TARGET 8: Which tax prep service gets the biggest refund?

Related Story

COLUMBIA - The commercials are all too common this time of year: Tax services promising to get you your millions and billions back. 

With tax season right around the corner, Target 8 investigators decided to take a look into with tax service can get you the biggest refund.

Target 8 investigators put four different tax services to the test: Turbo Tax, Tax Act, and H&R Block online, and Accounting Plus in Columbia.

Turbo Tax, Tax Act and Accounting Plus were all able to provide the same refund for a "fictional" family created by KOMU 8 to reflect a typical household. H&R Block got the family $2 less than its competitors. 

The fictional family had the same income as the average household income for Missouri four-person families. 

Accountants said with traditional W-2s and standard deductions, each tax provider should be able to provide the same refund; however, there are deductions that can complicate the process. 

"To me when one accountant versus another can get you more or an accountant can get you more than you can get yourself is when you're self-employed or have itemized deductions," Senior Tax Preparer Samantha Dent said. 

In these cases, Dent recommends visiting a tax provider who is knowledgeable on all the ever-changing tax rules. 

"A lot of times with a business you have so many expenses and either your method tracking wasn't very good so you miss out on deductions or you think 'oh, that's not deductable' and it really is," Dent said. 

For those who own their own business, Dent said record-keeping is the most important step toward maximizing your deduction.

"Let's say you are paying us to do your books, you're going to get a lot better deduction then if you just have a pile of receipts," Dent said. 

 

News