Personal Finance

Best Tax Software for Investors

Filing taxes can be complicated for investors, but these programs are here to help

Editor's Note

You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone. This content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser, unless otherwise noted below.

Filing your taxes can be complicated at the best of times. If you’re an investor, you need to deal with more complicated taxes, such as dividend taxes and capital gains taxes. Keeping track of long-term and short-term capital gains and qualified dividends is difficult. Using tax software can make filing much easier.

Best Tax Software for Investors

There are lots of options when it comes to tax filing software. These are a few of the best choices for investors.

BrandBest forPricingSpecial Features
TurboTaxTrusted brand with easy user interface$90 + $50 per stateGet help from a tax pro or have them handle your taxes for you
H&R BlockWorking with a human tax professional$49.99 + $36.99 per$49.99 + $36.99 per stateGet an advance on your tax refund, up to $3,500, interest and fee-free
Credit KarmaPeople with some familiarity with taxesFreeFree audit defense
Liberty TaxTax filing, plus other services such as insurance$44.95 + $34.95 per stateTax refund advance loan up to $6,250 (at a cost)
TaxSlayerLow-cost alternative to paid services$24.95 + $32 per statePay for the software out of your refund
TaxSlayerMostly free alternative to Credit KarmaFree + $12.95 per stateImport data from competitors to make transition easier
TaxActMiddle ground between free options and expensive premium service$69.95 + $44.95 per stateFAFSA assistance.
Import data from competitors for easy transition

TurboTax

TurboTax is one of the best-known tax filing programs out there. Developed by Intuit, TurboTax integrates with many of Intuits other tools, such as Mint and Quicken, to help make filing taxes faster and easier.

There are a few versions of TurboTax, each capable of handling different tax situations. Investors will need to purchase TurboTax Premier, which costs $69, plus $39 per state tax filing. There are frequent discounts that can help you save, but expect to pay at least $100 for the service.

TurboTax is one of the best-known tax programs for a reason. You can do your taxes online or with its downloadable software. It walks you through a simple survey asking you everything it needs to know to fill out your tax forms. You also have the option to get live help from a tax expert or get a tax expert to fill everything out for you.

TurboTax also comes with post-filing support, including audit assistance.

What investors will like:

TurboTax can help investors with a lot of complicated situations. For example, it can help you automatically calculate your investments’ cost basis and deal with the sale of other securities on Schedule D. Dividend investors can use TurboTax to deal with Schedule B, which covers dividend taxes.

The program also can fill out Schedule E for you, making it easy for landlords to deal with rental property taxes and their related deductions.

Visit TurboTax or Read our TurboTax Review

H&R Block

H&R Block is another well-known tax preparation company. Many of H&R Blocks’ services focus on in-person tax preparation, making it a strong choice for people who like to work with a human tax professional. The company also offers online tax preparation and filing or virtual meetings with tax pros for those who prefer not to work with someone in-person.

Like TurboTax, there are various levels of H&R Block service, each handling different tax situations. H&R Block Premium, which costs $49.99 can handle investment taxes. There’s an additional charge of $36.99 per state income tax return. Working with a tax professional virtually or in person starts at $69, but may cost more depending on the complexity of your taxes. You’ll still pay an additional fee for filing state taxes.

If you’re expecting a refund, H&R Block can offer tax return refunds of up to $3,500, with no interest or fees, making it a good choice for those who need their refund quickly.

What investors will like:

What makes H&R Block great for investors, in particular, is you can get unlimited assistance from a human tax professional. Investment taxes can be complex and it’s not unusual to have a lot of questions. Certain types of investors, like real estate investors, may also have a lot of deductions they can take, but may not know about.

H&R Blocks program can deal with investment-related tax forms and their human tax pros can walk you through any questions you might have about your investment taxes, helping you take deductions that can reduce your overall tax bill.

Visit H&R Block or Read our H&R Block Review

Cash App Taxes

Cash App Taxes is known for helping people keep an eye on their credit scores and providing credit card and loan recommendations. In 2016, the company launched Credit Karma Tax, a completely free tax-filing service.

Cash App Taxes works for all but the most complex tax situations and you can use it to file your federal and state taxes, free of charge. The user interface is good, but it doesn’t provide the same level of guidance that competitors like TurboTax offer. This makes it best for those who have filed their taxes before and who feel a bit more comfortable with the process.

If you file with Cash App Taxe, you’ll get a free audit defense. If the IRS chooses to audit your taxes, Cash App Taxes can help you deal with the process.

What investors will like:

While Cash App Taxes doesn’t offer all of the support that some other products provide, it’s still a solid choice for investors who are somewhat comfortable with filing their own taxes. It can handle all but the most complex tax situations, including dealing with rental properties and foreign investments. It also calls out opportunities to take deductions, helping you save money.

Visit Cash App Taxes or Read our Cash App Taxes Review.

Liberty Tax

If you’re looking for an alternative to TurboTax and H&R Block, Liberty Tax may be a good choice. Like its competitors, there are multiple levels of service available, each capable of handling different tax situations.

Investors will need to purchase Liberty Tax Premium, which costs $44.95, though there are often discounts that can make the service less expensive. Adding state forms costs $34.95 per state.

Like its competitors, Liberty Tax will walk you through the tax filing process, asking you questions about your finances and filling out the forms for you. Once you’ve finished, you can print the forms and mail them in or let Liberty Tax send them electronically.

If you prefer working with a human, Liberty Tax has a network of offices where you can go to prepare your taxes with a tax pro.

Liberty Tax does offer a tax refund advance loan of up to $6,250 but charges a fee for the loan. Depending on how much you borrow, you’ll pay between $15.78 and $197.25, equivalent to an APR of 35.99%.

Liberty Tax also offers other services, like car insurance and roadside assistance services. If you want to get multiple services from one company, it may be a strong choice.

What investors will like:

Like its competitors, Liberty Tax can handle the taxes that are most important to different types of investors, including dividend taxes, capital gains taxes, and rental income. Liberty Tax also supports cryptocurrency investment gains but makes the process more difficult than standard investments. Investors will have to manually enter each transaction into the program.

Visit Liberty Tax Read our Liberty Tax Review

TaxSlayer

TaxSlayer is a low-cost alternative to programs like TurboTax and H&R Block. Investors can get the service they need for just $24.95 plus $32 per state. Discounts frequently reduce that price further. At that price point, TaxSlayer can handle every tax situation except self-employment, which costs extra.

Like other tax preparation programs, TaxSlayer asks you questions about your finances and fills out your tax forms for you. TaxSlayer places an emphasis on letting you do your taxes on your time, so you can work on your taxes from your computer or mobile device easily.

TaxSlayer offers basic customer support and assistance from tax pros. You can purchase TaxSlayer Premium for $44.95 which gets you priority support, including skipping the wait when you call for help and live chat support.

TaxSlayer lets you prepare and fill out your tax return without paying anything upfront. If you’re getting a refund, you can opt to pay for the service from your refund, meaning you’ll never pay a cent out of pocket to file your taxes.

What investors will like:

Fast access to tax pros makes TaxSlayer a great choice for investors. You can ask TaxSlayer professionals any of the tax-related questions you might have. Because investment taxes can get complicated very quickly, having priority access to professional help is a huge bonus. These tax pros can help you fill out your forms accurately and help you claim every deduction you’re eligible for.

Visit TaxSlayer or Read our TaxSlayer Review

FreeTaxUSA

FreeTaxUSA, as its name implies, is a free tax filing software. You can file your federal taxes, regardless of their complexity, without paying anything for the service. If you live in a state that levies an income tax, FreeTaxUSA can help with state taxes for $12.95 per state.

There is the option to purchase FreeTaxUSA Deluxe for $6.99, but this service is entirely optional. If you do pay for the upgrade, you’ll get priority support with a live chat option and the ability to submit an unlimited number of amended returns, which can be useful if you make a mistake. Deluxe service also comes with audit assistance.

One nice feature of FreeTax USA is that it makes it easy to move to the service from a competitor. You can import your previous year’s return from TurboTax, H&R Block, or TaxAct to get a head start on filing this year’s return.

What investors will like:

FreeTaxUSA, despite being free, supports all of the tax forms that investors need to use, including taxes related to stock and mutual fund investments as well as rental properties and other real estate investments.

Visit FreeTaxUSA or Read our FreeTaxUSA Review

TaxAct

TaxAct offers both online and downloadable tax filing software. Like much of its competition, you can choose from different levels of service, each capable of dealing with different tax situations. Investors will have to choose TaxAct Premier, which costs $69.95 plus $44.95 per state, though discounts can often cut that price in half.

TaxAct lets you get one-on-one help from CPA and tax professionals, which can give you more confidence in the tax filing process.

TaxAct offers some other useful features, such as assistance with the FAFSA. It can use the information you enter to fill out most of the FAFSA, which makes applying for student aid much faster.

What investors will like:

TaxAct includes a Stock Assistant feature which makes it easy for investors to calculate their investment taxes. Enter your stock transactions into the Stock Assistant and TaxAct automatically calculates your investment income, saving you the effort of figuring out your cost basis and gains on your own.

TaxAct also offers a companion application, DocVault, which lets you store digital copies of important documents, such as brokerage account statements, letting you easily access all your financial documents from one location.

Visit TaxAct or Read our TaxAct Review

FAQs

chat bubble

What are the most important tax forms for investors?

The main forms that investors have to fill out is Schedules B and D.

Schedule B is where you outline all of your interest and investment income, such as dividend payments. If your investments generate income or you get interest from your savings account, you’ll need to include Schedule B.


Schedule D covers capital gains taxes and deductions.You’ll use this form to report any gains or losses you make from buying and selling things like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

chat bubble

Can I take a deduction if I lose money by investing?

When you lose money on an investment, you can deduct the loss against any gains you receive from other investments. For example, if you sell a stock for a $2,000 loss and sell shares in a mutual fund for a $5,000 gain, you only have to report a total of $3,000 in capital gains on your taxes.

If you have more losses than gains, you can deduct up to $3,000 of your investment losses from your regular income each year. If you lost more than $3,000 overall from investments, you can carry the additional losses forward to future years and use them to offset future capital gains and income.

chat bubble

Do investors have to use tax preparation software?

No, there are no rules that say that you have to use tax preparation software to fill out and file your tax return. However, taxes are incredibly complex and this can be especially true if you’re an investor. Tracking individual transactions, gains, and losses can be difficult. Figuring out where all that information goes on a tax form can be even more confusing.

Tax preparation software can make the job much easier and save you a lot of time.

Read More: What Is The Cheapest Tax Software?

How Did We Come Up With This List?

When we came up with this list, we looked at three things.

The first is the ease of use. Taxes are hard enough as it is. The point of tax prep software is to make them easier. We only chose tools that help make filing taxes simpler.

The second is functionality and support. Lots of these tools come with additional services, such as advances on your tax refund, or support from tax professionals. We chose applications with features taxpayers will actually use and support to help you if you run into trouble.

Finally, we looked at the price. There are many different price points for tax preparation software, so we chose tools at all pricing levels to give you an idea about what you’re paying for when you pay for tax software.

Read More: Most Common Tax Deductions: What You Need to Know

Bottom Line

Filing taxes can be complicated, but these programs are here to help. There are many different tax preparation programs available for investors, so take the time to consider your options and choose the one that’s right for you. Even if you have to pay for the service, the time and effort you save will be worth the cost.

Related: Paying Taxes on Stocks: 13 Tax Tips for Investors

TJ Porter

TJ Porter

TJ is a Boston-based freelance writer who specializes in credit, credit cards and bank accounts. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, writing, cooking, playing games (of the video and board varieties), soccer, and ultimate frisbee. You can find his work on his website, tjporterwriting.com.


Recommended Stories