Today is the last day you can file your taxes in the U.S. without suffering a late penalty! If you're not sure where to start, here are our favorite ways to prepare your taxes using your Mac.
If you've been rooting around the Mac App Store for an app that'll help you prepare and file your tax return, you've likely come up empty-handed — there aren't any on Apple's app store.
That said, you don't actually need an app: There are plenty of great web-based services to help you get your taxes done on time and, hopefully, audit-free.
Note: We will note that arguably, you shouldn't need specialized tax software or companies to prepare your taxes — the U.S. government has entertained several proposals throughout the years to simplify its tax code, but lobbyists from the top tax prep companies have spent millions of dollars to squash those plans to save their own bottom line. This isn't necessarily an argument against using these services — many of iMore's U.S. writers still use them. But it's worth being informed.
TurboTax Online Edition
TurboTax is often the top name you might recognize when it comes to self-filing, largely because Intuit's online software is simple and quick to use. TurboTax breaks down and compartmentalizes the whole process to make everything straightforward and simple, making sure you're giving the IRS all the necessary information and in turn maximizing your return.
You can file your federal taxes for free and file state taxes starting at $29.99 per state. If you need more help, TurboTax also offers Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed versions for higher price points.
TaxAct is another online service in the same vein as TurboTax. You have three options for filing: Free, Plus ($37), and Premium ($47), which are each for different use cases. You'll get free phone support with each package, so if you prepare your return and get stuck, you can call up a TaxAct rep to guide you through the process. TaxAct also has a "Price Lock" guarantee, so you'll pay the price listed at the time you create your return, even if you decide to file months later.
Like TurboTax, H&R Block's online filing service breaks everything down from the very start. When you arrive on the site, you'll be able to choose the options that best describe your situation to get the preparation process that fits you the best without frivolous details or questions in the mix. You can file online and even have a tax professional take a look at your return beforehand to make sure everything's in order and you've maximized your return.
I don't even have cable, yet I constantly see commercials for Credit Karma. The company doesn't just offer a free way for you to check your credit score, though: As of 2017, you can also prepare and file your tax return on its website. Currently you can file both your federal and state taxes for free — with no hidden fees — though Credit Karma offers significantly more complicated step-by-step instructions than a service like TurboTax.
If you're not sure Credit Karma is right for you, you can even make sure that it supports all the forms that are relevant to your tax return.
IRS Free File
If you don't trust online tax prep services, go straight to Uncle Sam and check out the IRS's Free File service: It's free-to-download software that helps you prepare and e-file your return. Free File comes in two versions: one for people with an income of less than $64,000/year, the other for those with an income greater than $64,000.
The IRS service is very DIY: You'll have to know a bit about self-filing your federal taxes, and if you make more than $64,000, you'll have to print and manually mail in your forms — there's no software option.
Free File's lookup tool also helps you find free federal and state filing options, in case you're not interested in filling out the form directly.
How do you file on your Mac?
Do you file your own taxes using your Mac? Which service do you use? Tell us in the comments below and let us know why you like it.