While you may look forward to receiving that tax refund, you most likely aren't as keen on filing taxes. It can be time-consuming, confusing and expensive. However, if you’re wondering how to file taxes for free or inexpensively, TaxAct Tax Software is one option that might work for you.
Since 1998, TaxAct has provided many options for filing taxes on your own; methods for filing now include online, via a mobile app or with desktop software. You can choose from one of their multiple tiers so that you’re not spending more than you have to while still receiving the features you need. Read on to learn about TaxAct’s products, pricing, customer service and more.
Best for Small Businesses
TaxAct offers individual tax filing products, but it’s also one of the best tax software options for small businesses, providing e-filing for many small business entities. Filing products are available for sole proprietorships, C corporations, partnerships, S corporations and tax-exempt organizations.
In addition, TaxAct business products include unlimited free support from tax experts, and if you're a business owner, you might be able to save by bundling your personal and business taxes.
- Maximum refund guarantee
- Access to previous years' returns for seven years
- Free guidance from tax professionals
- No free state filing with the free version
- Limited free customer support accessibility
- Help from tax professionals costs extra
Scroll down for an in-depth look at the advantages of using TaxAct tax software.
Maximum refund guarantee
TaxAct guarantees you will receive the highest tax refund possible when you file with individual 1040 products. If you don’t receive the maximum refund possible by comparing your refund amount with another software, TaxAct will give you the difference between the lower and higher returns, plus refund your filing fees.
In addition, TaxAct provides up to $100,000 in coverage if you have legal or audit costs due to a refund amount error. You must file a claim for this guarantee within 60 days of filing your taxes or 30 days of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or state imposing a penalty.
TaxAct then has 90 days to review your claim. If you file your taxes using any product that is not a Consumer 1040 product, you must review the accuracy guarantees specific to those products.
Access to previous years’ returns for seven years
TaxAct online products automatically store your tax returns and other information for up to seven years from the filing date. You can access and print copies of your tax returns whenever you need them. In addition, you can import the information from your previous year’s return and W-2s to save time in filing your taxes in the current year.
Free guidance from tax professionals
TaxAct software includes free unlimited professional assistance for every return. The TaxAct tax experts are available to answer specific questions, such as how to file back taxes or how to track your tax refund, or they can simply review your taxes before you file.
To speak with a tax expert, you can request help while filling out your tax return. You will then receive a call from a tax expert. You can share your screen, so they can see exactly how you need help.
Consider the disadvantages below before you begin using TaxAct's online tax filing service.
No free state filing with the free version
An additional fee of $34.95 for the free online version is required for a state return. While most tax software will include a fee for state returns on its higher-level packages, free versions often include free state filing. For example, if you file with TurboTax, the free version includes free federal and state returns for tax returns that use only IRS form 1040.
Limited free customer support accessibility
TaxAct customer service is limited since most help is offered over the phone — no free live chat or email customer service is available. In addition, customer service hours are unreliable since they change throughout the primary tax season and the rest of the year.
Help from tax professionals costs extra
TaxAct provides live assistance, but it costs extra. For example, the free online filing option increases to $39.95 plus $35.95 per state filed if you wish to add its live Xpert Assist service. The cost of TaxAct Xpert Assist also increases with packages for more complex tax filing.
TaxAct Tax Online Filing Offerings
TaxAct has several online tax filing packages to choose from, as outlined below.
TaxAct free filing is best suited for people with basic tax returns. You can include income from the following:
- Child tax credits
- Earned income tax credits
- Stimulus credits
You can also include deductions and credits for dependents and student status. The free filing option also includes the ability to import the previous year’s tax information, a personalized My TaxPlan, ProTips and free professional assistance.
TaxAct’s Deluxe filing option is best for people with more advanced deductions and credits. While the Deluxe plan doesn’t offer any more income types, you can include itemized deductions, adoption credits, and deductions and credits for:
- Child and dependent care
- Student loan interest
- Mortgage interest
- Real estate taxes
- Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
The Premier version of TaxAct’s online packages includes all of the features from the Basic and Deluxe versions. However, this version also includes many other features that would be beneficial if you're an investor.
For example, you can include the following types of income:
- Stock, gains and losses, as well as other investments
- Sale of a home
- Rental property income
- Royalty and Schedule K-1 income
- Foreign bank and financial accounts
- Income reported on 1099-K forms
You can also include 1099-K expenses from third-party fees and other expenses in your deductions and credits.
Finally, TaxAct’s Self-Employed option is best for people who work for themselves or own small businesses. In addition to the income types listed above, the Self-Employed version can include freelance income and business or farm income. Your deductions and credits can also include personalized business deductions.
Additional support can also be found using the depreciation calculator and year-round planning resources provided by TaxAct.
TaxAct Tax Software Pricing
The prices to use TaxAct’s online filing service are detailed in the chart below:
|TaxAct Tax Online Filing||Price|
|Basic||$0 plus $39.95 per state return|
|Deluxe||$46.95 plus $54.95 per state return|
|Premier||$69.95 plus $54.95 per state return|
|Self-Employed||$94.95 plus $54.95 per state return|
TaxAct also offers an All-Inclusive Bundle that includes:
- Federal filing plus one state return
- Refund transfer that deducts filing fees from your refund
- E-file concierge, including status tracking and assistance with rejected federal returns
- Audit Defense
These features cost $269.75, but bundling all of them together will cost only $133.95.
If you want to purchase TaxAct software to download and use on your desktop, the following prices are available. Each includes five federal e-files.
|TaxAct Tax Software Product (Download)||Price|
|Basic||$44.95 plus $60 per state return|
|Deluxe||$139.95 plus $60 per state return (one state return included for free)|
|Premier||$149.95 plus $60 per state return (one state return included for free)|
|Self-Employed||$159.95 plus $60 per state return (one state return included for free)|
TaxAct professional software for tax professionals can also be purchased. However, there are different products for federal and state returns.
The price for TaxAct software for tax preparers is $150 for Professional federal editions, $35 for Professional Enterprise federal editions, $35 per state for Professional State editions or $99 for All-States editions.
Finally, if you need to file a TaxAct amended return using the Data Archive Service, you will need to pay a one-time fee to access your account.
TaxAct Tax Software Financial Stability
TaxAct is a privately-held company, so it is not required to publicize its financial statements. With that being said, TaxAct has been in business since 1998, and it has e-filed more than 90 million tax returns, which points to its strong reputation.
Recently, there has been some news about how some tax software companies, including TaxAct, share financial information with Google and Facebook's parent company, Meta. However, there hasn’t been any other negative news to suggest that TaxAct is facing financial struggles.
TaxAct Tax Software Accessibility
Learn more about TaxAct Tax Software accessibility below, including where the software is available, how you can contact customer service and the website’s user experience.
TaxAct software is available in all 50 U.S. states. However, you must meet specific requirements to use the TaxAct IRS Free File Program.
To qualify for a free federal return, you must be between 20 and 58 years old, or an active military member and your adjusted gross income must be less than $73,000.
If you meet the qualifications for a free federal return, you can also file a free state return in Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia.
The only way to contact TaxAct customer service is to call the TaxAct phone number at (319) 373-3600. The customer service hours fluctuate regularly. During the primary tax season, customer service is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
However, there are many days within the primary tax season when customer service hours are expanded or reduced. All times are indicated on the TaxAct support page for reference.
The TaxAct website makes it relatively simple to file your taxes. Much of the process is completed in a questionnaire style that walks you through your tax return with easy-to-understand language. The dashboard makes navigating your tax return and profile easy, and more links let you access tax questions and answers.
TaxAct also has various tools to make the platform convenient if you need to import documents or tax information from another tax software provider. There is also a mobile app; you can easily switch between devices while filing your taxes.
TaxAct Tax Software Customer Satisfaction
TaxAct has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), although the BBB does not accredit it.
While TaxAct has an overall positive reputation, many negative reviews highlight pricing issues. For example, many consumers complain that TaxAct doesn’t have transparent pricing, and the services are often much more expensive than anticipated by the time you reach the end of your return.
Some customers also found that they were charged for TaxAct services while their returns had not been completed. Therefore, it took much longer for them to receive their tax refunds, and they were at risk of unknowingly missing the tax deadline.
In addition, some TaxAct reviews issues with customer service. Some customers have difficulty reaching customer service or resolving tax and technical problems. The mixture of limited customer service availability and lack of expertise makes the process even more difficult.
Otherwise, customers are satisfied with TaxAct’s ability to simplify the tax process. Most filers complete their returns with no issues and are able to work with a customer service agent or tax expert that can answer all of their questions promptly and completely.
TaxAct Tax Software FAQ
Is TaxAct reputable and safe to use?
Does TaxAct have a free filing option?
Can all filers use TaxAct's mobile app to file?
How We Evaluated TaxAct Tax Software
We reviewed TaxAct Tax Software based on multiple factors, including the platform's advantages and disadvantages, features included in each product tier, pricing, accessibility and overall customer satisfaction.
We thoroughly researched the company and its products to provide details about which product tier is best for specific returns. In addition, we read customer reviews to learn about their experiences and whether they were happy with the services they received.
Summary of TaxAct Tax Software Review
If the maximum refund guarantee, access to your tax history and free guidance from tax professionals appeal to you, TaxAct could be a good fit for you. Gather what you need to file taxes, then create a TaxAct login to start filling out your tax return.
However, you should be mindful of TaxAct pricing. The free online version does not include free state filing, and more complex tax situations require paid online tax preparation packages. Always read the fine print of the tax package you select to be aware of how much you’re likely to pay for the service.
Although we always try to include accurate and up-to-date information, we don’t claim this information is complete or fully up to date. Prices are subject to change. As always, we recommend you do your own research as well.