Although you might not like doing your taxes, you must file a return to get your refund or avoid interest and penalties on money you owe. Filing taxes online streamlines the process so you save paper and get a faster refund.
One affordable, customer-friendly option for tax-filing preparation is TaxAct, which has been helping people prepare their tax returns for more than 20 years. TaxAct offers both online tax preparation and downloadable tax software packages that walk you through preparing your taxes. Need some help? TaxAct provides its Xpert Assist service free to all filers, so you can get live help ranging from tax advice to a review of your return at no cost.
Here’s a quick look at the different TaxAct filing options available; read on for details on the options so you can better choose which option is right for you to maximize your tax refund:
TaxAct’s Online Filing Options
|TaxAct Product||cost||best if:|
|Free||$0*||You have simple return.|
|Deluxe||$46.95**||You own a home and/or itemize deductions or claim tax credits.|
|Premier||$69.95**||You have investments, own a rental property or sold a home.|
|Self-Employed||$94.95**||You are a freelancer, contractor or small-business owner.|
**State returns are an additional $44.95
TaxAct Product Line
TaxAct offers a selection of tax preparation software options to fit your needs for your tax year 2022 tax return. TaxAct Free might be sufficient if you just need to get your simple return filed with no frills. Users with more complex situations can opt for TaxAct’s fee-based solutions, which include:
- Deluxe ($46.95): Has all the features of the Free version plus homeowner deductions, itemized deductions, child- and dependent-related credits and health savings accounts
- Premier ($69.95): Has all the features of the Deluxe version plus income from investments, rental property, sale of a home, royalties and foreign bank accounts
- Self-Employed ($94.95): Includes all the features of the Premier plus freelance, business and farm income, business deductions and tax-planning tools
TaxAct also offers downloadable products, which include:
- Basic ($44.95): For users with simple returns who need to import last year’s simple return from TurboTax or H&R Block
- Deluxe ($139.95): Includes all the features of Basic plus extra functionality for users who own a home, itemize deductions or take tax credits
- Premier ($149.95): Includes all the features of the Deluxe version plus tools for investment and rental property income and foreign bank accounts
- Self-Employed (159.95): Includes all the features of the Premier version and has additional capabilities for freelancers, contractors and small business owners
Review of TaxAct Features
TaxAct stands out for its low prices, user-friendly interface and its free live assistance from a tax expert. Those looking to switch from another tax software provider can easily import their previous year’s return from providers such as TurboTax and H&R Block, and the software itself feels similar to other products, with clear step-by-step guidance.
The Xpert Assist free live assistance is available to anyone, even those filing free returns, and there’s no limit to how many times you can request help. When you’re close to filing, you can also request to speak with a tax expert to go over any points of confusion and answer any final questions.
All TaxAct tax preparation products include access to your return for seven years. TaxAct’s fee-based products include additional useful features like the Donation Assistant to help you make the most of your charitable giving, and a tool for printing all the tax information you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Choose TaxAct’s Self-Employed edition to get a Deduction Maximizer to help you get all the self-employment tax deductions you’re entitled to claim.
TaxAct downloadable products include unlimited tax support via email. TaxAct online products include unlimited free account and technical support by chat or phone. During tax season, phone lines are open:
- Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (CT)
- Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CT)
- Sunday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (CT)
(Support hours exceptions: Jan. 21, 22, 28, 29, April 15-16, 2023: 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; April 10-14 & 17, 2023: 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Tuesday, April 18, 2023: 8 a.m. – 2 a.m. Wednesday)
TaxAct’s prices for federal taxes are lower than many competitors, but you’ll want to factor in the added cost for a state filing if you live in an income tax state.
TaxAct’s consumer tax products come with a $100k Accuracy Guarantee and a Maximum Refund Guarantee for e-filers. If a software error causes you to receive a smaller refund or pay more tax than you would using the same data with another tax product to file your tax return, TaxAct will pay you up to $100,000 of the difference.
TaxAct will also pay up to $100,000 for your defense if you get audited because of errors in the software. This is a nice feature to have in the event the IRS comes after you, but you must file your claim within 60 days of e-filing your return or 30 days of the IRS imposing a penalty.
Who Should Use TaxAct
TaxAct is an ideal tax software choice for taxpayers who want to file taxes online to avoid hefty tax-preparation fees but want the confidence that comes with having free live one-on-one assistance in case they need it. The downloadable versions appeal to those who prefer not to store personal information online but still want automated preparation and e-filing for their federal return.
Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.
Last updated: March 13, 2023
More From GOBankingRates