Top 5 Free Online Tax Calculators

article by Arya A. author
How big will your refund be this year? Did you know there are tools online that will help you figure it out without filing a tax return? Numerous websites offer free tax calculators you can use to estimate your federal tax return.

Some are offered by popular tax preparation services and others come from trusted tax-themed sites.

TurboTax TaxCaster

TurboTax is widely known as one of the best tax software options available on the market. Take a few moments to check out their TaxCaster calculator and you can see why.

The interactive calculator is like a mini-interview asking you about your general tax situation. But it goes much more in-depth than most calculators. For example, it allows you to add certain key deductions like mortgage interest and IRA contributions. Self-employed individuals can even find out how big their tax burden might be.

At the end, you get a general estimate of your tax burden or refund and from there you can choose whether to use TurboTax to file your return.

IRS Withholding Calculator

While not the most robust online tax calculator, the IRS Withholding Calculator is one of the most popular by default. The calculator has a simple interface and asks you a series of questions about your status.

This calculator is designed for the average American receiving a W-2 and does not offer support for other situations. You can enter your income as well as the amount withheld and any deductions or general tax credits you think you’ll receive.

If you’re trying to figure out whether you’re having enough withheld from your check, this is a good option.

TaxAct Tax Calculator

TaxAct is regularly on the list of best online tax filing services and you can get started by using their tax calculator. This calculator has a tabular design and is more aesthetically pleasing than others.

Each tab represents a different category. Start by selecting your filing status and then move on to entering your income, deductions and credits. The final tab displays your results and breaks down your income, adjustments, deductions and exemptions. You can also find out if you’re subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax.

This calculator is good for getting a general overview of what to expect from your return without actually filing one. However, it is only applicable for 1040EZ and 1040A filers. If your taxes are a bit more complex, such as for freelancers or Americans working outside the U.S., this calculator isn’t going to be much help to you.

SmartAsset Income Tax Calculator

Want to know what your personal income tax share might be this year? Head over to SmartAsset and try out their Federal Income Tax Calculator. This calculator is very simplistic but is good for giving you an idea of how much you have to withhold each year.

Selections are somewhat limited, however. You can only select “single” or “married,” and the advanced items only let you select your exemptions, retirement contributions and itemized deductions.

This is a barebones estimate of how much tax you need to have withheld from your check each year. Taking out at least the amount calculated will guarantee you won’t have to pay but you should use another option if you need a more precise number.

Nerdwallet Federal Tax Calculator

Nerdwallet offers a solid tax calculator for the average tax filer. The calculator offers a simple interface with tabs asking for filing status, income, age, dependents, retirement contributions, deductions and any taxes paid. This calculator can be used to either determine how much you need to withhold from your check or how much you’ll be refunded. Unfortunately, freelancers and others with complex situations won’t find this tax calculator very useful.