best tax refund calculators

Best Free Tax Refund Calculator: TurboTax, H&R Block, or TaxAct?

Estimate your tax refund- The best FREE tax calculators online: To those who are due a fat refund, tax season is the financial equivalent of Christmas, and the anticipation of a refund can easily mirror a morning visit from Saint Nick. Those brilliantly wrapped packages are as much of a surprise as the final tally on a tax form, but all of us who grew up celebrating the glory of December 25th also had a tendency to try and ‘sneak a peek’ of what was to come.

Whether it was rummaging through closets, lifting the flap off of the wrapping paper, or catching a glimpse of a not-so-carefully hidden receipt, we all wanted to know what was coming our way, and the result of our taxed earnings is no different.

*Now, if you owe money to the IRS, this analogy will be lost on you. In fact, the story of “The Grinch” might be more appropriate, except Uncle Sam’s heart will never double in size! (and you’ll get a bill for the roast beast)

Anyway, there are dozens of websites that offer free tax calculators to give individuals a glimpse of their gold at the end of the refund-rainbow. However, all of us come from different backgrounds, financial positions, and income levels – so which tax calculator is best for you?

Here are our top three free tax calculators available online:


#3: TaxAct Free Tax Calculator – Estimate your income tax refund

The simplest of the three, TaxAct’s free tax calculator to estimate your income tax is as easy as they come. Just answer a few questions and within minutes you’ll have an estimate calculated for your refund. You don’t need to provide extensive information to calculate how much your return will be, which makes this great for users of all ages.

There are only four sections in their questionnaire: basic information, income, deductions, and tax credits. Let the calculator walk you through the steps online, and in the end you’ll have an easy answer regarding your hard earned wages.


#2: H&R Block Tax Calculator – Estimate Your Tax Refund for Free

H&R Block’s user-friendly interface easily catapults its tax calculator to the top of the list. Use their tax calculator to easily estimate your refund or how much you’ll owe in taxes.

While it’s easy for users with the simplest of returns, H&R Block also offers the ability to calculate W-4’s and estimate how the Affordable Care Act might affect your refund. There’s also easy access to the site’s Spanish version, (with no wall to separate it from their main calculator!) which increases its reach and accessibility.


#1. Turbotax – Best Free Tax Refund Calculator

Turbo Tax is the #1 name in tax preparation software, so it’s not surprising that the Turbo tax refund calculator takes the top spot. It earns its prestigious place amongst the top competitors by offering not only a generic tax refund calculator, but also various other helpful financial tools.

Students and dependents have their own tools and there is even a ‘document checklist’ for those who are new to filing taxes, or have had changes in the past year that may affect how their taxes are filed – such as getting married, having a new baby, or buying a house.

Since a vast majority of simple returns use TurboTax in comparison to other e-filing services, it serves as a great way to start the tax filing process without the complexity of trailing from one website to another. They also offer a special, discounted version of their software for active-duty military.

free tax refund calculators

Estimate what your tax refund will be: Use one of these free online calculators

While tax season may not bring mistletoe, reindeer and other celebratory marks, you don’t have to hate doing your taxes. It does provide a sense of security for both individuals and families going into 2017. Whether you owe taxes, or have a substantial refund coming your direction, learning more about tax preparation is the key to understanding personal wealth. Estimating your tax return beforehand will also help you avoid any nasty surprises come time to actually file your tax return.

Finding the right tax calculator to anticipate what potential refund might be around the corner is just the beginning, but it’s like unwrapping a gift – first the excitement, then the packaging, and underneath it all is the result you’re looking for. (right!?) And hopefully these tax calculator options will provide the refund estimate you’ve been wishing for.

Review by: Debbie Danger (pictured above)

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