Editor's Note: Online e-filing services often change what features and prices they offer throughout the tax season. We will update the Online Tax Software reviews as needed throughout the 2014 tax season as new versions are released.
Taxbrain can handle all basic returns, including 1040EZs, 1040s with itemized deductions, small business and rental 1040s, and state returns. All packages include e-filing, and you can configure taxes for multiple-state earnings. Pricing ranges from $14.95 for 1040EZ filers to $69.95 for returns that include business income and expenses. This e-file tax service charges $29.95 for state returns. So, for a family that owns a home and needs to itemize deductions, the total charge for federal and state filing is $69.90. Overall, this price is higher than most services.
In terms of convenience, Taxbrain can import information from prior years, import federal information into your state return and file prior-year returns back to 2006. It also has a questionnaire at the beginning to determine which forms you need to file that the questionnaire covers information about your household, wages, investment income, retirement income, possible credits and deductions, business income and rental property.
Taxbrain provides free customer support. From January through April, phone support is available seven days a week. Outside of tax season, you can contact support representatives during standard business hours. The Taxbrain website has tax calculators and a blog. This online tax service also provides a service called Safe Keeping that will, for $9.95, store your tax returns for five years.
Creating a return using Taxbrain is simple and quick to complete. It starts off with a brief questionnaire. Then the program gathers together what's required for you to file based on your tax situation. It will suggest the best filing, such as 1040EZ or 1040, with the associated worksheets and forms. We tested this service for free using the standard edition, which is free for federal e-filing. The only red flag we noticed is that we left our account open for a while and when we came back we were still logged in logged in, which could present a safety concern.
Taxbrain is capable of creating an accurate return with the necessary schedules and forms. The online tax preparation software is streamlined and simple to use. However, if you have a complex tax situation and are not sure which forms you need or how to file, you may want to consult with one the higher-rated products with extensive support options. Taxbrain provides minimal support and is intended to be, for the most part, self-serve.
This online tax service is simple to use, especially for those who only need to file a simple return. Prices start at $14.95.
Most services, including Taxbrain, cannot provide the support that larger, higher-rated tax services do. More complex returns also cost more than most services, and Taxbrain does not provide free 1040EZ e-filing like most services.
Taxbrain is simple to use and representatives offer support while you are logged in. However, the fact that this service does not provide free federal filing makes it difficult to compete with the competition.