Taxact has long provided users with a simple solution to file their taxes online. The entire brand is geared towards providing the best price and quickest filing solution for taxpayers with simple taxes returns. This means that the $0 Federal and State offering is the staple of the business. We will walk through the features and benefits of using Taxact to file you taxes as well as whats been updated for the 2019 tax season.
New for 2020
TaxAct has introduced several new features in 2020, for those filing their 2018 taxes. These include:
- More W2 import options: You can import your W2 directly from some employers or import your W2 information via photo. This step just saves a bit of time up front.
- Redesigned mobile app: If you want to file on your phone, you can now do it more easily with TaxAct’s redesigned mobile app. You can even use the photo W2 import option when filing on your phone.
- Access to prior year returns: If you filed on TaxAct last year, you can access your prior-year returns. TaxAct will save your returns for seven years after filing, even if you only use the free product.
- Income interview: The company’s new streamlined interview helps you get through the income portion of your taxes more quickly.
- More support: This year even TaxAct’s free version includes unlimited phone and email support at no extra charge.
- More versions: This year, TaxAct offers several additional versions of its product, including some specifically for individuals. We’ll detail the options below.
TaxAct Pricing Structure
As mentioned earlier, TaxAct offers five online filing products for consumers. The following table highlights one, along with its pricing and the add-on rate for filing state returns.
- Free Edition: $0 federal and state. For individual filers with simple tax situations (1040EZ only).
- Basic: $14.95 federal, $17 per state. For heads of households claiming dependents (1040A).
- Plus: $29.95 federal, $37 per state. For moderately complex situations including homeowners and investors.
- Self-Employed: $59.95 federal, $37 per state. For self-employed filers, solopreneurs, and others with very complex situations.
- Premium:$69.95 federal, $37 per state. Same functionality as Freelancer package with audit defense and other perks.
- State Return Fees: $37 for higher-priced plans.
- Cost to Pay for Service With Your Refund: $20 or less
Pros/Cons of TaxAct Software
- $0 Filing – The $0 Federal and State filing option is still the best online filing option out there although it is harder to “qualify” for this than in the past.
- $100 Bonus – You may receive a bonus by putting part of your refund on gift cards from our list of popular retailers. Bonus amount depends on refund and gift card choice
- Quick Start – Easily import last year’s tax return from TurboTax® or H&R Block®. Plus take a photo of your W-2 with your phone.
- Limited Customer Support – TaxAct has a helpful knowledge base and a basic customer support framework, but it lacks the robust professional support of H&R Block and TurboTax.
- Increased Cost over Past Years – Many users are complaining that the 2019 version has jacked up the costs substantially over the past versions of the software. In our tests, we found the same conclusions.
In the 2014 tax year, I filed a test federal and state taxes for on Taxact $12.95. My 2018 test cost nearly eight times that amount.
I think Taxact still has a place in the online tax software market, but that seems to be dwindling with the decreasing amount of users who qualify for their free product and the increased cost of filing in general.
That being said, they still offer the best $0 Free Federal and State product out their if your return is basic enough.