I Tried 5 Different Tax Services So You Don't Have To!

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Prior to this year, we used to have someone else do our taxes. We started with an independent service, but when his rates started going up, we switched to H&R Block. 2022 was the year I decided to try filing on our own as it was beginning to cost over $300 to have someone else file our taxes. 

Our taxes are a little more complicated as I have self-employment income, which requires a Schedule C form. However, I tackled it and got it done. Not only that, I tried five different tax services! Originally I had intended to only do two, just to make sure the numbers came out the same, but when they didn't, I found myself going down the rabbit hole. 

Here are the five tax services I tried and the results I got:

H&R Block

Jackson Hewitt





How insane is it that the numbers differ (though they seem to be fairly close)!? I'm using all the same information when filling out each program! So now you're probably wondering:

Which One Did You File With?

We ended up choosing Jackson Hewitt as they only charged $25 to file (plus up to 10% off with Rakuten)! We did choose to tack on the audit protection package as having all these different numbers made us a little worried, so our total was about $55, which was still way cheaper than paying someone else and all the other tax programs we tried. 

TaxAct I had not actually heard of until I got the Influenster VoxBox, but they would not let me file free despite Influenster saying it should be, so I gave up on them. They wanted to charge $109 for filing (Can get 5% off with Rakuten). H&R and TurboTax both wanted over $200 to file, so that was ridiculous (even with the 7.5% off using Rakuten). TaxSlayer was more reasonable, wanting $75 to file, plus they had a deal with Rakuten where you can get 25% off. 

One program I did not try because I did not hear about it after we filed is FreeTaxUSA. Apparently, federal returns are free and they only charge $15 for state returns! Their deluxe is only $6.99, so that would have ended up being cheaper than Jackson Hewitt. I haven't tried their program, so I'm not sure how easy it is to fill out and I'm not sure if their numbers will compare to the other sites I tried, but I will definitely be bookmarking them for next year! If you used FreeTaxUSA, please comment below with your experience!

Which Tax Service is the Easiest to Use? 

As for ease of use, definitely TurboTax, so even if you don't file with TurboTax, I think it's a great one to start with to get familiar with the forms you will have to fill out. 

H&R Block glitched badly on me the first time I tried using it and somehow said we owed over a thousand dollars in taxes! Needless to say, I deleted my account and started again and got numbers closer to the other websites, but I do not trust their online service at all. Otherwise, their program is fairly easy to use, but I just don't recommend it as it seems to be faulty.

TaxAct and TaxSlayer are similar to TurboTax, but I felt it was harder to go back to double-check a form than TurboTax. You had to use their search function to find it or go through each one step by step again.

Jackson Hewitt is not hard by any means, but it reminds me of the old school days. I also did this one last, so it's possible it felt easy to me because I already was familiar with the numbers and information I was entering and where to enter it after going through the motions in the other programs. I would say if you're not familiar with doing taxes on your own to maybe start with one of the other programs and then use Jackson Hewitt if you want to pay less to file. 

What About Property Taxes?

One thing we learned is that most of these programs do not do your property taxes or they may charge more, but luckily if you live in Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Revenue lets you file online for free! You can also go old school and print and fill out the paperwork here.

If you are not a Minnesota resident, you will have to check out your state's department to see if they offer the same. 

Returns Accepted!

I had a minor panic attack when we first filed with Jackson Hewitt and I got an email saying our return was rejected. Jackson Hewitt was nice enough to inform me as to why and it was just because I had accidentally entered an EIN number wrong. I fixed it and then I got the magical "Tax Return Accepted" and we were good to go! 

The fact that they knew what was wrong though just shows how ridiculous it is that we even have to file. The government has all the information on file, they could totally just do our taxes for us! It's unnecessarily difficult to file taxes. We need a tax reform badly,.