A taxing economy... Even for tax preparation firms

Death and taxes are the two things we can count on, and you'd think that tax preparation firms would be riding out the bad economy pretty well. But even though the economy struggles, large tax preparation firms are vying for your business, not leaving anything to chance. That means discounts for you because they're trying to appeal to the practical side of the American taxpayer.

TurboTax, a trusted name in do-it-yourself taxes, is offering a free tax calculator. H&R Block, one of the most recognized tax preparation companies is offering free advice on the Internet. TurboTax has a big advantage, however: because It's cheaper for taxpayers to use their product than to pay a company to do the taxes.

Taxpayers have to be cautious with their taxes, however. The tax code is complex, and taxpayers should only do their own taxes if they've got a relatively simple situation or have had the proper training to handle more complex issues. If you've got a situation involving a small business, a rental property, stock options, or other more complicated items, you're best off paying a professional.

Your resource on tax filing
Tax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.
Child Tax Credit Calculator and Top 7 Requirements
The Child Tax Credit can significantly reduce your tax bill if you meet all seven requirements: 1. age, 2. relationship, 3. support, 4. dependent status, 5. citizenship, 6. length of residency and 7. family income. You and/or your child must pass all seven to claim this tax credit.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com
7 Smart Ways to Invest Your Tax Refund
You can maximize your tax refund in several ways — from paying off high-interest debt to investing in a business or saving for retirement. One or more of these options could be the perfect fit for you.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com
How to Pay Taxes: 10 Ways to Pay Your Tax Bill
You know you owe taxes, but you may not be aware of all the available options for getting that money to the IRS.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com
Taxes 2021: 7 Upcoming Tax Law Changes
Tax Year 2021 will likely bring some surprises, but some of its changes are already planned. Here's what you need to know about some of the planned phase-outs, changes and inflation adjustments the IRS will present for taxes in 2021.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com