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Which Tax Software Is Right For You? Halon Tax & TurboTax

January 30, 2019
Taxes

Doing your taxes each year can seem like an overwhelming, frustrating and time-consuming task. You have to make sure you have all your documents together, all your bookkeeping perfected, your receipts taken out of that shoebox and organized. All this before you’ve even decided how you’re going to file your taxes this year.


Aside from going to your local CPA for your tax returns the most popular options are TurboTax, H&R Block, Tax Act, etc. Over the coming weeks, we’ll dive into each of these options and see how they stack up against Halon Tax, the newest, cutting edge, small business tax preparation technology.



Halon Tax & TurboTax

TurboTax is the most well-known tax preparation software on the market right now. It’s an easy-to-use software for business and personal returns that has free federal and state filing choices for the 1040EZ and 1040A forms. Users are able to speak directly with a CPA depending on the edition purchased.


Halon is the new kid on the block when it comes to small business tax preparation. Founded in 2015, Halon’s proprietary technology has streamlined the small business tax process to 12 hours or less. While making sure all deductions are utilized, all IRS red-flags are identified, and having each return triple checked by CPAs. Halon offers sole proprietorship, S-Corp, Partnership, and personal tax returns all in one place.

Interface & Usability

Halon

  • Using Halon Tax software is remarkably easy. After selecting what package they want, the bookkeeping needs to be connected. QuickBooks Online users must grant Halon to access their books. Users just log in to their QBO account. Any changes users make to their bookkeeping in QBO will automatically be available in Halon. No need to upload data more than once. If your bookkeeping is done with Wave Financial, you can also upload your bookkeeping to Halon.
  • Non-QuickBooks Online/Wave users are able to use Halon as well. If the bookkeeping is done in spreadsheets or written out manually (or in any other software) users have the option to either manually input their data (like TurboTax) or pay a small fee and have their books created and built out in QBO by one of our Financial Accountants.
  • Once a user’s books are attached, the financials are reviewed by a member of the Halon Tax Team. We want to make sure you receive every deduction you deserve. If we see anything that might be a red-flag to the IRS, we will let you know. At Halon, we want to protect and educate our clients.
  • Once the bookkeeping has been reviewed and approved. The return is prepared by Halon’s world-class technology. The client’s return is prepared in minutes, not hours.
  • Once the return is finished, it’s verified by three different licensed CPAs for accuracy and to make sure every available deduction is taken advantage of.
  • Once triple checked, the return is either sent to the user for review or the user can choose to speak with a CPA to go over and discuss their individual return in detail.

Turbo Tax

  • Turbo Tax if a straightforward and intuitive program to use. It does away with the jargon and complicated legal language, so the user knows precisely what is happening each step in the process.
  • Turbotax’s program walks users through a 6-step process, accruing necessary information along the way (Personal Info, Business, Personal, State Taxes, Review, E-File). As users move through the steps, TurboTax updates the federal and state returns (or liability) and shows the updated totals on the sidebar so users can see how each step affects their return.
  • Turbotax allows users to ‘flag’ the fields they’re unsure of, so they come back to them easily later. A handy notification tab also lets users know of errors or additional requirements.
  • The user reviews both the state and federal refunds once the 6-step questionnaire is completed and then allows users to begin e-filing the forms.
  • You can request a licensed EA or CPA to review your tax return. You can also connect via their SmartLook feature to speak with a tax professional over video chat.

Features

Halon

  • 12-Hour Tax Return
  • Tax Returns Starting at Only $299
  • Tax Returns are triple checked by licensed CPAs
  • Real Person Support
  • Speak with a CPA about the return
  • Tax planning included in the elite package and always available for purchase separately.
  • Offers conversion services. Convert a sole proprietorship business to an S-Corp, Partnership or C-Corp; or convert to an LLC.
  • Easy to use
  • Intuitive interface

TurboTax

  • Free tax filing options (for personal returns)
  • Intuitive interface and tools
  • Easy to use
  • Supports state returns (for an extra charge)
  • Includes professional guidance for complicated returns
  • Easy to add, update, and backtrack on returns.


Accuracy

Halon

Halon has an unprecedented 3 different CPAs review each tax return before sending it to the client to review. They each verify accuracy and optimize deductions. Halon guarantees 100% accuracy on their returns.

Halon offers our Halon Defender program to each and every return done and every additional service offered. Halon & the Tax Team will defend users in the event of a notice, review, or audit. We stand by our work.

TurboTax

TurboTax checks the accuracy of every return to make sure all appropriate fields are completed and will alert the user if anything is missed before allowing the user to file. TurboTax guarantees 100% accuracy on their tax returns and provides access to the company’s audit support department in the event of an audit.


Customer Service

Halon

  • Halon has an in-depth self-support archive for users to reference.
  • Or users can reach out to our support team of real people here in the USA to answer any and all questions. The goal of the support team is to make sure each client is taken care of properly and they come away with a better understanding of the product and/or their return.
  • Depending on the package selected, there is an option to speak with a CPA to go over the tax return and answer questions.  
  • Offers phone support from 8am-6pm CST

Turbo Tax

  • Offers phone support (hours vary by location).
  • Live chat, email and a community forum are available through the website as well.
  • TurboTax has also created helpful tutorial videos and FAQs to help answer users questions.

 

Limitations

Halon

  • Halon is exclusively for small businesses. That is businesses with revenue under $1 Million for the year.
  • Halon only integrates with QuickBooks Online and Wave currently. Although there are ways around this (manually entry, or the Halon team building the books).

TurboTax

  • The biggest limitation with TurboTax is that the state filings are not included in the overall/upfront cost of the return, leaving some users frustrated.
  • It costs an additional $54.99 for each state you have to file in. Thankfully, users can simply import the date from their federal return over to the state taxes, thereby avoiding doing double work.


Clients of Halon Tax Grow Their Revenue by 18%/yr on Average

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Pros

Halon

  • Three separate licensed CPAs review each return for accuracy and missed deduction opportunities.
  • With your purchase of an elite return package from Halon, you are able to file your personal returns. A one-stop-shop for all things tax.
  • Tax planning is available as an add-on or as a part of various packages, to help you optimize your tax bill for next year.
  • Get your taxes prepared and filed in 12-hours
  • Before Halon prepares a return, a Halon Financial Accountant reviews the financials to make sure you receive every deduction you deserve. They’ll also let you know if they see anything that might be a red-flag to the IRS.
  • The most affordable tax returns on the market, for the best tax preparation available.
  • Aggressive & Legal – Halon’s tax team is aggressive, and they know the tax code. They are always looking for the uncommon deductions or other overlooked places where you could be saving money. They go over each return with a fine-toothed comb to make sure you’re saving as much as possible, all while staying on the right side of the law.
  • State Returns are included in your price. No surprise add-ons to file your state taxes.

TurboTax

  • TurboTax offers easy to file, affordable tax returns.
  • The technology checks over 400 deductions before filing
  • You have the option to have a face-to-face meeting with the TurboTax Live option.
  • Prepare returns for multiple businesses, even if they’re different business structures.
  • TurboTax Business integrates with QuickBooks Desktop (but not QuickBooks Online).



Halon Pricing & Filings by Edition

  • CPA Tax Planning Module - $199 Add On Price
  • LLC Formation Service - $99
  • S-Corporation Conversion - $49
  • QuickBooks Online Conversion - $59 (Usually $149)


TurboTax Pricing


  • State filing is additional
  • Personal returns are not included


What’s Missing?

Halon

Depending on the user’s business, the revenue may be too high to use Halon. Users with bookkeeping done in other software (besides QBO or Wave) may have to pay extra, or manually enter their bookkeeping to utilize Halon this tax season.  

TurboTax

The biggest downside of TurboTax Business is that users aren’t able to file their personal tax returns using the business edition. They’d have to file through the personal TurboTax option.

However, if using the self-employed edition, users can file business and personal taxes.



If you’re still deciding which tax preparation software is best for you and your business, knowing what differentiates each software from the other is crucial to make sure you’re getting the right thing.

If you have questions about Halon Tax or how everything works, feel free to reach out to our support team.


Here’s to a happy tax season!


Madeline Morton

Madeline is the marketing director at Halon Tax and an online business owner. She has an extensive knowledge of marketing, sales and creating a spectacular customer experience. When she's not writing blogs, she's napping in the sun, reading and petting puppies.

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