Best Rated Tax Refund Calculators

May 7th 2016

Each income tax refund calculator contains the same basic methods for calculating a refund. Use more than one service to discover an average of your estimated returns before filling out your official return or hiring a tax service to do your taxes for you.

TurboTax TaxCaster

TurboTax TaxCaster from Intuit allows a taxpayer to input his status, total income, deductions, credits and payments. As each question gets answered, the graphic along the right side of the portal summarizes whether or not the person has a refund or payment. The sidebar also shows total taxable income versus taxes paid and the marginal tax rate.

Income options include unemployment benefits, capital gains, losses, pensions and alimony. Taxpayers also input business income into TaxCaster's calculator. Expenses include education, mortgage payments, donations and retirement funds. TaxCaster programming extends to apps for Apple and Android mobile devices.

H&R Block Tax Return Calculator & Estimator

H&R Block's tax return calculator contains the same basic blanks and forms as the TurboTax service. A big, orange banner across the top of the calculator proclaims how much money a taxpayer may receive at each step of the process. The tab entitled Your Income includes blanks for interest income, tax refunds, rent and nontaxable combat pay. Expenses and deductions combine mortgage interest, child care, job expenses and state taxes.

TaxAct Tax Calculator

TaxAct's tax calculator uses a simple yes or no system to ascertain basic information. Users can switch to three other tabs to input income, deductions and tax credits. These features use a scrolling system or allow the user to type in the number.

Five basic income types include wages, net business income, estimated payments, interest income and unemployment. Clicking on Additional Income displays more income situations. Inputting common deductions such as student loan interest, medical expenses, mortgage interest and charitable contributions shows whether the user qualifies for itemized deductions instead of a standard deduction.

The program also calculates tax credits for child care, energy-saving home improvements, college education expenses and miscellaneous credits. TaxAct calculates taxes after tax credits are input.

Conclusion

Tax refund calculators help taxpayers estimate how much they may get from the federal government before filling out tax forms. Several well-known companies that provide tax services have free online resources including tax calculators that summarize an individual's situation. Each service contains options, menus and blanks to fill in data.

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