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TaxSlayer review

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


Federal returns starting price$24.95
State returns starting price$39.95
Maximum return guaranteed?Yes
Payment optionsCredit, Debit, Pay with your tax refund

Review by

Cassidy Horton is a writer for Finder, specializing in banking and kids’ debit cards. She’s been featured on Legal Zoom, MSN, and Consolidated Credit and has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. When not writing, you can find her exploring the Pacific Northwest and watching endless reruns of The Office.

Expert review

TaxSlayer is best for those looking for an affordable way to file taxes online this year. Tax preparers can appreciate the integrated bank products so their clients can get paid sooner. Students and those without dependents can file their federal and state returns themselves 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:
PlanPriceBest ForFeatures
Simply FreeFreeSimple returns
Students and those without dependents
  • Phone and email support
Classic$24.95 for federal
$39.95 for state
Complex returns and active duty military
Supports all tax situations
  • Automatically imports W-2s
Premium$44.95 for federal
$39.95 for state
Those needing priority support
  • Three years of IRS audit assistance
  • Access to a tax professional
  • Priority phone and email support
  • Live chat option
Self-Employed$54.95 for federal
$39.95 for state
Freelancers and small business owners
  • 1099 and Schedule C support
  • Access to tax professional specializing in self-employment
  • Deduction finder tool to maximize refunds

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 $1,195 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:

  1. Click Apply now.
  2. From the official TaxSlayer website, click File Now.
  3. 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.

Is TaxSlayer safe?

Yes. TaxSlayer uses multi-layer authentication to verify your identity and protects your data using several security technologies, including firewalls and SSL encryption.

And its service comes with two sets of guarantees:

  • 100% accurate calculations. Your calculations will be up-to-date and exact, or it’ll reimburse you for any federal or state penalties, including interest charges.
  • Maximum refund. You’ll receive the maximum refund that you’re entitled to, or it’ll refund your purchase.

Compare tax filing services

Name Product Federal returns starting price State returns starting price Maximum return guaranteed? Free options available? Photo import of W2? Live chat?
H&R Block
File simply and securely with tax software from H&R Block.
File federal returns for free and pay $14.99 for state returns with this online tax preparation software.
Keeper Tax
Keeper Tax helps people with 1099 income automatically find tax write-offs among their purchases. At tax time, file federal and state directly for $89 or export to file elsewhere for $39.
Jackson Hewitt
File taxes online or in-person for a no-fee refund advance loan. But watch out for high filing fees
Intuit TurboTax
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
Choose from EZ, Basic, Deluxe, and Premium packages to support the simplest or the most complicated of returns; including business and investments.
TaxSlayer offers free federal and state filing for simple returns and $0 federal return to service members filing with a military EIN.

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

Frequently asked questions

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