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TaxAct review

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File personal, business and enterprise taxes with this tax preparation software.

TaxAct has been in the business for over 20 years and offers several different tax preparation software packages for personal, business and enterprise use. But recent customer reviews reveal it may not be as reliable as it once was.

$26.95

Federal returns starting price

$49.95

State returns starting price

Details

Federal returns starting price$26.95
State returns starting price$49.95
Maximum return guaranteed?Yes
Payment optionsCredit, Debit, Pay with your tax refund

Expert review

Cassidy Horton

Review by


Cassidy Horton is a writer for Finder, specializing in banking and investments. She has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. Cassidy enjoys educating people about financial services, exploring the Pacific Northwest and watching endless reruns of The Office.

Expert review

TaxAct is one of the oldest and most well-known tax preparation software services on the market. It offers 10 different packages for individuals, businesses and enterprises, plus three easy ways to receive your tax refund.

It’s best for those who want a reliable yet inexpensive way to file taxes this year. But its lack of customer support options means it’s not the best choice for those who require in-depth support.

How much does TaxAct cost?

TaxAct offers five personal tax preparation plans, one package and four bundles:

Plan and PackagesPriceBest ForFeatures
Free plan$0 for federal

$0 for state

Simple returns
  • Single or married
  • W2 income
  • Retirement income
  • Free account support
Basic+ plan$26.95 for federal
$49.95 for state

Filers with dependents
  • Everything in the Free plan
  • Child tax credits
  • Earned income credit
  • Education expenses
  • Unlimited support from a tax specialist
Deluxe+ plan$54.95 for federal
$54.95 for state

Homeowners
  • Everything in the Basic+ plan
  • Itemized deductions
  • Student loan interest
  • HSAs
  • Adoption credits
  • Moving expenses
  • Phone support with a tax specialist
Premier+ plan$79.95 for federal
$54.95 for state

Complex returns
  • Everything in the Deluxe+ plan
  • Foreign accounts
  • Investments
  • Rental property
  • K-1 income
  • Prioritized support
  • Screen sharing capability
Self Employed+ planOnline:
$109.95 for federal

$54.95 for state

Downloadable software:
$124.90 for federal (includes one free state return)
$49.95 for additional state returns

Freelancers and small business owners
  • 1099-MISC filing
  • Deduction maximizer software that helps identify potential deductions
TaxAct Business Package$109.95 for federal
$54.95 for state
Small businesses classified as a sole proprietor, partnership, C corporation or S corporation
  • Files 1120, 1120-S, 1065, 1040 and Schedule C forms
1040 Bundle$700Single business professionals
  • Files 1040s
1040 Enterprise Bundle$770Multi-users
  • Files 1040s
Complete Bundle$1,325Single business professionals
  • Files a range of forms including 1040s, 1041, 1065 and more.
Complete Enterprise Bundle$1,675Multi-users
  • Files any enterprise tax forms

How do I pay?

There are three ways to pay for TaxAct’s tax preparation fees:

  • Debt or credit card
  • Deducted from refund for $17.99
  • PayPower Card for $9.99

How do I get my tax refund?

There are three ways to receive your tax refund through TaxAct:

  • Direct Deposit
  • PayPower Card for $9.99
  • Paper check

Pros

As one of the oldest tax preparation companies in the business, TaxAct offers the following perks:

  • Free for simple filers. Anyone with a simple tax situation can file their federal and state returns for free using the Free plan.
  • Accuracy guarantee. If TaxAct makes a mistake they’ll pay for software cost, cover the difference in refund amount and pay all legal and auditing costs up to $100,000.
  • Long-term access. Access your prior returns for seven years after the filing date.
  • Variety. TaxAct offers several tax preparation packages for personal, business and enterprise use.
  • Import previous returns. Save time by importing last year’s returns from TurboTax or H&R Block.

Cons

If you plan to file with TaxAct, watch out for these potential drawbacks:

  • Upselling. TaxAct will offer upgraded services as you move through the filing process.
  • No advances for tax refunds. Unlike many of its competitors, TaxAct doesn’t offer refund advances, so you’ll have to wait and get your refund when the IRS sends it.
  • Poor reviews. Many customers complain about the lack of customer service and hidden fees.

How does TaxAct’s business tax filing compare to other software?

TaxAct’s business tax filing options are best for small business owners with simple tax situations. Here’s why:

Pros

  • Online and desktop options. You have the flexibility to file your taxes online or download a desktop version of the software. But the desktop version is only available for Windows users.
  • Affordable. The one thing TaxAct has going for is its price. Most business plans are a flat $109.95 for federal returns and $54.95 for each state return.

Cons

  • No integrations. Unlike TurboTax, TaxAct doesn’t integrate with Quickbooks or any other platforms that make filing your taxes easy.
  • Limited support. TaxAct’s customer support is barebones. You can’t get any advice from CPAs or other tax professionals.
  • No payroll features. You can’t create any W-2 and 1099 forms with TaxAct, which may make filing taxes difficult if you have employees or contract workers.

Case study: Adrienne’s experience – December 2019

profile pic

Adrienne Fuller
Publisher

I’ve used TaxAct for the past several years to submit joint tax returns for federal, Colorado and California. It was very straightforward for the stage of life I was in — no kids, mortgage or major debts. The price was also a bargain compared to other services at that time.

Now that my taxes are more complicated with a mortgage and an LLC, the shortcomings of TaxAct have become more apparent. While TaxAct walks users through each stage of the filing process and offers resources, it’s difficult to determine which forms I need to fill out. I find myself straying from the site to research the forms to understand them. If I accidentally skip over a form, I have to start over.

It cost $80 to submit my taxes with TaxAct this year and it included federal, state and a return for the LLC. I particularly like that TaxAct can import my taxes from previous years. This is one of the reasons I haven’t tried to switch. I know that other services can import from other software, so I plan to compare prices and try to find a cheaper service for my 2019 returns.

TaxAct reviews and complaints

As of October 2019, TaxAct earned an A+ based on the Better Business Bureau’s internal criteria but a mere 1 out of 5-star rating based on 22 customer reviews. On Trustpilot, TaxAct received a 3 out of 5-star rating.

Customers complain about glitches in the 2018 TaxAct version of the software that resulted in errors on their tax returns. Others mention unreachable customer service and many share that the quality has declined.

Compare tax filing services

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Federal returns starting price State returns starting price Maximum return guaranteed? Free options available? Photo import of W2? Live chat?
TaxSlayer
$17
$39
Yes
Yes
Yes
TaxSlayer offers free federal and state filing for simple returns and $0 federal return to service members filing with a military EIN.
Intuit TurboTax
$60
$50
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
File returns electronically and get taken step by step through the tax-filing process, so that you can receive the fastest refund possible for yourself, and/or your business.
Liberty Tax
$27.96
$29.95
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Choose from EZ, Basic, Deluxe, and Premium packages to support the simplest or the most complicated of returns; including business and investments.
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Compare up to 4 providers

But if you’re looking for a straightforward plan and one with better customer reviews, compare other filing options before you decide.

How to sign up

Use the steps below to sign up for TaxAct online:

  1. Go to the official TaxAct website, locate which preparation package you need and click File Free.
  2. Enter your email address and phone number, create your username and password and click Next.
  3. Type in the six-digit verification code sent to your email address and click Next.
  4. Set up your security questions and click Next.
  5. Review the privacy policy and click Accept and Continue.
  6. Click Add PIN and create an optional security PIN or click Skip for now.

After you’ve completed these steps, you’ll begin the filing process.

Does TaxAct have audit protection?

TaxAct partners with Protection Plus Audit Defense to bring its customers full-service audit assistance. Simply enroll in the program when you file your return, and Protection Plus will cover your tax return for three full years. If your federal or state return is audited during that time, you don’t have to do anything. Protection Plus will go through the entire audit process on your behalf.

If you don’t enroll in Protection Plus Audit Defense, your audit protection is limited to an FAQ page on TaxAct’s website.

TaxAct customer support

Chat with a TaxAct customer support representative by:

  • Calling (319) 373-3600
      • During tax season: Weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT
      • After tax season: Weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT
  • Filling out the contact form on its website for general questions

Frequently asked questions

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