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Last updated Jun. 26, 2024 by Peter Jakes

The Best Tax Apps to Help You Get an Early Jump on Your 2023 Tax Return

Navigating the complexities of tax filing can often be a daunting task, especially with inevitable changes in tax laws and the myriad of guidelines to be followed. Fortunately, technology has come to the aid of taxpayers through various tax apps that streamline the process and make it more manageable. With the 2023 tax season approaching, it’s prudent to start early, utilizing the best tools at your disposal. In this comprehensive article, we explore some of the best tax apps designed to help you get an early jump on your 2023 tax return.

1. TurboTax


TurboTax is a household name in the world of tax preparation software. Its easy-to-use interface, coupled with detailed guidance, makes it ideal for both novices and experienced taxpayers. TurboTax offers different versions catering to various tax situations – from simple returns to more complex scenarios involving investments and self-employment income.


  • User-Friendly Interface: Easy-step questions guide you through each section.
  • Import Capabilities: Import key data from W-2s, 1099s, and the previous year’s tax return.
  • Accuracy Guarantee: Assurance that calculations are correct.
  • Audit Support: Access to experienced tax professionals or auditors if complexities arise.

2. H&R Block Tax Prep and File


H&R Block combines user-friendly features with expert support. Their app offers a free version for simple tax returns and various paid options for more complex filings. One standout feature is their in-app access to a tax expert who can answer your questions via chat or phone.


  • Easy Navigation: Guided process ensures you never miss a critical step.
  • Expert Help: Tax professionals available for consultation.
  • Document Upload: Simply snap a photo of your W-2 to automatically populate fields.
  • Multiple Support Levels: From basic DIY assistance to full professional support.

3. TaxAct


TaxAct is renowned for offering robust tax preparation software at an affordable price. Its app ensures a straightforward tax filing experience and is particularly beneficial for those with more complex financial situations.


  • Cost-Effective: Competitively priced options.
  • Ease of Use: Simple interface with comprehensive support tools.
  • Data Storage: Save your progress and return later to finish.
  • Deduction Maximizer: Ensures you don’t miss out on eligible deductions.

4. Credit Karma Tax


Credit Karma Tax stands out for offering entirely free tax filing for both federal and state returns. Despite being free, it still provides a comprehensive taxation solution.


  • No Cost: Completely free with no hidden charges.
  • Intuitive Design: Easy to navigate interface.
  • Audit Defense: Includes audit defense and support.
  • Financial Insights: Access to a suite of financial tools and credit score monitoring.

5. TaxSlayer


TaxSlayer provides a variety of features designed to cater to different tax needs, from those filing simple returns to self-employed individuals. It combines affordability with high-quality service.


  • Affordability: Prices start lower than many competitors.
  • Flexibility: Various packages catering to different needs.
  • Real-Time Updates: The app ensures you are aware of any tax law changes.
  • Support Options: Professional tax support available.

6. FreeTaxUSA


FreeTaxUSA offers a competitive solution for those who need a balance between cost and functionality. It is entirely free for federal filing with a minimal charge for state returns.


  • Affordable Filing: Federal returns are free, state returns are low-cost.
  • Accuracy Guarantee: Covered in case of errors.
  • Comprehensive Support: FAQs, guides, and email support.
  • Deduction Tools: Helps identify applicable deductions to minimize tax liability.

7. QuickBooks Self-Employed


QuickBooks Self-Employed targets freelancers and small business owners, offering specialized tools for this demographic. It’s particularly strong in tracking mileage, expenses, and income throughout the year, which simplifies tax time considerably.


  • Expense Tracking: Automatically categorizes and tracks business expenses.
  • Mileage Tracker: GPS tracking for business mileage.
  • Quarterly Estimates: Calculate quarterly estimated taxes.
  • Seamless Integration: Integrates with TurboTax for quick tax filing.

    ✓ Short Answer

    Matched content provides a detailed review of tax apps available for the 2023 tax season, ensuring that you are well-prepared to handle your tax returns efficiently. From free options like Credit Karma Tax to more specialized solutions like QuickBooks Self-Employed, this guide covers a broad spectrum of needs to help you choose the best app suited to your situation.


Q: What should I consider when choosing a tax app?

A: When selecting a tax app, consider factors like ease of use, cost, and the level of support offered. Some apps provide free federal filing but may charge for state returns. Additionally, look for features that match your specific tax situation such as support for investments, self-employment income, or complex deductions.

Q: Are free tax apps reliable?

A: Yes, many free tax apps like Credit Karma Tax are highly reliable and offer a full range of features. However, it’s important to verify they provide the necessary support for your tax situation and review any potential fees for additional services.

Q: How can I ensure my data is secure when using a tax app?

A: Opt for tax apps with robust security measures such as encryption, secure login protocols, and reputable data privacy policies. Always read the app’s privacy policy to understand how your information will be used and protected.

Q: Can I file both federal and state taxes using these apps?

A: Most tax apps allow you to file both federal and state returns. Some may offer free federal filing but charge a fee for state filings. Always check the app’s pricing model to understand any potential costs involved.

Q: What if I encounter problems while filing my taxes using an app?

A: Many tax apps offer customer support through various channels such as phone, chat, and email. Some, like H&R Block, provide access to tax professionals who can assist with more complex issues.

By getting an early start with the right tools, you can ensure a smoother, less stressful experience come tax season. Choose the app that best fits your needs and take control of your tax filing process well before the deadline.

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