The 3 Best Accounting Software Programs For Tax Support
Tax season is here again.
Before you start hyperventilating, take a deep breath. Don’t let 1099-MISCs, W-2s, and Schedule Cs scare you. As stressful as tax time can be, accounting software is there to help. Accounting software can assist you in preparing and filing a variety of tax forms, so you can concentrate on running the business you love.
Here at Merchant Maverick, we searched for the top accounting software systems for tax support and have come up with a few fantastic options to fit your business needs. The average program can handle 1099s, but we searched for accounting software that goes the extra mile. To truly get your money’s worth during tax season, check out one or all of the following three accounting vendors.
Read more below to learn why we chose these options.
Table of Contents
1. QuickBooks Pro
QuickBooks Desktop Pro
Best for small to large businesses that need full-fledged accounting software with tax support.
I’m sure you aren’t surprised to see a QuickBooks product on this list. When the rubber meets the road, you really can’t beat the features of QuickBooks Pro — especially not when it comes to tax support. QuickBooks Pro is a full-featured, locally-installed software that is loved by small businesses and accountants alike.
QuickBooks Pro supports the following tax forms:
QuickBooks Pro has the largest selection of supported tax forms around, by far. Considering that most basic accounting software programs only support 1099s, the variety offered here can be a huge advantage.
Something that sets QuickBooks Pro even further apart is that the software allows you to buy and print your tax forms directly from the Intuit website. You can also e-file your 1099-MISCs with Intuit’s 1099 E-File Service, which starts at $14.99. With built-in e-filing and e-pay options, QuickBooks Pro makes tax season as easy as can be.
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2. QuickBooks Self-Employed
Best for freelancers and self-employed individuals that need help with estimated quarterly taxes and deductions.
QuickBooks Self-Employed is a tax tool that can be used for minor bookkeeping and federal tax filing. Unlike QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Self-Employed is designed with the freelancer in mind. Freelancers have very specific tax guidelines and distinct tax and accounting needs.
QuickBooks Self-Employed offers the following tax support options:
- Estimated quarterly taxes
- Schedule C
A particularly challenging aspect of being a freelancer is calculating estimated quarterly taxes, so this is arguably one of the most useful features of QuickBooks Self-Employed. The software also helps freelancers take advantage of all possible deductions, including mileage, travel, meals, and home office space.
Based on how you categorize your transactions, the software generates a Schedule C. The best part about QuickBooks Self-Employed is that you get free TurboTax filing with your subscription (if you purchase the Self-Employed Tax Bundle or the Self-Employed Live Tax Bundle). Just take your Schedule C, file online, and voila! Taxes are in the bag. You’ll also save some money by purchasing QuickBooks Self-Employed with TurboTax rather than just paying the $120 fee for filing with TurboTax as a freelancer.
While QB Self-Employed is a great tax tool, it is important to remember that this software is limited and a bit deceptive. There is no state tax support, so (by definition) you won’t be able to complete all your tax obligations with QuickBooks Self-Employed. You will be able to take care of your federal taxes and organize your accounts, which, for some people, might be all that is needed.
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3. Sage 50cloud
Best for medium to large businesses that need to file 1099s, W-2s, or W-3s.
Once called Peachtree, Sage 50cloud is one of the other big names in accounting. Despite the name’s implications, Sage 50cloud is locally-installed software with a cloud-based storage component. The software, although quite expensive, is chock-full of features and can support up to 40 users. The software boasts strong accounting and is highly customizable.
Sage 50cloud supports the following tax forms:
Next to QuickBooks Pro, Sage 50cloud has one of the biggest tax support offerings on the market. The software also has a unique Year-End Wizard feature that walks you through how to close your books, so you can be ready to file your taxes correctly.
While we admire these aspects of Sage 50cloud, the software is not without its faults — mainly the price. Sage 50cloud is very expensive compared to other accounting software programs, which is why we recommend it to established medium or large businesses that need Sage’s comprehensive features, customizability, and traditional accounting. The software also has a steep learning curve, and the UI is outdated. But these downsides don’t negate the software’s great tax support options.
Before purchasing Sage 50cloud, read our full Sage 50cloud review to learn more about the software, and compare Sage’s tax offerings to other cloud-based options to ensure you’re making the right decision.
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Don’t let taxes scare you any longer. Using any of these three options, you can file your taxes with ease and confidence, knowing that you will survive another year — hopefully with much less stress and fear.
QuickBooks Pro is a great option for business owners with small to large businesses who need full-fledged accounting software as well as 1099, W-2, W-3, and/or 1096 support. You’ll get ample features, but be prepared for a steep learning curve; getting accustomed to this software requires some patience and time.
For the freelancers and the self-employed, QuickBooks Self-Employed is the way to go. You can’t file state taxes, but you do get estimated quarterly tax support, deduction support, and a Schedule C. The TurboTax integration in and of itself is almost reason enough to make use of this tax tool.
Sage 50cloud is ideal for medium to large businesses needing to file 1099s, W-2s, or W-3s. The software is expensive and has a steep learning curve, but you’ll get ample features, strong accounting, and incredible customizability.
If you aren’t already using any of these accounting software programs, maybe it’s time to switch. Switching accounting software in the middle of tax season might cause unnecessary hassle unless you feel up to the challenge. So instead, get a leg up for next tax season and start using one of these accounting software options for the years ahead.
But these aren’t the only options worth mentioning. QuickBooks Online supports 1099s and W-2s, FreshBooks support 1099s, and Wave supports W-2s, W-3s, 940s, and 941s for certain states. All of these choices could be a good fit for you, depending on your business’s needs. Read our comprehensive accounting software reviews to learn more about each option.
With the right accounting software, you can survive another tax season! Good luck, and happy filing!
For more tax advice, view some of our other tax help articles.
In Summary: Best Tax Accounting Software
- QuickBooks Desktop Pro: Best for small to large businesses that need full-fledged accounting software with tax support
- QuickBooks Self-Employed: Best for freelancers and self-employed individuals
- Sage 50cloud: Best for medium to large businesses that need to file 1099s, W-2s, or W-3s