Military members, students and those with simple tax situations can file for free.TaxSlayer is an online tax preparation software company offering perks such as free federal and state filing for simple returns. Plus, $0 federal returns for service members filing with their military EIN. But customers warn that its free version is only for the most basic returns — and you’ll get upgraded to a more expensive plan without warning if your tax situation is too complex.
Federal returns starting price
State returns starting price
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.
If you’re looking for an affordable way to file taxes online this year, TaxSlayer may be a good choice. Students and those without dependents can file their federal and state returns for free — unlike other tax preparation software companies that charge you for state returns. Plus, active duty military members get a free federal return when they use their military EIN to file with the Classic plan.
But beware: TaxSlayer will automatically upgrade you to a more expensive plan if your tax situation is too complex for the one you choose.
How much does TaxSlayer cost?TaxSlayer has four tax preparation plans for individuals:
Students and those without dependents
|Classic||$17 for federal$39 for state||
Complex returns and active duty military
Supports all tax situations
|Premium||$37 for federal$39 for state||Those needing priority support||
|Self-Employed||$47 for federal$39 for state||Freelancers and small business owners||
The company also has TaxSlayer Pro — a professional version of its software for tax practices featuring both desktop and web-based solutions. Prices range from $1,095 to $1,395.
How do I pay?
There are two ways to pay for your preparation fees:
- Credit or debit card
- Taken out of refund — fees may apply
How do I get my tax refund?
There are three ways to receive your refund through TaxSlayer:
- Direct deposit
- Greendot Prepaid Visa debit card — fees may apply
- Paper check
How do I open a TaxSlayer account?
Sign up for TaxSlayer in two simple steps:
- Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
- From the official TaxSlayer website, click File Now.
- Enter your email address, username, password and phone number (optional) then click Create Account.
Benefits of TaxSlayer include:
- Free plan. TaxSlayer’s free version is actually free for both federal and state returns.
- Free federal returns for military members. Active duty service members filing with an EIN won’t pay anything for their federal return, but state returns cost $39.
- Resource center. TaxSlayer has an entire section on its website dedicated to tax reform and tax tools, including a refund calculator.
Potential drawbacks of TaxSlayer include:
- Unclear fees. TaxSlayer doesn’t list fees on its site for prepaid card and paper check refund options.
- Limited live support. Only those on the Premium plan can live chat with a support representative.
- Automatic paid upgrades. Even if you select the free version, the site will automatically upgrade you if you add a dependent, retirement income, itemized deductions or anything else that makes your situation more complex.
If you’re unsure TaxSlayer is right for you, check out other tax filing sites before you decide.
TaxSlayer reviews and complaints
As of October 2020, TaxSlayer has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating on Trustpilot based on 11,319 customer reviews — one of the highest ratings we’ve seen for online tax services. Customers praise TaxSlayer’s convenience, ease-of-use and speed.
One common complaint among users is that TaxSlayer will automatically upgrade your plan if your tax situation is too complex for the original plan you selected.
Others complain about the site crash that happened on April 16, 2019, which was the last day to file taxes that year. Customer support representatives ensure this was a one-time issue and shouldn’t happen again.
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TaxSlayer customer support
There are two ways to contact TaxSlayer customer support:
- Submit an email support request through its website.
- Call 706-922-6741 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. Tax season hours of operation start from January 2 to April 15. Call on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.