Using tax preparation software can be easier than filing taxes manually and can improve accuracy by removing the guesswork from the tax return process. It's also more affordable than hiring an accountant to do your taxes for you.
FreeTaxUSA is one of many tax filing solutions that lets you e-file your federal or state return, but is it worth your time? Learn more about this online software below.
Best low-cost tax software
Many tax software tools charge you $100 or more to file a federal return and up to $50 to file a state return. FreeTaxUSA is the best tax software for saving on costs because it lets you prepare and file a federal return for free, regardless of your tax filing status or the kind of income you're reporting. Other tax-filing services may charge you to file federal returns, especially for self-employed workers, higher income individuals or others who need to follow a more complex deductions process.
The company makes money by charging for state tax returns — which cost $14.99 to file — and other optional services like professional support.
Despite being low-cost, FreeTaxUSA offers a wide range of tax preparation and filing services that rival higher-priced software products. The company will refund any paid-for services you use if you don’t receive the maximum refund possible in comparison to other tax filing methods.
In fact, if the IRS or your state tax agency charges you penalties or interest because of an error made by FreeTaxUSA, the company will pay the amount you owe. (Do note that you'll need to provide the company with evidence of penalties and interest to receive a refund.)
FreeTaxUSA Tax Software pros and cons
- Free filing of federal taxes regardless of income or deductions
- Unlimited amended returns for $15.98, or free with Deluxe tier
- Lets users import information from previous year
- Accuracy guarantee if their calculations are wrong
- Can't upload tax forms (apart from W-2s)
- Live chat support only available with Deluxe tier
Here are some of the benefits of FreeTaxUSA:
Affordable tax filing
FreeTaxUSA is one of the best low-cost tax software tools on the market. No matter what IRS forms you need, you can file a federal tax return at no cost. Employed and self-employed individuals — including sole proprietors, gig workers and contractors — can use FreeTaxUSA to itemize deductions and claim tax credits.
If you must file state taxes, FreeTaxUSA lets you file a state return for $14.99. These prices are considerably less than those charged by many tax software tools on the market.
Unlimited amended returns for a low cost
By paying $7.99 for FreeTaxUSA Deluxe or $15.98 for the standalone unlimited amended returns feature, you can add information or correct any mistakes on your federal or state return after you submit it.
You can amend your return and provide new information to the IRS or state tax authorities through the FreeTaxUSA website. Amending your tax return quickly if you discover a mistake can help you avoid or reduce penalties for unpaid tax.
Information imported from the previous year
FreeTaxUSA saves your tax information in its system from year to year. That means you can import data from your previous year’s tax return to your current return — if you used FreeTaxUSA last year — and speed up the tax filing process. FreeTaxUSA doesn't charge you anything for this service. You just need to review previous tax information before submitting it.
Here are some of the disadvantages of FreeTaxUSA:
Can't upload tax forms
Although FreeTaxUSA saves previous tax year information that you entered into its system, you can't upload prior tax returns. You also can't upload most tax forms such as W-4s, 1099-NECs and 1099-MISCs. This means you'll need to manually enter your details from previous filings if you haven't already worked with FreeTaxUSA.
The only form you can upload to FreeTaxUSA is the W-2, which lists withholding income, Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld by your employer.
Live chat support only available with an upgrade
With the free plan, the only way to reach out to a company representative is via email. You must upgrade to FreeTaxUSA Deluxe in order to interact with a customer representative via live chat.
FreeTaxUSA tax software offerings
FreeTaxUSA has a few different tax software offerings. While the basic offering is free, you may choose to pay a small fee for certain add-ons. We explain these options in detail below.
FreeTaxUSA supports all common tax forms and provides the following federal income tax filing services for free:
- Prior year tax information import
- Tax filing history
- Tax return backup
- Over 350 credits and deductions
- Property taxes and mortgage interest write-off
- Credit for charitable donations up to $5,000
- Health savings account deductions
- Student loan interest write-off
Note that this only covers federal taxes — you’ll be charged an extra $14.99 for state tax filings.
FreeTaxUSA also lets you file tax information most other software tools charge a premium for. This information includes:
- Rental income
- Sale of home information
FreeTaxUSA offers free federal filings for self-employed, gig workers, sole proprietors and contractor income reporting. The company also lets you claim expenses, credits and deductions that reduce your tax liability if you generate business income.
However, you can't pay estimated quarterly taxes with FreeTaxUSA or similar software. You must make payments through the IRS EFTPS website.
For $7.99, you can upgrade to FreeTaxUSA Deluxe and get the following features:
- Priority email support
- Live chat
- Unlimited amendments to your returns
FreeTaxUSA Tax Software pricing
FreeTaxUSA's pricing structure is simple. Filing a federal tax return is free regardless of your tax situation or filing status. You only pay extra for each state tax filing and if you decide to upgrade to FreeTaxUSA Deluxe.
|State Taxes||$14.99 per return|
In addition to these upgrade fees, FreeTaxUSA charges a fee of $24.99 if you choose to pay your state tax preparation fees with your federal refund instead of paying upfront with a credit or debit card.
FreeTaxUSA tax software accessibility
FreeTaxUSA provides its services to anyone located in the United States who has to pay U.S. taxes. If you are overseas and owe taxes, you can’t file a federal or state return online via FreeTaxUSA's website.
You can contact a FreeTaxUSA customer representative by email. Live chat is only available if you pay for the Deluxe Edition plan.
Live chat is available from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET on Monday through Saturday from Jan. 4 to April 30, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET on Monday through Friday from May 1 to Dec. 31, excluding holidays.
FreeTaxUSA Deluxe also provides priority email support, which means you'll receive an answer to an email inquiry quicker than those on the Basic plan.
You can't contact FreeTaxUSA by phone. However, you can email FreeTaxUSA at email@example.com.
You can also write to FreeTaxUSA at FreeTaxUSA.com, 1366 East 1120 South, Provo, UT 84606.
According to online reviews, FreeTaxUSA’s online interface is easy to use. Drop-down menus guide you to different parts of your return so you can skip certain sections and come back to them later. The software warns you about incorrect or missing information that might impact your tax liability. FreeTaxUSA doesn't have a mobile app, but its interface displays correctly on smartphones and tablets.
Registering for a new account is also simple.
- Click on the "Sign In" button at the top right of any FreeTaxUSA webpage and scroll down to "Create New Account."
- Enter a few personal details such as your name, date of birth and email address.
- Choose a username and password.
- Confirm your email address by clicking on a link in the email you receive from the company.
After signing up for an account, FreeTaxUSA will tell you what you need to file your taxes. The company will occasionally prompt you to upgrade to FreeTaxUSA Deluxe, but you can always ignore this suggestion and continue with the filing process.
You can also access resources on FreeTaxUSA's website to learn more about the company and various tax matters. These resources include a knowledge base with tax questions and answers about business income, itemized deductions, how to track your tax refund and other topics. FreeTaxUSA also provides a free tax calculator that helps you estimate your federal and state tax liability.
FreeTaxUSA Tax Software customer satisfaction
TaxHawk, Inc., the company that owns FreeTaxUSA, is an accredited business on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. TaxHawk has a BBB rating of A, which means it is likely to engage with customers and seek a resolution to the complaints they file with the website.
Some BBB users have posted problems with FreeTaxUSA, including being billed for the Deluxe tier when only wanting the free version of the software. TaxHawk has justified these charges in replies to customers, saying that these customers used paid-for features that aren't available with the free version.
FreeTaxUSA tax software FAQ
Is FreeTaxUSA legitimate and safe?
How does FreeTaxUSA tax preparation software work?
Is FreeTaxUSA completely free?
How we evaluated FreeTaxUSA tax software
We considered the following factors when reviewing FreeTaxUSA:
- Tax filing features
- Pricing information
- Ease of use
- Customer service options
Summary of Money's FreeTaxUSA tax software review
Money chose FreeTaxUSA as the best low-cost tax software. The software lets you file a federal return for free and a state return for a small cost. You can access extra services, like unlimited amended returns, by buying FreeTaxUSA Deluxe. If you only file federal taxes, don't plan on amending your return or don't need customer support, FreeTaxUSA is free.
FreeTaxUSA does have its drawbacks. You can't upload most tax forms to the company's system to transfer previous years' details, and live chat is only available by upgrading FreeTaxUSA Deluxe. However, despite these issues, this service is an easy-to-use, low-cost alternative for filing your taxes.