Using this online tax preparation service you can prepare, eFile and print your federal return for free. State returns are low-priced, and you only have to pay for your federal return if you want additional assistance such as free phone support or prior-year import ability. We find it refreshing that TaxACT has made tax time less burdensome for all taxpayers, not just 1040EZ filers. This tax preparation service has maintained its edge on the competition and earns our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award for online tax software.
This tax service provides three editions, which are priced about the same as last year. They offer a free federal edition, a Deluxe edition for $9.95 and an Ultimate Bundle for $17.95. The free and Deluxe versions require an additional fee for state filing, and the Ultimate Bundle includes one state and one federal filing. They also offer downloadable and CD software editions ranging from $12.95 to $21.95 that can prepare and print unlimited federal returns. TaxACT can help you file prior-year federal and state returns back to 2000.
This online tax software was able to create an accurate return using our test tax scenario. To get a good idea of how well tax services can create accurate returns for our readers we created a typical tax scenario of a dual income family, with one dependent, a house and a few itemized deductions, as well as a simple 104EZ situation. TaxACT was able to create accurate returns easily to the exact dollar amount.
To help tax filers discover all the credits and deductions they can claim, TaxACT can guide filers through 35 life changes that affect tax status, and their TaxTutor Guidance provides over 2,500 tax tips. The Deluxe and Ultimate Bundle editions also come with a tool that can track charitable donations, including estimated cash value for over 1,300 frequently donated items. They also provide a tax glossary that includes definitions for over 300 tax terms to help ensure that you understand line items correctly.
TaxACT is simple to use even if you are a first-time filer. While preparing a return you can access a variety of helpful hints. For example, in the life events section you can read about multiple-state filing. In this section, TaxACT clearly explains how most states handle multi-state filing in general, and it answers three common questions in regard to this circumstance. There is also a section of help info about non-residential returns. We liked that the helpful information is arranged in a logical manner so you can usually find the answers and explanations you are looking for from within the tax software. They also employ tools such as bookmarks to mark sections that you want to come back to later, and they suggest ways to maximize next year's refund.
Similar to other easy-to-use online tax services, TaxACT is arranged in an interview format; for example, in the Life Events section you can select topics and go through a series of questions that help TaxACT select the right forms, credits and deductions that you qualify for. In terms of basic features, this online tax software provides everything we were looking for, including a refund/owe meter, error checking and alerts, prior-year filing and importing, and free audit support. The Deluxe and Ultimate Bundle versions also offer assistance with non-cash donations; this service helps you figure out the monetary value of your non-cash donations such as used household items and even your driving distance.
To speed up the process, this tax preparation service can import from more tax software than any other online tax service. If you want to switch to TaxACT, it can import data from PDF files created by TurboTax, H&R Block at Home, TaxSlayer, CompleteTax, IRS Free File Fillable Forms, exTaxReturn, FreeTaxUSA, eSmart, ATX, Lacerte and ProSeries. It can also import information from Stock Import, GainsKeeper and payroll W-2s.
We looked at the kind of help TaxACT offers for those who need assistance using the software or service. TaxACT can be contacted via web form or by instant chat when you're logged into your account. They also post quite a few help topics online that cover topics such as eFiling, browser issues, OS compatibility and download and installation instructions. They also cover technical issues such as how to print your returns and importing tax data from other software. They provide about 20 video tutorials on common topics such as canceled debt, 1099-MISCs, amending your return and so on. They provide telephone support for technical and customer support to Deluxe and Ultimate Bundle editions, or for a one-time fee of $7.95 to free-edition filers as well.
Save your anxiety for more pressing matters. With TaxACT you can easily prepare a simple or complex federal return free without preparation and eFile fees eating away a piece of your much-anticipated refund. If you end up owing the IRS or your State, you can rest assured that you will have to pay the least amount possible. If you need assistance, you can take advantage of their bundle offer and utilize free telephone support, W-2 importing, tax tips, a stock assistant, an audit assistant and more.
TaxACT offers a wide range of free federal eFiling options, low-priced state filing and audit support.
Their telephone support is low-priced but not free and their online tax information is brief compared to their top competitors.
If you do not require additional assistance, TaxACT is one of the best. It can create accurate returns easily and state eFiling is reasonably priced.