Taxes can be a headache, so if you’re always looking for tools to make them easier, we don’t blame you. An online tax calculator might be the answer.
However, don’t wait to calculate your taxes until the night before April 15. To avoid any nasty surprises, it’s good to think about taxes year-round and make a point of regularly estimating how much you might owe.
This is where an online tax calculator can help. This tool can save you a lot of time estimating the amount of money you might owe.
Here are four of the best free tax calculators.
This free income tax calculator lets you estimate two things — your tax refund and the impact tax reform will have on you. Enter your filing status and other identifying information, then answer some basic questions about your employment status and investments.
Finally, deduct expenses such as charitable contributions, and note whether you paid for education or medical expenses. This calculator is clean, bright, and user-friendly.
While MoneyChimp’s tax calculator isn’t as up-to-date and easy to use as H&R Block’s, it still provides information that could be valuable as tax season approaches. Enter your information and receive your adjusted gross income, taxable income, and the estimated tax on your regular income and on qualified dividends and long-term taxable gains.
MoneyChimp also offers tips on reducing your taxes and a tax diagram chart explaining which rates apply where.
This educational website offers a free calculator where you can figure out what your income tax will be. The tax calculator is easy to use: Just enter your household income, location, and filing status. (If you want to get more advanced, you can also add your 401(k) and IRA contributions, any itemized deductions, and number of personal exemptions.)
The calculator can also provide information such as your marginal tax rate and effective tax rate for each tax type. Finally, a graph shows how your federal income taxes have changed from year to year. SmartAsset’s calculator is helpful because it has additional charts to help you understand what you’re looking at.
TurboTax offers a tax refund calculator and estimator called TaxCaster, an interactive tool that can help you predict how much money you might get back this year. Go through the tool and answer each question as accurately as possible. The calculator has fun graphics that speed up the process, making it easy to choose the best answer at a glance.
You don’t have to go through this process on a desktop computer — TaxCaster is actually its own app. Available on Android and iOS, the app saves your information so you can see your results instantly if you have to make any changes.
The bottom line on tax calculators
Taxes have always been tricky, but now we have the technology to estimate tax bills quickly and accurately. As a result, April 15 should be a tad easier to handle.