The average American spends $129 every year to have their tax returns prepared. If you’re filing taxes more complicated than average, you’re on track to pay $200+. A third of Americans have turned to online tax software. It makes life easier and saves money. The number of citizens who’ve taken taxes in their own hands continues to increase. Don’t miss the bus!
What software is right for me?
We reviewed three of the most popular options: e-File.com and TaxAct. Read all the reviews to make the best purchase.
- Streamlined appearance
- *Aggressive ads
* For what it offers, the program is too aggressive on sales. After the first opening of the link that leads to your return, you’ll get a sales speech in the tutorial. Once you’re filling in information, the program informs you that if you want all deductions to be properly calculated, you should switch to the deluxe version. TaxACT sends a clear message: Our application is cheap (or free), but to make it most effective you have to pay more.
First Glance at TaxAct
TaxAct is an application created by Second Story Software. Its enjoyed its share of celebrity. After being on the market for more than a decade, people often choose it simply because they’re aware of its existence. What’s the deal with its popularity? Price.
Price: TaxAct is a cheap choice compared to H&R Block and TurboTax. It’s actually cheap compared to most things, including a Starbucks coffee. This isn’t a bad thing, TaxAct is only good for people who have an easy file ahead of them. For someone who uses the standard deduction, like the typical college student, TaxAct works great.
Usefulness: That being said, TaxACT won’t do the trick for the average user. The application looks clean, but the usability is less than impressive compared to other software we’ve tested. In addition, its aggressive marketing gets tiring. If your taxes are complex, you might miss important details and lose money.
If you’re a property owner with rentals or part of a big family with deductions to think about, TaxAct is probably too simplistic. You’ll be able to calculate your deductions just as well, but some things can slip through the cracks. You might skip valuable deductions.
State return: $0
The free version of the application allows you to insert one “life event.” If you bought a car and also had a baby, you must upgrade to deluxe or potentially lose out on hundreds of dollars. The deluxe version allows an unlimited number of life events.
TaxAct Plus - $39.95
The TaxAct Plus option is most popular plan. It TaxAct targets are investors, homeowners and filers with itemized returns. It costs $39.99 and an addition of $39.99 for each state return. This option comes with all the features of the Free plan, plus access to more forms that focus on the needs of investors and homeowners. TaxAct also ofers previous years import when you get started.
TaxAct Plus helps maximazing deductions by including tools to help get the maximum refund available.
TaxAct Freelancer - $59.95
The newest version available from TaxAct is the Freelancer package. The option cost is $59.99 and is designed for independent contractors and self-employed filers. Filers who need to report capital gains may also like the Freelancer option. This option makes it easy to import stock data and to record their capital gains.
TaxAct Premium - $69.95
This is TaxAct’s most expensive package. The cost is $69.95 and $39.99 for each additional state. This option includes the features of the three other filing options plus assistance if you are audited. With this Tax Audit Defense, TaxAct will provide comprehensive strategies for response and resolution of an audit. It will also handle correspondence with the IRS on your behalf (if need it). The protection lasts for as long as your tax return can be audited.
If your finances are complicated, consider whether TaxAct can handle all of your deductions and credits. However, if you only have to submit a 1040EZ form, TaxAct might be the right choice. TaxAct presents itself on the market as a solution for any taxpayer. In our opinion, it’s not thorough enough. On the bright side, it’s free or inexpensive for everyone.
How does this software differ from other options, like TurboTax and H&R Block? Check the other reviews and discover for yourself which one is best.