sale from TurboTax, H&R Block and more