If you’re a freelancer then you know two things about filing your taxes: first, you have to do it before the April 15th-18th deadline, and second, you have a lot of questions before you file!
The two biggest names in online tax filing are TurboTax and KeeperTax. In fact, KeeperTax was created for freelancers, knowing some of the challenges they face.
But which one is the better program? In this article, we’re going to discuss the most important features of both programs and how they compare.
KeeperTax helps contractors find more deductions and save an estimated $1,249 a year. Right away, you can see they offer many convenient online tools for free, like a tax quarterly estimator, home office deduction quiz, and KeeperTax free tool for calculating income tax.
But the most impressive feature of KeeperTax is that you can link your bank or credit card to the Keeper Tax app and automatically scan your year-long purchases for tax write-offs. From then on, you can file directly with the IRS and simultaneously file your state income tax.
Even better, after you subscribe, you can talk to a tax pro and ask questions about deductions and income.
TurboTax also lets you file directly with the IRS, and matches the live CPA Q&A.
There are other nice features, like a W-2 photo scan, which automatically inputs all your information. TurboTax also has an Audit Support Guidance system, which provides you with more detailed help in case you are audited.
The SmartLook feature even lets you talk to a tax specialist with video chat in case you need more one-on-one time to explain your situation.
TurboTax does offer some extra features beyond KeeperTax, at least in the way of a live consultation. But what about simple online filing?
KeeperTax vs TurboTax: Main Features
KeeperTax might be ideal for freelancers in writing, photoshop, musicians, or similar professions. But when it comes to managing your company, as in a partnership, corporation, or even an LLC (which some freelancers may file as for certain tax advantages) then TurboTax can offer an advanced level of assistance.
TurboTax was founded by Intuit, established 1983, which gives the program access to a much larger network of connected companies. You can integrate your files from QuickBooks, Square, Koinly, and even CryptoTaxCalculator with TurboTax for faster input.
TurboTax works on most operating systems, whereas KeeperTax was created to be an app with a text window designed for a smaller screen. If you do most of your online shopping, texting, surfing and well, existing, on a tablet or phone then KeeperTax will be much easier to use than TurboTax.
However, KeeperTax also works on any device, including laptops and PCs. It will simply use less of the screen if you have a large monitor.
Is KeeperTax Built for My Business?
The real question is, can KeeperTax help me with business income, as in Schedule C income? Yes, even with a smaller screen, KeeperTax can help any freelancer finish their income tax return – assuming that you don’t have heavy corporate needs, or more complex interactions like high volume trading, real estate, and shareholder information.
If you have basic cryptocurrency income to report, KeeperTax can handle that. If you make most of your money using crypto, TurboTax may offer advantages with that.
For more on the blockchain economy and bitcoins, read our article on cryptocurrency.
The Price of TurboTax and KeeperTax
Besides complexity, the real issue might be price. KeeperTax lets you try the software for seven days for free, and then charges $16 a month. If you need to consistently talk to a tax pro, then $16 a month is a pretty good deal. You can also pre-pay for a year at a discount of $168.
TurboTax is free for filing, but only if you have a simple tax return. Certain itemized deductions, 1099-G, 1099-NEC, stock sales, rental properties, and schedules 1-3, would require the premium version of TurboTax. Self-employed freelancers usually wind up paying $119 for a federal and state filing combined.
For more on corporation tax issues, you can read our latest article on tax liability.
What’s Right for You?
The bottom line is that TurboTax is expensive if you have fairly complex income and expenses to report. Many freelancers do not just have a “simple tax return” that they can file for free. In that case, paying $16 a month, even if it’s for one or two months out of the year, might be more affordable than TurboTax’s yearly price.
You might also have to pay extra to export spreadsheets, or work with an accountant. But those fees are fairly small, about $39.
Most freelancers who are self-employed, as opposed to a work-at-home corporation owner, will be able to use KeeperTax just fine.
KeeperTax might be a feasible alternative to TurboTax’s complicated and sometimes pricey system. Why not sample both right to see which feels more comfortable?